Saving the Environment through Song: Thanks to 12-year-old Aitan Grossman of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, California, kids from around the world are joined through song in the fight against global warming.
What began as an act of tikkun olam for his bar mitzvah project has blossomed into a global environmental project called KidEarth (www.kidearth.us), combining Aitan’s greatest passions: the environment and music. Last year Aitan wrote, composed, and recorded—along with kids from France, Venezuela, Ethiopia, Botswana, and the U.S.—the ballad “100 Generations” about “the integrity of nature we are taking for granted.” Students from Botswana, Taiwan, and Venezuela even created chorus accompaniments for the recording in their own languages with their own lyrics. Since the song’s April 2009 release, Guatemalan students have added their voices, too; you can add yours with a digital video camera and the music from the KidEarth website.
“100 Generations” is also available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon.com. Aitan plans to donate the profits to his favorite environmental organizations.
“Kids really care about the environment,” Aitan says, “and they usually don’t have as much power as grown-ups, so I’m helping kids to help the earth….We can save the earth if people of all ages around the world work together.”
Talking Books for Children: In Poughkeepsie, New York, Vassar Temple members of all ages, from youth to senior citizens, have recorded twelve beloved children’s books on CD/tape (and furnished a portable CD/tape player, too) for young inpatients at Vassar Brothers Medical Center. The “talking books,” many in Spanish (to meet the needs of the local Mexican population) as well as English, are especially appreciated by children receiving chemotherapy, who need to pass long hours in the hospital and whose eyes sometimes hurt as a result of treatment.