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2014-08-15 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

August 15, 2014  RSS feed
Culture

Text: T T T

Workshop teaches how to use nature in Jewish religious education


Guest instructor Nili Simhai, center, teaching “Goofy Foot” – a way to immediately organize a group outside. All ages respond as shown by the group of teachers participating. Guest instructor Nili Simhai, center, teaching “Goofy Foot” – a way to immediately organize a group outside. All ages respond as shown by the group of teachers participating. A nationally recognized Jewish environmental educator met with 22 teachers from five Bay area institutions Sunday, July 27, for a workshop, “Let the Earth Teach You Torah.”

Sponsored by the Tampa Bay Jewish Educators Commission, the meeting at Congregation Beth Shalom in Clearwater featured Nili Simhai, a teacher/consultant with Rabbi Arthur Waskow at the Isabella Friedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, CT. She has presented workshops all over the country for various groups including at CAJE – Conference on Alternatives in Jewish Education.

Participants learned ways to make nature part of the religious school curriculum including how to organize a class outdoors, how to use “found items” to build a sukkah and how to make a Florida lulav. Simhai used hands-on, experiential methods to teach the same.


(L-R) Tamar Hayat of Congregation Beth Shalom, Zack Levine of Temple B’nai Israel and Peggy Gerson of Beth Shalom relax during the educators workshop in Beth Shalom’s Biblical Garden. (L-R) Tamar Hayat of Congregation Beth Shalom, Zack Levine of Temple B’nai Israel and Peggy Gerson of Beth Shalom relax during the educators workshop in Beth Shalom’s Biblical Garden. Following the workshop, teachers said they felt more comfortable using the space out-of-doors in their lesson planning.

To learn more about the Tampa Bay Jewish Educators Commission, contact TBJEC President Judy van der Stelt at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Tampa or Tami Wolf at Congregation Beth Shalom in Clearwater.

To learn more about Nili Simhai’s work and the work of www.Hazon.org or Elat Chayyim – Center for Jewish Spirituality, email Nili at nilisimhai@Gmail.com.


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