The artwork on this note card was created by 5768 WRJ Art Calendar artist Césan d’Ornellas Levine.
We have an obligation to those creatures that share the planet with us, to protect and preserve the ecosystem so that those who dwell within it may live and survive as we do. Listed below are some program ideas to help protect and sustain animals and endangered species in our world.
Pine Cone Bird Feeders
This program designed for children, families and youth groups emphasizes the importance of trees and the environment, as well as those that dwell in them, namely animals. The activity involves making bird feeders out of pine cones, which serves as a home for the many winged creatures that are in need of homes. For a full description of this project, please visit: http://www.kveller.com/article/tu-bishvat-bird-feeder/.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), established in 1961, works to protect endangered species. The WWF safeguards hundreds of species around the world, but focuses special attention on giant pandas, tigers, elephants, gorillas, sea turtles, polar bears, rhinos and whales. These species not only need special measures and extra protection in order to survive, they also serve as umbrella species; helping them helps numerous other species that live in the same habitats. For further information on how you can contribute or help, contact WWF at: www.worldwildlife.org. Congregations and individuals can protect endangered species through advocacy campaigns, education programs and Shabbat speakers to educate their community about animal endangerment.
Adopt an Animal or Species
Religious schools and individuals can “adopt” an animal through their local zoo, or adopt an endangered species by donating their tzedekah money to organizations whose aim is to protect wildlife and endangered species, such as the African Wildlife Foundation (www.awf.org).
The Heifer Project works with communities to end hunger and poverty by providing livestock and other animals in order for subsistence farmers to become self-sufficient. The foundation educates people about the symbiotic relationships between animals and humans, particularly in developing countries. Religious schools can use its tzedekah funds to “purchase” animals to sustain impoverished families. For more information, go www.heifer.org.