[Archived from October 9, 2009]
The Louisville Jewish Day School has set a goal to incorporate community action programs and environmental education into their comprehensive Judaic and secular program. For example, for the Festival of Sukkot, students studied the history of the Jewish people as they wandered through the desert for 40 years and lived in booths. They also studied about the Clouds of Glory, which protected them during that 40 year period as they traveled from Egypt to Israel.
In conjunction with Sukkot, the LJDS also taught about environmental sustainability. The students learned that different plants require a unique set of conditions to grow best. They discussed the history of people’s dwellings from thatched roofs to Louisville’s green roof atop of American Life Building.
The final step of the holiday preparation was to apply those lessons to better the community. The students learned that helping others was an integral part of this holiday celebration. With this in mind, the fourth and fifth grade students made decorations for Anshei Sfard and used them to decorate the congregation’s Sukkah.
The sixth and seventh graders found a family that had built their own Sukkah in previous years, but this year was unable to do so due to illness. The husband was recuperating from radiation treatments and the wife was caring for him and her elderly father and was unable to build the Sukkah for the holiday. These students went to this family’s home and built the Sukkah from the ground to the roof. They decorated it and enabled this family to celebrate the holiday just as they did when they were all healthy.
Learning and then applying those lessons to life has been said to be the greatest goal a school can provide. The Louisville Jewish Day School family expressed pride in achieving this goal over Sukkot.