Kahn’s Garden – Yiladim at Play
The Asheville JCC’s educational garden, founded in 2008, provides a variety of hands-on learning experiences for children enrolled in our programs. The design of the garden and activities incorporates environmental themes based on Judaic values: Bal Taschit (Do Not Destroy); L’ovda U’l’shomra (To Work and Keep the Land); Shomrei Adamah (Guardian of the Earth); and Tikkun Olam (Repair of the World). Children participate in age-appropriate activities to learn how their actions directly impact the earth.
Through their own planting, nurturing and harvesting activities, children learn about the cycles of nature and how these relate to Jewish beliefs. Children gain first-hand knowledge of their relationship to the Earth, and will ultimately understand the physical and moral imperatives for environmental stewardship. We believe in order to achieve enduring insights, children must be engaged in meaningful experiences that provide opportunities for them to discover knowledge through their own experimentation and observation. In our garden, children grow food, see the importance of water and soil, and experience the rewards of caring for their plants — from seedling to flower to fruit — and learning to save seeds for the next planting season.
Focusing the lessons of our garden activities through the lens of larger Jewish concepts gives children a deeper insight into their connection with and responsibility to take care of the earth. It is essential for children to participate in numerous interactions with nature and to witness the results of their participation in order to appreciate their power to influence the world.
The JCC’s Children’s Educational Garden is made possible in part by grants from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and The Covenant Foundation. Learn More »