Resources


Pizza Box Solar Oven

Solar Oven progam The goal of solar ovens is for all students to walk away understanding how solar ovens use the greenhouse effect, (which they just learned about in the intro), to use the heat of the sun to heat their food. Set up a solar oven in advance, with something cooking in it. Have the kids try to guess what the outside temperature is and then point out the temperature on the thermometer of the solar oven. Have the kids try to figure out all the different components of the solar oven based on what they learned earlier about the ...

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Pokeiach Ivrim

The name of this exercise is taken from Birchot HaShachar, a morning prayer in which we thank God for the restoration of our senses upon waking. These senses include bodily mobility as we wake, stretch, dress and begin our day. One bracha (blessing) ends in, Pokeiach Ivrim, which means, who opens our eyes, thanking God for the gift of sight.

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Build your own Solar Oven (out of an old cooler)

Here is an easy and fun way to make a solar oven out of re-used materials. This one actually works!!! Solar Oven program The goal of solar ovens is for all students to walk away understanding how solar ovens use the greenhouse effect, (which they just learned about in the intro), to use the heat of the sun to heat their food. Set up the “cooler” solar oven in advance, with something cooking in it. Have the kids try to guess what the outside temperature is and then point out the temperature on the thermometer of the solar oven. ... (has 1 attachments)

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Shema Sound Map

A Shema-based listening awareness activity for all ages. (has 1 attachments)

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Name That Critter

This activity explores the power of naming something. Often when we think of the language of Breishit – dominion and ruling over Creation and stewardship – we imagine physical acts or resource use. But it is possible to enact dominion through more subtle intellectual pursuits as well, such as naming. This activity highlights our ability and propensity for putting ourselves above the rest of Creation through naming, the positive and negative aspects of that ability, and the responsibility that comes with it. (has 1 attachments)

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Build A Tree

This game has a magical power to create joyous camaraderie, as well as teach tree biology. It's amazingly effective for drawing a group together. Players act out the various parts of a tree: the taproot, lateral roots, heartwood, sapwood, phloem/cambium, and bark. In large groups, more than one player can take each role. (has 1 attachments)

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Environmental Case Studies

Congregational Best Practices Excerpt: Use these successful and replicable ...

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Greening 101 and Frequently Asked Questions

Excerpt: Topics covered: Is environmentalism a Jewish issue? Where do I start? What are CFL bulbs and why should I use them? Which is better and what's the difference: Local vs. Organic foods? Farm raised, free-range and cage-free: So many labels, what do they all mean? How can I measure my efforts? How can I solicit support for congregational greening efforts from my board? Is there ...

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Parshat Vayechi: Eating Holy food in a Holy way

By Rabbi Julian Sinclair View a Printable Version | View a Source Sheet Do we know who grows our food? Does it matter? This question was first raised for me five years ago when I was the Campus Rabbi at England’s Cambridge University. Invited to High Table dinner with the professors at one of the colleges, I was surprised to discover that most of the conversation among some of Britain’s leading minds revolved around the food. “This venison’s inedible,” complained an irascible professor of physics. &ldqu...

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Parshat Vayigash: Lessons from Yosef’s foresight and restraint

By Dr David Goldblatt View a Printable Version | View a Source Sheet Joseph (Yosef) is a paragon of foresight, self-discipline, and concern for the larger community. As we saw previously in Parshat Mikeitz, Yosef used prophetic insight to instruct Egypt to make provisions during the seven years of plenty for the seven-year famine that would follow. He had sure knowledge of an impending human-ecological problem and gathered grain in the time of plenty as insurance against hard ...

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Parshat Mikeitz: The Song of the Land – A Torah Teaching for the Western Environmentalist

By Rabbi Shaul David Judelman View a Printable Version | View a Source Sheet The Environmental movement that has sprung forth from the West bears many imprints of the same paradigms of thought that have led to the environmental crisis itself. There is a tendency to rush towards results and overlook the process required to organically arrive at those results, and part of our work in healing is to redress these internalized ways of thinking to arrive at a truly sustainable way of living. Through the Torah this lesson of process is being learned. At the ...

