Fourth grade students in Kulanu spent three weeks learning about our responsibility to the environment, in partnership with Temple Isaiah’s sacred grounds committee.
To kick things off, students participated in an activity to help them reflect on the interconnectedness of all living things, and the impact that the loss of one can have on others in the ecosystem. Then they turned to Torah, studying the text of creation, paying close attention to the mandate God gives Adam and Eve, to be responsible for the natural world.
In our second week, we were joined by a number of special guests. Two volunteers from the Howard County watershed stewards used hands-on demonstrations to help us better understand how the Chesapeake watershed functions, and how pollution can spread throughout the watershed. Additionally, volunteers from the synagogue’s Sacred Grounds committee took students on a tour of Temple Isaiah, to show some of the ways that Temple Isaiah is striving to be a good environmental steward (check out some pictures from the tour, all taken by our 4th graders!)
The next week, students went back outside, to experience the powerful spiritual impact that many have when being in nature. They learned about Rabbi Nachman of Braslav and practiced “hitbodedut” — being alone with God in nature. To close out their learning, 4th graders brainstormed ways that they and their families can be good environmental stewards.
Students and teachers learned so much about the impact of our behaviors on the world around us and the ways our community it striving to be a good caretaker of God’s creations. Everyone loved the hands-on activities and spending time outside! We thank our Sacred Grounds leadership, especially Betsy Singer Marcus, for partnering with us in this new curricular endeavor.