Vermicomposting for Kids at Rodef Shalom Preschool

Rodef Shalom Preschool Worm Composting Workshop

The students, parents and teachers at Rodef Shalom Preschool gathered around Ms. Nancy from the Pennsylvania Resources Council to learn about composting with worms.

What goes in a worm composting bin?


We all learned what goes in a worm bin and what doesn’t.  No citrus please!


Tearing newspaper for the worm composting bin


Time to make our own worm bin for the preschool!  First tear newspaper into strips and put them in the bin.  Then wet the paper until it is moist but not too wet. Hide food for the worms at the bottom of the bin under the paper.  How about a banana peel?  Ok, now let’s add the worms!

Kids looking at worms


The worms, “red wigglers”, are not native to Pittsburgh so please don’t release them into our environment.  Of course we had to test the wiggle power of the worms!

Kids holding worms



Come visit the Rodef Shalom Preschool and check out the worms!








How to create your Jewish Compost Bin

A Jewish compost bin? Well, the bin itself, not Jewish, but the eco-friendly practice of composting is certainly, as Leah Konig explains in an article on, “deeply Jewish”.

Leah Konig tells this story about a sign posted above a composting bin at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center:

As I stood before the food scrap bucket, poised to scrape in a few leftover bites of salad, my eye caught a sign taped directly above it. On the sign, next to a small photograph of two hands cupping a small mound of dirt it said: “Turn it and turn it for everything is in it.” Of course!
 The inside of a compost pile–made up of layers that get “turned” every so often….teems with life as countless hard-working microorganisms rebuild the universe out of our banana peels. What could be a better physical metaphor for the Torah than a healthy mound of soil?

The Compost Workshop

The Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) described 2 types of compost bins, backyard bins and worm bins, at a workshop held at Rodef Shalom Congregation on Sunday.  This engaging workshop thoroughly covered the importance of  composting, setting up a compost pile, proper maintenance and ways of using finished compost.


According to the PRC website:

Composting is nature’s way of recycling. By utilizing the natural process of decomposition, organic materials often considered “waste,” such as grass clippings, food scraps, autumn leaves and even paper, can be recycled back into a rich soil conditioner. Through this transition, soil organisms, many of which are too small to see, break down the organic material in a compost pile so that valuable plant nutrients can be released for future generations of plants to use. Composting helps you reduce your waste stream, it improves the health of your gardens, and most of all its easy to do and enjoyable.

The Compost Bin

This is the type of bin we will use in the Rodef Shalom Congregation kitchen.

It’s available at Construction Junction.

This is a worm bin filled with worms!

The Rodef Shalom Preschool will use this bin in the classroom! Yikes!