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Parshat Vayeishev: Shepherd-Consciousness and the Post-Industrial Jew

By Fivel Yedidya Glasser, with contributions from Rabbi Chanan Morrison View a Printable Version | View a Source Sheet Our ancestors were shepherds. The Torah tells us that our forefathers, as well as Moshe Rebbeinu, Rachel Immeinu and King David all herded goats and sheep. And in this week’s Torah portion ofVayeishev we see that Joseph (Yosef) also worked as a shepherd alongside his brothers.[1] The greatest of our early Jewish leaders chose this profession, a livelihood scorned by surrounding cultures. Years after Yosef’s exile to Egypt and rise to ...

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Parshat Vayichlach: Small Vessels

By Jonathan Neril View a Printable Version | View a Source Sheet Before Ya’akov’s (Jacob's) epic encounter with Esau, reuniting with his brother after decades of estrangement, Ya’akov brings his family and possessions across a stream. He then returns at night to the other side of the stream, and the Torah narrates that: “Ya’akov remained alone.” The rabbis see the word “alone” (levado) as superfluous, and understand it as related to the similar sounding lecado, “for his vessel,” yielding, ...

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Parshat Toldot: Digging the Wells: The Importance of Protecting Our Natural Resources

By Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, (translated from the original Hebrew by Ariel Shalem) View a Printable Version | View a Source Sheet The limited resources of the world we live in affect wide spheres of influence. To the extent that a resource is more essential and uncompromising in its need, the more potential it has to lead to conflict and war. In this week’s Torah portion, Toldot, Yitzchak (Isaac) faces conflict with the Philistines and the people of Gerar rooted in the age-old struggle surrounding the scarcity of water. [1] The shepherds of Gerar claim, ...

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Praying in the Fields: Parshat Chayei Sarah

By Drew Kaplan View a Printable Verison | View a Source Sheet Since Yitzhak went to the field to pray in this week’s Torah portion, the world has not been the same. The Talmud offers two sources for our requirement to pray three daily prayers; one is the prayers themselves of the three forefathers of the Jewish people. Avraham is credited with instituting shaharit, the morning prayer; Yitzhak grants us minhah, the afternoon prayer; and Ya’akov gives us ma’ariv, the evening prayer. The Talmud cites a verse from the Book of Genesis to establish ...

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Parshat Vayera: The Sin of Sodom and Its Impact on Creation

By Rabbi Yuval Cherlow (translated from the original Hebrew by Ariel Shalem) View a Printable Version | View a Source Sheet Two cosmic catastrophes unfold in the book of Genesis. The first, the flood, in which G-d brings waters down from the Heavens to destroy almost all life. The second, the utter devastation of Sodom and Gomorrah, in which an areapreviously known as a fertile and lush “garden of Hashem” (Gen. 13:10) becomes a desolate land “that cannot be sown, nor sprout, and no grass shall rise up upon it, like the upheaval of ...

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Lech Lecha: Joining Together for Justice in the Land

By Tuvia Aronson[1] View a Printable Version | View a Source Sheet The great commentator Rashi (France 1040-1105)[2] interprets the verse to mean that the land was simply unable to provide sufficient pasture for all the cattle and sheep involved. It is as if there is missing information intended to be inserted in the verse: "And the [pasture of the] land could not bear them." An alternative approach is that of Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch (Germany 1808-1888) and the “Netziv” (Rav Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin -Russia 1817-1893).[3] ...

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Parshat Noach: A Paradigm for Environmental Consciousness

By Shimshon Stüart Siegel View a Printable Version | View a Source Sheet While still in the Garden of Eden, humans, animals and plants lived in harmony, according to G-d's desire for the world. After the Fall, maintaining this harmony became a great toil: the earth outside the Garden was thorny and tough; man and beast became adversaries. After a few generations all life on the planet had “corrupted (hishchis) its way on the earth.”[1] In our Torah portion (parsha), G-d decided to wash the slate clean and begin creation over from scratch: ...

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