Shomrei Adamah means “Guardians of the Earth” and is a multi-day program designed for 5th- and 6th-grade students.
Shomrei Adamah integrates outdoor environmental education with Jewish concepts and values through exciting hands-on activities in a cooperative residential setting. Teva students develop a greater sense of responsibility, independence, and self-esteem. Students will come away from this experience excited about the natural world and more knowledgeable about what Jewish tradition has to contribute to our understanding of the environment.
What happens during Shomrei Adamah?
Over the course of four days and three nights, students participate in two types of daytime classes: Limudei Chutz (outdoor learning) and two Chuggim (electives).
In Limudei Chutz, students study earth sciences, plant and animal life, and the connections between them that allow ecosystems to function. Through experiential activities, they will also explore Jewish wisdom in humanity’s role in Creation. They also participate in group challenges, which promote communication, trust, and creative problem solving.
In Chuggim, students are able to choose from electives relevant to Teva’s mission. Chuggim options often include drama, music, arts and crafts, cheese making, movement, survival skills, meditation, and more. One of the two Chuggim slots is a hands on Beit Midrash (Jewish text study) where students learn that Torah is not only studied on a page but is brought to life in practical application in the world.
Evening programs include a campfire, a night walk, and an exciting interactive performance about resource use. New songs are taught daily and journal writing is strongly encouraged. Also, the students lead shacharit (morning prayers) services, with input from the Teva educators. Brachot (blessings) are said before and after eating, and taught for other natural events, as a means of heightening awareness and expressing wonder and gratitude.
Where does Shomrei Adamah take place?
September – December
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, CT
Located in the Connecticut Berkshires, just two hours north of NYC, Isabella Freedman is situated on 450 acres of forest, mountains, hiking trails, farmland, and lakes.
Taking the lessons home
All Shomrei Adamah students participate in the “Bringing It Back to Our School” program, where they design a project to implement throughout the school year.
At Teva, students explore a wide variety of environmental topics and focus on ways that they, individually and as a class, can contribute to creating a sustainable world. The projects not only help to reduce waste and empower students in their daily lives, they also keep the spirit of Teva and experiential learning present in the classroom. Past projects have included reducing lunchtime waste by starting a composting system, starting and improving upon recycling systems, and creating school and community gardens, among other endeavors.
How to Participate
Want to bring your Jewish day school to Teva?
Scheduling for the Fall Shomrei Adamah season is underway. For additional information or to contact Teva about booking your school’s trip to Teva for Fall, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-908-2513.