May 30, 2024
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May 30, 2024
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Rabbi Yitz Greenberg Is Keynote Speaker at RKYHS Interdisciplinary Theme Day

The entire RKYHS participated in a cross-curricular theme day with its focus to le’ovdah ul’shomrah “Protect and Preserve,” our obligation to be environmentally conscious and committed to protect and preserve our earth. The day imparted to students the particular importance for them to see these issues through the lens of Torah Jews. Throughout the school year, RKYHS incorporates interdisciplinary learning in its coursework to synthesize knowledge from diverse cross-curricula subject areas.

The day began with a keynote address from the world-renowned Jewish thinker Rabbi Yitz Greenberg. Rabbi Greenberg discussed the ethical and theological perspectives of man’s relationship with and responsibility to protect nature and the world. He described to the students how humans are created b’tzelem elokim, and to acknowledge the wonder of creation, the earth and its order, as well as the miracle that is the human body and the way it functions. Along with incorporating examples from tefillah, the Torah and other texts, he emphasized how it is incumbent upon each of the students to respect the environment and strive to enhance it and not work towards destroying it or wasting its resources.

After hearing Rabbi Greenberg’s inspirational words, students participated in dynamic sessions with guest speakers and RKYHS faculty that discussed nature in poetry, Biblical allusions to man and his relation to nature—in particular, the land of Israel as the epitome of the natural creation—renewable energy, meteorology and global warming, and environmental law. Guest speakers included Biblical scholar Dr. Job Jindo, CEO of the Genie energy company Rabbi Michael Stein, global warming expert Rabbi Dr. Issac Halberstam, along with English faculty members Dr. Allison Matika and Deborah Orens, Esq. Students also had the opportunity to make cheese and butter and learn about methods of conservation of water, energy and other resources with Elan Margulies from Hazon, an organization focused on creating a more sustainable Jewish community and world. The day continued with an interactive student panel discussion where students spoke about what they gleaned from the speakers, along with questions from fellow students. The robust day of programming ended with the screening of the Academy Award-winning Best Documentary Film “The Cove.” The movie analyzes and questions dolphin hunting practices in Japan.

“We designed the program so that students will learn about environmentalism in an interactive, theme-based context. Students will have the opportunity to apply their learning to the real world, helping them see the interconnectedness of social, ecological, economic, cultural and political issues through the prism of Torah imperatives,” commented RKYHS Sgan Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi David Chamudot.

“Through sensitizing students to the environment we encourage students to further investigate how and why things happen, and make their own decisions about complex environmental issues. By developing and enhancing critical thinking skills, we hope to foster a new generation of responsible workers and consumers, as well as policy and decision makers. This important learning experience, punctuated by cross-discipline learning and collaboration by teachers of Judaic and general studies, promotes active learning, citizenship, and student leadership. We are excited to empower our youth to share their voices and make a difference not only in their school but also in their communities,” added RKYHS Head of School Rabbi Eliezer Rubin.

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