Dora L. Lewis
Family and Child Development Center
at the Weinstein JCC

We’ve been very busy in our outdoor classroom and edible schoolyard gardens since 2019. We have expanded our fencing in the edible schoolyard to enhance a larger outdoor learning space that provides better accessibility and freedom for our children to explore in a natural and inclusive environment. We’ll be adding two new “Mud Kitchen” signs, made by one of our grandparents, to our outdoor classrooms.

By connecting the gardens, greenhouse, and pergola to the natural area in the woods it has offered unique invitations in nature such as: increased sensory experiences and large-motor activities for healthy risk-taking. We contnue to incorporate plantings that engage the senses to deepen the children’s understandings of Judaism and the Jewish holidays.Classrooms can pick dry herbs for Havdallah, pick squash and other vegetables for Shabbat, and taste horseradish and parsley for Passover.

Tikun Olam (repairing the world) is a Jewish value we live every day in our preschool and it is represented in our indoor and outdoor classrooms, and our Edible Schoolyard and gardens. The children are involved in every aspect of planning, care, maintenance and use, and it is through this engagement that they develop a deep respect and love for nature and the natural rhythms of the world around them.