As a public school child in the 70’s, my Valentine’s Day often ended in tears. I remember digging into my optimistically large brown paper bag in first grade to find only three envelopes, even though my mother had insisted I fill out mass-produced cards for every child in my class. “No one likes me!” I […]
A little over 15 years ago, I had my one great idea.
After spending two years working at Nature’s Classroom, a five-day environmental ed program for elementary schools, hosted at an overnight camp, I thought “We could do this.” And by “we”, I meant, Jews. Why not create a program for Jewish day schools, that brought children to camp to spend time in the outdoors, exploring the natural world and learning Jewish traditions and values of environmental stewardship.
Thus was born the Teva Learning Center, which has grown through the contributions of hundreds of fine staff and under Nili Simhai‘s wise and visionary leadership into “North America’s foremost Jewish Environmental Education Institute…(which touches).. the lives of 4,000 participants annually.” Kids who come to Teva get to see a completely different model of Jewish life than exists almost anywhere else in the world – dynamic, alive, creative, a little “out there”…. and it’s super green. I wish it had existed when I was a kid. Fortunately, my carob seeds have borne fruit in only one generation, and in five years, my own daughter’s sixth grade class will heads off to Teva on a big yellow school bus.
And this weekend, I’m attending the Teva staff reunion with the girls. Yay and Shabbat Shalom!