Environmental Teaching

Environmental Teaching: The Story of My Snack

on Monday, 04 March 2013. Posted in Environmental Teaching

The story of my snack – Ultimate goal Think globally, act locally

What is the life story or history of your snack?

(planting, natural fertilizer, people picking fruit, transport, prep, etc)

This past Sunday, I showed the children an apple and bag of Doritos.  The great thing about having visual objects was that our children were really engaged and thinking about what goes into making both the apple and the Doritos.  They also spoke about how we get those foods to our house.

Environmental Teaching: One Generation Goes ... Earth Stays

on Friday, 08 February 2013. Posted in Environmental Teaching

One generation goes and another generation comes; but the earth remains forever. (Ecclesiastes 1:4)

Teaching children is always a partnership. In order for learning to take place, the children and the parents, the educators, and the mentors need to work together in a partnership.

Last Sunday, I loved hearing the wisdom of the children as they discussed what the quote above means to them. The beauty of children is that say what they think and they usually have the best of intentions. One child expressed that, while people live and die, the earth will always be here; we have a responsibility to always remember the earth.

Environmental Teaching: PAIR

on Tuesday, 22 January 2013. Posted in Environmental Teaching





With Tu B'Shevat, the New Year for the Trees, coming, I wanted to have our Religious School community reflect on what being an integral part of the bigger picture could mean for each of us when we talk about the environment and all interconnected relationships. So, I taught them about the acronym PAIR.

Environmental Teaching: Doing Our Part for Tikun Olam

on Tuesday, 15 January 2013. Posted in Environmental Teaching

A new tradition has begun. Each Sunday morning, I will be sharing an environmental teaching to the Kurn Religious School community and then blogging about it on our updated Temple Emanue-El website within the week. My hope is to offer a bissel, a little, Torah and an insight on how to take the teaching home.


It is not up to us to complete the task (of repairing the world).
Yet neither are we free to desist.
~Pirkei Avot 2:16

In order to make this world the best that it can be, we have to begin by doing our part wherever we can. While each of us has a job to do, we can't do it alone. In order to make a difference, we have to work as a team with others. Essentially that means that while you have to do your part to make the world stronger, healthier, better, you don't have to do it alone and you don't have to complete the work you started. Just take one step and begin the journey. Ultimately you will find if you are doing the work, others will join you.

Considering the Environment

on Thursday, 20 December 2012. Posted in Environmental Teaching

New Environmental Curriculum for the Kurn Religious School

"One generation goes and another comes, but the earth remains forever."(Ecclesiastes 1:4)

Suggested Discussion Questions:

  1. What is our responsibility to maintain the earth for future generations?
  2. What does it mean that the earth remains the same forever? Is this true? Must we sustain it or can it sustain itself?

(adapted from American Jewish World Service's http://www.on1foot.org)

As we embark on the questions above, my goal as the Youth Education Director is to mirror the values of our larger Temple Emanu-El community. This, of course, becomes easier when we share similar values. With the help of dedicated lay leaders including Jerry Shulman and the Men's Club, Micki Shulman, Sol Brody, Scott Arden, Mona Gibson and the Youth Education Committee, I am embarking on creating a Jewish Environmental Curriculum to utilize within the Kurn Religious School. Here is a plan of how we will be moving forward:

  • Opening/TefillahWeekly blog based on Sunday's teaching and email link home in News You Can Use emails

    • 3 minute teachings each Sunday morning
    • sharing an action plan for how to take that teaching home (show and tell)
  • Monthly – Students will have an experiential lesson to incorporate environmental teaching from a Jewish perspective

  • Two classes (grades 4 and 5) will have outside fieldtrips to experience Jewish Environmental teachings. (Spring 2013)

  • Encourage Trash to Treasure Mentality with teachers and students for class and art projects

  • Create library with books that support the teachings and environmental consciousness

While I am focusing on teaching our students during Religious School, all of these Jewish and universal teachings will be accessible through my blog each Monday morning following Sunday morning classes. May the many Jewish teachings become a springboard for walking more gently on our earth. As Jews and human beings we can make a difference.

Together through our learning, we are planting seeds in our children's minds to keep our earth.




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