This teacher's guide is the result of a course on "Theological Quests and Developmental Questions" sponsored by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the Federation of Reconstructionist Congregations, the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies, and the Cleveland Fellows Program. Participants watched teachers explore Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso's book God's Paintbrush with children ages 7 - 10.
In the opening piece on the author's intent, Sasso notes the importance of metaphors for God in all religious traditions, noting that the multiplicity of images in God's Paintbrush are a "reminder that each image is incomplete, a partial pointing to God." Rabbi Jeffrey Schein comments on the book's three theological foundations: people are made in God's image; we are God's partners in the ongoing creation of the world; and the Torah speaks in the language of human beings.
Most of this helpful resource focuses on how to use God's Paintbrush in different settings. Alice Weinstein gives examples of the kind of God-talk that might happen in a Jewish classroom after looking at the book's illustrations. Elizabeth McMahon Jeep offers suggestions for Christian educators, often relating the images to Bible passages. Finally, Rabbi Jeffrey Schein and Renee Frank Holtz show how to use the book for a unit on Tikkun Olam (repairing the world). Using the question on p. 12, "How can your hands help God's hands?" they offer this exercise: "Parents and students should be given photocopies of a map of the world. On the map families can draw pictures of some of the 'cracks' (bad things in the world). Each family is then given a Band Aid with a small piece of paper attached to it. On the Band Aid the family writes one thing they can do as a family that might lead to Tikkun Olam."
An excellent bibliography on children's spirituality rounds out this very practical and creative guide.