by Karen Singer

Editor’s Note: In January, we will celebrate the Jewish holiday of Tu B’shevat and jkidphilly is emphasizing the Jewish value of Sh’mirat Ha’adamah / Protecting the Earth. We hope that you are inspired by these older jkids beautiful art!

Honoring The Future is a non-profit organziation that works with museums, school and organizations to harness the power of art to educate, empower and engage the public on climate change. As a tile artist, I had the opportunity to work with students at Mishkan Shalom synagogue to create original tiles about the children’s orginal expressions about the environment, climate change and their voices, that are now part of an online gallery on the Honoring The Future website.

When my husband, artist Peter Handler and I introduced the project to the students, I told them to think about this project as their way to tell adults how they feel about what is happening to the world that they will be inheriting. There was an immediate change in the atmosphere. They got it.

When we started actually working on the tiles, many of them had a plan for what they wanted to make, and some had a clear sketch of the layout. There was almost no checking to see what someone else was doing – they knew what they wanted to depict – it was just a matter of figuring out how best to do this.

I had a great time with them and am very proud of their results! Their art is a powerful response and grounded in the Jewish values of caring for the earth.

Karen Singer is the Artistic Director of Karen Singer Tileworks and is the proud mom of son, Isaac.