Living the Legacy


Jews and Agricultural Labor

Unit 1 , Lesson 6

Jewish Women's Archive - Living the Legacy

Jews and Agricultural Labor

Enduring understandings: 
  • Jewish values about the holiness of growing food lose or gain prominence depending on economic realities.
  • Jews have labored in agricultural settings as well as in factories and urban environments.
  • In recent years, there has been a renaissance in Jewish agricultural work as a means to providing food options that are healthy, sustainable, and just.
Essential questions: 
  • What Jewish values influence choices about growing, buying, and consuming food?
  • How do economic conditions influence choices about growing food?
  • What precedents exist for the contemporary Jewish return to the land movement?
  • How are Jewish values applied to food production and consumption, historically and today?
  • What is/has been the role of agricultural labor to the American Jewish community?
Materials required: 
  • copies of the Jewish Statements About Food handout for each student
  • copies of the Lesson 6 Document Study, Jewish Statements About Food: Then and Now (includes sources and questions) for the teacher and for each group
  • paper for making charts
  • pens/pencils
  • newsprint or scrap paper for sketching out ideas
  • sculpting clay
  • markers
  • cardboard (broken-down boxes without writing on them would work well) to serve as the bases for models
  • glue
  • toy farm machinery and animals, dirt and plant matter, and other model-making materials such as popsicle sticks, balsa wood, and flexible cardboard, for example, all of which could be assigned to students to bring in for their individual projects

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Living the Legacy - Lesson: Jews and Agricultural Labor." (Viewed on April 24, 2014) <>.