These ENV 330 Zoom trips were a pandemic-driven pedagogic pivot

April 25, 2022 by Kiran Champatsingh

In ENV330, which is an experiential learning course, Professor Tanhum Yoreh takes his students on field trips to visit places of worship of environmentally engaged communities. These Zoom Trips were a pandemic-driven pedagogic pivot. Visiting sacred spaces and hearing from faith leaders speak about what environmental action they are involved in and why they do it is an eye-opening experience for many students. Because of the pandemic and the inability to take students on these trips, Professor Yoreh had to find creative ways to expose the students to the unique ways in which environmental commitment is expressed across faiths. 

"The Zoom Trips lack the ambience of a sacred space but add a layer of depth to the learning experience by greatly expanding the diversity of voices and lived experiences that would have not been able to coalesce without the virtual platform", says Yoreh.

Below are links to recordings of three of the Zoom Trips that were hosted for the ENV330 - Faith-Based Environmentalism course. In the panels, one each for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Professor Yoreh hosted community faith leaders and leaders from faith-based environmental organizations who were asked to speak to the following points: 

  • Who you are
  • The story of the community/organization you serve
  • What environmental actions your community is doing, and why they are doing it
  • What have been the challenges/barriers to environmental engagement in your community. 


The participants for the panels are as follows:


Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo - Minister at Trinity-St. Paul's United Church and former MPP 
Roberto Chiotti - Founding Principal of Larkin Architect Limited, a firm specializing in the design of sustainable sacred spaces.
Agnes Richard - Coordinator of Laudato Si' Movement - Canada

Watch the video.

Sheikh Jaffer H Jaffer - Resident Scholar of Masumeen Islamic Centre and part of the Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat of Toronto Scholars Board.
Saba Khan - Co-founder and Director of Community Outreach at EnviroMuslims
Imam Yousef Wahb - Islamic Law Instructor at the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Law and Co-founding board member of Green Ummah

Watch the video.

Rabbi Edward Elkin - Spiritual leader of the First Narayever traditional-egalitarian synagogue in downtown Toronto
Tiferet Nashman - Co-Director of Shoresh Jewish Environmental Programs
Rabbi Petahiya Lichtenstein - Director of Education at Pearlstone Center in Maryland
Rabbi Yonatan Neril - Founder and Director of The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development in Jerusalem. 

Watch the video.