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Levana’s Garden (Gan Levana)

Levana's Garden Entrance

Students tend their garden

A student applies classroom lessons about plants

At San Diego Jewish Academy, Levana’s Garden blooms with fruits, fragrances and students’ eager enthusiasm to plant and learn. Here, students apply classroom lessons about plants, insects, conservation, nutrition, biology, composting, weather and life cycles. Our 5,000 square foot garden offers additional learning opportunities in subjects ranging from art to math, language arts to Judaica.

Our large garden is made up of many smaller garden spaces:

  • The butterfly garden supports a science unit about the butterfly life cycle.
  • The California-shaped raised bed is planted each year by fourth grade students as part of their California social studies curriculum.
  • The herb bed filled with oregano, parsley, rosemary, lemon verbena and other herbs is used in Judaic and general studies classes.
  • In seven raised beds, younger students grow vegetables, fruits and herbs for eating out-of-hand and for meals prepared in the school kitchen.
  • The six “species” of Israel, each mentioned in the bible: grape, date, fig, olive, almond and pomegranate.
  • The grove of deciduous fruits such as apple, plum and nectarine.
  • The citrus grove of lemon, lime, orange and Jewish ceremonial citron known as “etrog.”
  • The greenhouse for growing seedlings and conducting science experiments.
  • The open-air amphitheater used for classes in art and poetry as well as for Jewish prayer services.
  • Levana’s garden (Gan Levana) is dedicated to the blessed memory of Levana Estline, beloved kindergarten teacher who passed away in 2003. During her 18-year tenure at SDJA, Mrs. Estline instilled a love of learning into an entire generation of children. Her positive attitude and beautiful smile endeared her to students, teachers and all those who knew her. She was well known for inspirational sayings that are etched into large boulders throughout the garden.

    The purpose of life is not only to be happy… It is to matter, to be productive, to make some differences.
    – Levana Estline
    San Diego Jewish Academy | 11860 Carmel Creek Road, San Diego CA 92130 | (858) 704-3700 | info@sdja.com
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