Jewish value: Tikkun Olam (repair the world)
What is Tikkun Olam? A Jewish concept defined by acts of kindness performed to perfect or repair the world. The phrase is found in the Mishnah, a body of classical rabbinic teachings. It is often used when discussing issues of social policy, ensuring a safeguard to those who may be at a disadvantage. In modern Jewish circles, tikkun olam has become synonymous with the notion of social action and the pursuit of social justice.
Why is this project important?
By planting flowers, we are attracting more pollinators (animals who visit flowers and transport pollen from spot to spot) into the world. The more flowers we plant, the more beauty we find in the world, and the greater potential there is for agriculture. Pollinators support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, protect from severe weather, and support other wildlife. https://www.pollinator.org/pollinators
These seed planting kits will provide children and families with a tactile experience that benefits the earth as well as their mood. Children and families receiving this project have experienced hardships such as housing insecurity and displacement. Gardening not only provides benefits to our world, it can also benefit mental health, especially for those who have experienced trauma or other hardships.
“The excitement of watching a seedling emerge from the ground and then caring for the developing plant through maturity can generate a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction for the caretaker.” (https://press.princeton.edu/ideas/why-plant-flowers)
“The results of a 2016 meta-analysis of research examining the effects of gardening found a range of positive impacts from increases in an individual’s life satisfaction, vigor, and psychological well-being, to reductions in stress, anger, fatigue, and symptoms of depression and anxiety.” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/speaking-about-trauma/202103/5-reasons-gardening-can-help-heal-trauma)
“Where flowers bloom so does hope.” —Lady Bird Johnson
PJ Library: Tikkun Olam Ted