Nersheltzedakah

Families Make Social Justice Art

01-discussionYesterday, families at Woodlands Community Temple created fiber art about social justice causes that were important to them. The inspiration for the art was a new tradition called Ner Shel Tzedakah, which calls for families to devote the sixth night of Hanukkah to giving to those in need.

Third through sixth graders and their families talked about the problems in the world they would most like to see solved and the ways in which they can help bring light to the world. From these discussions came many fabulous art pieces about a variety of issues.

Many families were thinking about the recent anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting and made pieces about gun control.

13-no-guns 19-gun-violence 15-working

Others focused on what they could do to help the hungry and homeless.

05-farm 18-hunger 25-poverty

09-give-food 22-poverty 12-feed-hungry

Several families spoke about war and how it affects the lives of so many around the world. Aleppo was in everyone’s thoughts along with all the refugees. The young woman shown on the left below made her piece about the Afghan refugees her family housed recently.

26-refugees 05-love-and-peace 04-no-war

Others created art about racism and equality.

21-racism 23-love-everyone 27-racism 07-equality-kindness

Another popular theme was helping endangered or abused animals.

06-endangered-animals 24-animals 03-narwhal 20-animal-shelter

And some families spoke about the environment and the importance of recycling.

14-recycle   08-coral-reefs-and-plastic-bottles

As I walked around the room speaking to each family about their art and the meaning behind it, I was struck by the thought and detail contained in each piece. I left the workshop feeling a little better about the future with all these passionate, caring people in the world. I know each family will take the opportunity to bring a little more light to the world this Hanukkah and beyond. Thank you, Woodlands, for lifting my spirits!

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