Planting and tending a living garden is a growing trend at schools and other Jewish spaces, and an exceptional way to teach children about Jewish values and cycles, interaction with nature, and taking a lead in the world.
Educators will learn from experts in the field of Jewish early childhood garden education, hear of best practices from around the country, get practical training in the gardens of Kayam Farm, review and discuss curricula, and explore the potential of indoor gardens, Jewish holiday gardens and sensory gardens. Individual consultations will take place also, all while feasting on the fresh produce from Kayam Farm.
Kayam Farm at Pearlstone, near Baltimore, received a 2010 Signature grant from The Covenant Foundation to launch the Kayam Jewish Gardening Initiative, a diverse group of Jewish institutions in the Baltimore area creating educational gardens or orchards in which to use Kayam-developed curricula focused on Jewish environmental values and teachings.
Among the presenters will be educators from The Jewish Community Center of Asheville, NC, which received a 2008 Ignition Grant from The Covenant Foundation to develop a curriculum for the Children’s Educational Garden Project, including green activities, lessons and discussion topics integrating Jewish environmental values for children. Dr. Ruth Pinkenson Feldman, a 2004 Covenant Award recipient for Jewish childhood education and a prominent educator within the Jewish environmental movement, is on the planning committee for the conference.