The goal of Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism’s (HCRJ) Gendler Grapevine Project initiative (Plan Bee: Honey Production in a Jewish Context) is to offer a range of learning opportunities for students of all ages that revolve around the production of honey from an onsite beehive. In August, they had their first professional development meeting of the school year, which included a text study about honey!
On Sunday, September 12th, they welcomed students back after Hurricane Harvey with lots of gusto. They had a teen dress in a full bee costume and taught the students and their parents the Dan Nichols song, Sweet as Honey. The elementary students made bee honey dispensers and learned about the holiday of Rosh Hashanah.
In addition to selling their local honey to HCRJ’s congregants and the community in the weeks prior to Rosh Hashanah, they also gave out honey sticks at their family service on Rosh Hashanah and mailed them to their college students in care packages.
On October 8, they welcomed the local beekeeper who tends the HCRJ hives, to speak with the students. They held the program in the sukkah. The students learned about bee habitats and local honey and its benefits, and they were able to see the bees in a teaching hive. In connection with Sukkot, students also ate fruit and talked about gifts from G-d and from the earth.