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Meditations in the Desert

The goal of this program is to create a meaningful experience that ultimately facilitates a more intimate connection between participants and their personal beliefs about Judaism, Israel, and G-d through stargazing and self-reflection. Participants will engage in an immersive reflective experience, through guided and silent meditation in a nighttime desert setting. This program is intended for […]

TEVA Bingo

Originally made for TEVA’s four day intensive outdoor learning experience, it can be adapted to any outdoor educational hike. This is a tool to help introduce the outdoor experience, allowing the participants to get excited for what’s to come, to be more engaged during the field trip, and to connect to nature in their own […]

Food Systems and Jewish Values

In this lesson, participants will have the opportunity to think beyond their own garden and analyze two food systems at play in the world–local and global. Once students grasp these two simplified food systems that represent how our food is currently produced, they will explore which system aligns best with Jewish values. This lesson was […]

Whittling a Yad

A Yad, or hand, is the pointing tool traditionally used to help us read from the Sefer Torah. Our Torah scroll is both sacred and delicate. We would never want to damage it with our fingers, so we use a Yad to help us follow along as we leyn. By making their own Yad out […]

The “Stones” Text: JOFEE Interpretations

The “Stones” text (Talmud Bavli, Masekhet Bava Kama 50b) is one of the foundational texts of Hazon, and perhaps of the entire Jewish ecological movement. “This text provides no answers. But it poses important questions, and establishes a framework for relating to a range of contemporary issues through the prism of Jewish tradition,” wrote Nigel […]

Day of Awe-some: A Rosh Hashanah Family Program

This program is an opportunity for families with young children to engage in the Jewish rituals and traditions surrounding the holiday of Rosh Hashanah. They will be able to meet other families like themselves while spending the morning creating a meaningful and educational connection with a Jewish holiday. Bring the holiday to life for families […]

A JOFEE Passover

The Passover story is deeply multivalent: it has been interpreted and re-interpreted by Jews for thousands of years, remaining pertinent despite the changing realities of those who celebrate it. Here are four curricula for the days leading up to Passover (and one for the holiday itself), which give an ecological spin to the story in distinct […]

Tu B’shevat Seders

A Tu B’shevat Seder is a fun experiential way to connect to an increasingly well-known Jewish holiday, bringing to life ecological teachings, enjoying fruit from around the world, and of fostering social connections. Here are four distinct ideas for a Seder to celebrate this Jewish “New Year for the trees”, all of which combine traditional […]

Jewish Time and Space

Lesson plan for adults This session activates participants with a philosophical framing of holiness in time and space using Heschel’s The Sabbath. Participants then map out the holiday cycle and follow its path around the seasons, moons, solar cycle, and cardinal directions illuminating the layers of connection between the Jewish concept of time and nature’s. […]

Pickling Activities

Pickling is easy, fun, highly adaptable, and deeply connected to Jewish history and tradition. Here are two different ideas for a pickling curriculum, prepared as part of the JOFEE Fellowship: In Nicole Cruz’s workshop “Pickling for Families”, explore new ways to preserve and eat seasonal food with your children, learn about the history of pickling […]

Preschool Bee Activity

Using Rosh Hashanah as a springboard, preschool children will learn about bees and how they make honey. They will participate in a hide and seek type game before a wrap up discussion and honey taste test. This activity was created by Josh Kleymeyer as part of the JOFEE Fellowship. Access this resource here.

Shmita and Foraged Foods

This program is a unique, interactive activity for a festival-style event that combines knowledge of local wild edible plants and the Jewish tradition of Shmita. For this program, the educator creates four unique “trading cards” to pass out at the event, and two examples of local, foraged food. The trading cards serve as a way […]