Environmental Education and Ecological Stewardship
Humanity and Earth are co-created -- we are siblings.
— Rabbi A.J. Heschel
Centre for Excellence in Environmental Education and Ecological Stewardship
One of the founding pillars at Heschel is a commitment to Environmental Education and Stewardship as key elements of Jewish teaching. We are proud to have been an Ontario Eco School for over a decade and more recently to have become the first Jewish Day School to reach Platinum Eco School Status. We recognize that environmental and outdoor education have positive benefits for children’s cognitive, social, and physical well being.
If you have a sapling in your hand and someone tells you the Messiah has arrived, first plant the sapling and then go out to welcome the Messiah.
— (Avot de Rabbi Natan B31)
The Toronto Heschel School integrates outdoor and environmental learning throughout its curriculum. The Centre for Environmental Education & Ecological Stewardship supports teachers through professional development, mentorship and opportunities to work collaboratively to create, implement, and enchance our unique Jewish environmental education. The Centre also supports special workshops, guest artists, and field trips. Programmes supported by the Centre include: eco-seder, the salmon hatchery program, yom ha’atzma’ut eco-zionist seminars, tu bishvat environmental seder and symposium.
And the earth brought forth grass, herb yielding seed after its kind, and tree bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
— (Genesis 1:16)
Outdoor learning nurtures the mind, body, and soul. Learning in natural spaces enlivens students’ senses, develops their ability to make close observations, and sensitizes them to the relationship between nature the human spirit. Care for the natural world translates into care for one another. Students learn Jewish sources that oblige us to “tend and protect” the world that we have inherited, and to sustain the world in good condition for future generations.
Read The Heschel Blog to learn more about what our students are doing for the environment!
The Centre for Excellence in Environmental Education and Ecological Stewardship is generously supported by family and friends of Dr. Marion Cummings z”l.
If you would like to make a contribution to this Centre for Excellence, please: