Students Learn About Buddhism, Judaism, First-Hand

June 3, 2009

Author: Staff Writer

Source: News of the North

They left at 6:15 a.m.

“I’m always afraid that leaving so early would deter some students from attending,” said Rhinelander High School Comparative Religions teacher Linda Goldsworthy.

Luckily, the early departure didn’t keep 21 students in her class from making the 240 mile trek to the Madison area to visit Deer Park Buddhist Temple and Temple Beth el, home of a Reform Jewish congregation on May 20.

“I was expecting to walk in the Buddhist Temple and feel this whoosh of spirituality,” said senior Samantha Lueck, reflecting on the day’s events. “But it felt more like a place of learning.”

And learn they did. But the learning took place only because of a grant Goldsworthy and 2008 RHS graduate Zach Baron put together more than 16 months ago.

“We wouldn’t have had this learning opportunity if it weren’t for the sponsorship of Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” noted Goldsworthy. “This $2,000 grant enabled my two classes to not only look at and interact with various artifacts from Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, but also to see the buildings in which these religions worship.”