LOTEM is a national organization in Israel that offers nature activities to people with special needs. JNF has been a major partner to LOTEM for more than a decade. By learning about and supporting LOTEM - Making Nature Accessible, students can help make nature accessible to all children in Israel and learn important Jewish values. Lessons have been created for grades 2 - 5, highlighting Jewish values about community and respect for nature.
Students focus on the following Jewish values:
1. Responsibility to help the weak, the vulnerable and the helpless:
“Do not curse the deaf nor put stumbling blocks before the blind.” Leviticus (19:14)
2. Human differences are holy:
“Humans stamp out many coins with one mold, and they are all alike; God stamped each person with the seal of Adam, and not one of them is alike. Therefore each and every person is obliged to say, ‘For my sake the world was created.’” Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5
3. To work and to guard:
“God placed humans in the Garden of Eden to work it and to guard it.” Genesis 2:15
“To work and to guard” means caring for the Earth - protecting Nature, not polluting or wasting resources. Taking this concept one step further, we must respect, and recognize the value of, every living creature.
Make Nature Accessible to Children with Special Needs:
- $5,000 provides an accessible hike in nature for four participants, and the school receives thank you letters from the participants and permanent recognition at American Independence Park in Jerusalem.
- $1,800 provides one nature workshop on LOTEM’s ecological farm, and school receives thank you letters from the participants and a plaque from Jewish National Fund and Lotem.
- $500 provides an educational activity in nature to 14 participants and school receives thank you letters from the participants and a certificate of thanks from Jewish National Fund and Lotem.
- $180 provides two afternoons of nature clubs to two groups of participants, and school receives thank you letters from the participants.
Watch a video about LOTEM.
Access the materials: LOTEM Facts and LOTEM Teachers' Guide. We hope you find the lessons engaging and user-friendly. Please share your thoughts and experiences with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.