Students from BJEP, the Boston-Area Jewish Education Program, hosted a pollinator-themed Purim carnival, and in keeping with the values to preserve the earth, learned about the wildflowers that help our pollinator friends. (Yes, we are still bee-ming about Purim!)
Waltham-based BJEP, a Jewish learning program for pre-K to seventh graders, partnered with Lemberg Children’s Center for a morning filled with bee-themed activities. The Lemberg team led students in discovering the importance of pollinators for the earth’s ecosystem, making seed balls that can generate wildflowers to attract flies, moths, butterflies and other pollinators and to help preserve and ensure sustainability for our interdependent systems.
The Lemberg Center’s environmental curriculum titled “Environmental Education and Gardening with Children, a Curriculum for Resilience, Empathy and Health,” is designed for pre-K through second grade students and easily adaptable for older ages. The curriculum offers teachers, parents and community organizers 50 environmental education activities and ready-to-go lessons by season for use both outdoors and indoors.
Heather Renetzky, BJEP education director, shared that the pollinator Purim carnival helped BJEP students internalize that Judaism values partnership, stewardship of the earth and fun. “Purim is a holiday about our people’s perseverance and triumphing over adversity. At its core, this holiday teaches us the importance of connecting with others and to find the joy in being in community. Partnering with the Lemberg Center was the perfect way to play out these values,” she shared.
Renetzky added that the pollinator theme added a fun twist to Purim traditions such as performing a spiel (a play or skit) to retell the story. Teachers wrote a bee-themed spiel (featuring Vashbee and the bee-utiful Queen Esther), and the carnival included activities such as (fake) egg races, tissue paper flower making and a pollinator-themed cake walk.
Thanks to PJ Library for a shoutout about this event, which benefited even more pollinators. Learn about PJ Library’s program that sends free, award-winning books that celebrate Jewish values and culture to families with children from birth through age 12 here.
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