Submission #187 by Beth Torah Men'S Club - North Miami Beach, FL (1349)

Previous submission Next submission
Submission information's picture
Submitted by
Thu, 2013-02-21 20:18
I have read the General Guidelines, "Nuts and Bolts" and Program Advanced Planning (Excel Spreadsheet) Documents
Club Name
Beth Torah Men'S Club - North Miami Beach, FL (1349)
Torah Walk in Oleta State Park
Club Representative
Person completing form
Club President at time of Convention
Club President Now
Shomrei Ha’aretz

Page 1

We invited the Men's Club and young people from the congregation to visit Oleta State Park for a Torah Walk - a nature outing with Rabbi Mario Rojzman and the Beth Torah Men's Club. We included two environmental learning sessions - one from the Torah and one getting to know the natural surroundings. We added food and kayaking fun for a well rounded, well received program.
Living in South Florida, many of our Men's Club members love the outdoors; we bring out-of-town visitors to the local parks and we want to share the enjoyment of the outdoors with the rest of the Men's Club and the congregation.

The Men's Club board voted to support an outing at nearby Oleta State Park. We developed a budget, we promoted with flyers and announcements from the bima, we asked face-to-face our members, friends and young congregants to attend. We assigned jobs.

We asked Rabbi Mario Rojzman to participate and make this a meaningful Jewish event. Rabbi insisted we bring in relevant Torah study about the environment. We searched, studied and found fascinating and sometimes contradictory passages and commentary from the Torah.

"...Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it; have dominion over...every living thing...."


"... and placed him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate it and to guard it."

Fast forward to the park. After getting oriented to the park, everyone was split into groups of five or six members. Each group was given a different handout with one of the Torah commentaries on the environment. The group studied together for fifteen minutes with a facilitator, a recorder and a reporter. Then each reporter explained their group's interaction and discussion. A question and answer discussion ensued after each report. The seeming contradictions in the Torah commentaries would become the basis for a lively discussion and an eye opening experience for all who attended.

We stayed on schedule, we taught about the environment from various aspects, we ate, we took turns in the kayak, we walked in the park identifying the various trees and wildlife, and we cleaned up. As a Men's Club, we executed our plan. There is a great feeling of accomplishment. For those who attended there now is an enhanced understanding of choices regarding the planet and for many, a renewed and expanded advocacy for the environment.

Page 2

Self Assessment
Everybody wants more. Those who attended created a new bond. We talk about our shared experience; the kayaking and there is renewed interest in Oleta State Park.

The event was copied recently with a USY Lag Bomer picnic, May 28, 2013 and there were more than forty young people, their parents and teachers involved.

The Torah Walk at Oleta State Park reinforces the fact that the Men's Club can bring about new and innovative program to the Congregation and to other Men's Clubs. We can make an impact on peoples lives.
The Torah Walk heightens the image of FJMC as a teaching, leadership and community vehicle. The Torah Walk in the parks of any community is an innovative program which may be replicated by any club. The Torah Study pieces are attached. The involvement of the congregational Rabbi or a well-respected teacher is a tremendous plus as it reinforces and lends impact to the learned values gained by the group.
Torah Walk at a local park is a great way to activate new and potential members. Learning Torah and understanding its relevance and potential for advocacy in our everyday lives is a win-win-win for the club, the individual and the community.
Original Program
Previous Submission
Previous submission Next submission