Genesis 2:8 And God planted a garden in Eden from the east,
and placed there the person whom the Divine had formed.
As the Torah tells us, people belong in a harmonious relationship with nature. One of the distinctive features of our Temple community is our value of nature and the environment as we contemplate our relation with the sacred.
We are excited to tell you that we have drafted a new vision for our backyard space. It’s called “Gan Emanuel“ (Garden of Emanuel), and it reflects our wish to be in harmony with nature, our deeply held values of conservation of the environment, and our need for space to meet, pray, learn, play and grow.
Re-working our outdoor space is necessary to ensure the safety of our children, to expand the play area for our growing population, to improve accessibility, and to increase the types of activities we can have in the back yard for ALL of our members. At the same time, this project allows us to be true to our values:
- Torah – By intentionally connecting our landscape to our sacred text, we create reminders and landmarks for us to engage with tradition
- Community – By building new spaces, it promotes unique places for gathering, learning, and celebration
- Environment – The Gan will enable us and our children to better connect with the wonder and beauty of nature
- Reggio – The environment as teacher is an important principle of our early childhood center’s method
- Getting Dirty – We’ve been supportive of the importance of outdoor play to child development and adult connectedness
Gan Emanuel has something for everyone – spaces for quiet meditation and small groups, benches, play areas and so much more. The plan is in keeping with one of Temple Emanuel’s core values – living in harmony with our environment. There will be trees and plantings, gardens and water. And the backyard will have space for adults as well as children.
If you would like to help the Gan grow, click here to donate on-line or contact Dianne Neiman in the Temple office to discuss giving a substantial gift as a lasting legacy to the Temple community, 301-942-2000.