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Pollinating Kindness with JCFR PJ Library


By Lisa Plotkin, PJ Library Coordinator, JCFR

On Sunday, May 5, over 30 energetic people gathered together for the JCFR PJ Library’s Pollinating Kindness event to enjoy pizza, learn about pollinators, decorating plant pots, plant-pollinator seeds, and help harvest and plant in Congregation Or Atid’s Gan Chesed Kindness Garden.

Chesed, Hebrew for lovingkindness, is a great way for the community to embrace nature and cultivation as we continue to cultivate strong, caring relationships with one another and instill these beautiful values in our children.

Tarneshia Evans brought her knowledge and resources to teach about pollinators, combining her experience as the Early Childhood Director of Education at the Weinstein JCC, a facilitator for Project Learning Tree, and her previous experience as the Children’s Program Developer at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.


Children shared their own knowledge, learned some new things, and got to roll clay to create seed balls for planting at home.

Children decorated their own plant pots and filled them with soil and pollinator seeds.  The excitement will only grow as they discover just how many seeds they may have planted! They also helped harvest radishes and onions and planted pollinator seeds – zinnias and cosmos – in the beautiful Gan Chesed garden with the help of Or Atid volunteers Sue Geller and Charlotte Johnson.



Eddie Herbert (9) commented, “You don’t realize how precious life is,” as he harvested a radish, and another child noted, “This is the best activity ever.”  “I loved seeing the look on my children’s faces as they pulled different colored radishes out of the bed!” said parent, Rivka Skaist.


So, how will you pollinate kindness this season?

Thank you to Pops Kosher Dairy Kitchen, Tarneshia Evans, Congregation Or Atid, and volunteers Chloe and Claire Dollins.

Gan Chesed Kindness Garden is partially funded by a grant from the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond and private donations.  Last year, 230 pounds of organic vegetables were donated to the Elmer Toth Food Pantry at the JCC.  Please contact the Or Atid office if you’d like to volunteer with Gan Chesed.


Contact Lisa at PJLibrary@JewishRichmond.org with comments or to volunteer.