What Is Jacob’s Ladder Farm?
Jacob’s Ladder Farm is a woman-operated business (see my profile at www.saramalka.com). I focus on connecting kids and adults to their literary background and family roots by offering exciting opportunities for hands-on contact with nature and her crafts. When this contact is guided in a respectful and appreciative way, we see tremendous character (midot) development, personal growth, and self-esteem. Jacob’s Ladder Farm programs highlight the success with which we can teach when learning is multi-sensory, nature-based, creative, and hands-on.
Why “Jacob’s Ladder Farm”?
Besides being named after husband Jacob Laderman, the farm’s name alludes to the Jacob’s Ladder mentioned in Genesis 28:12. This ladder had four rungs, says the great Jewish sage and physician Rambam (Maimonides), according to The Call of the Torah: Genesis II by Rabbi Elie Munk (Feldheim Publishers, 1980, p. 614). The four rungs correspond to the “four stages which thought must pass through in order to reach God…starting from [the world of action and natural phenomena] and culminating in the vision of the absolute,” writes Rabbi Munk (pp. 614-5). He explains that the “four successive stages correspond point by point to the process by which nature teaches us.” (p. 614-5).
Although much schooling emphasizes learning “about” things instead of “with” things (thought without doing), this technique may not work with today’s urbanized children, who may lack basic nature-play and experiences of bygone eras. That’s why our visitors don’t just feed an animal; they experience its personality and partake of its bounty. Too, many children simply need hands-on activity to forge neuro-pathways in the learning brain. That’s why our visitors don’t just watch demonstrations, they create; and in creating things, they create themselves.