Last night was a very special night for us here at Leshomra.
Some 70 Charedi kindergarten teachers gathered at Jerusalem’s Beis Yaakov Teacher’s Seminary (AKA HaSeminar HaYashan) to learn about vegetable gardening and ecology from our team. The teachers are learning to run Leshomra’s Our Little Farm program in kindergartens and schools around Jerusalem starting this month.
This is the first time environmental education has ever been added to the curriculum of Jerusalem’s Charedi schools. For us, it’s the culmination of many months of work to make this dream a reality.
The program is being co-funded by the Jerusalem Municipality and Leshomra, thanks to our far-sighted donors. The original Jerusalem budget was for 20 classes but over 60 clamored to join. In the end an additional 14 classes joined after the teachers decided to contribute their classes’ limited “enrichment funds” in order to join the program. All the teachers and their assistants joined the compulsory training session last night.
We predicted strong demand for Leshomra’s green education programs in Charedi educational institutions, but this unexpected development exceeded even our wildest expectations!
Enjoy these photos of the event:
As part of the ecology lesson, we watched the video of The Story of Stuff (with Hebrew subtitles). Afterwards we discussed the message of the video.
One teacher expressed hopelessness about whether there was anything she could do to change the situation. Another said she felt that she strongly identified with ecological concepts presented because she had long felt that disposable goods and waste are not in line with her family’s values. Leshomra’s Director of Curriculum Leah Carmi emphasized that as teachers of the next generation, they have tremendous power to impact the future. Their students will hugely benefit from the enriching experience of tending their own garden and coming closer to nature, while learning the principles of environmental responsibility.
Our goal at Leshomra is to nurture the connection with nature and environmental responsibility in the Charedi sector, for the benefit of our own community and all of Israel. Last night’s training session was one of those amazing moments where we saw our goal coming to fruition before our eyes. We’re planting seeds, both literally and figuratively, that will grow into a greener tomorrow, with Hashem’s Help.
A huge thank you to our donors and supporters who are making this happen in Jerusalem and other cities around Israel. Every dollar donated is matched by municipalities and schools to bring this program to more Charedi teachers and children. We are currently working to bring the program to Bnei Barak ASAP and we need your help!