camp ramah berkshires

Topsy Turvy Bus Tour

The bio-fueled environmental schoolhouse on wheels!

Through the Topsy Turvy Bus Tour, this mobile educational spectacle is showing communities that we have the power to change the course of history and flip the environmental damage we see around us on its head. Through hands-on programming with activities both on and off the bus, over 12,500 participants of all ages have experienced this unique Jewish environmental education learning space.

Summer 2016 Tour

Previous Bus Tours have visited Jewish communities across the country, of all affiliations, ages, and backgrounds. Last summer, we traveled from Denver to the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center and stopped at a variety of Jewish institutions along the way. We worked with a diverse cross-section of the Jewish community, from overnight camps to community farms, JCCs to Moishe houses, Synagogues to youth movements, and more!

Our Tour

6/22 – 26: Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center

6/27 – 28: Burlington, VT

6/29 – 7/1: Southern CT

7/2 – 5: Northampton, MA

7/6: PA

7/8 – 10: Cold Spring, NY

7/11 – 17: NYC

7/18 – 25: Detroit, MI

7/26 – 27: Wisconsin

7/29 – 31: Chicago

8/1 – 8/8: Detroit

8/9: NY

8/10 – 11: Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center

To see what it’s like to be on the road with the Topsy Turvy bus, you can peruse our blog or look through our photos!


Follow our blog to find out what we’re up to and where we are!


Special Recent Posts

Old Stones, New Ripples - Reflections on the Close of JOFEE Fellowship Cohort 1 | D'varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

Old Stones, New Ripples - Reflections on the Close of JOFEE Fellowship Cohort 1 | D'varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

May 18th, 2017

by Yoshi Silverstein - JOFEE Fellowship Director May 18th, 2017 | 22nd Iyar 5777 | 37th day of the omer | gevurah she’b’yesod 16 Organizations. 17 Fellows. Over 500 programs. An estimated 37,000 participants in Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming & Environmental Education[...]

Upside Down and Open Hearted - D'varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

Upside Down and Open Hearted - D'varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

September 8th, 2016

Emily Glick, Hazon - Teva Programs Parshat Shoftim Editor's Note: Welcome to D'varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog! Most weeks throughout the year, you'll be hearing from the JOFEE Fellows: reflections on their experiences, successful programs they've planned and implemented, gleanings from the[...]

Topsy Turvy Tour De Farm

Topsy Turvy Tour De Farm

July 10th, 2014

Hi! This is Molly, one of the Teva support staff members. This past Sunday, the Topsy Turvy bus was in my hometown working with the Mitzvah Garden in Overland Park, Kansas. The Mitzvah Garden is a community garden that recruits[...]

Let it go, let it go! – Reflections from a Topsy Turvy Adventure

Let it go, let it go! – Reflections from a Topsy Turvy Adventure

July 7th, 2014

It is 11:30 am, and I am sitting in a field in the middle of the Rocky Mountains surrounded by horses, trees, compost toilets, a bike blender and solar ovens. And Eli, who is dressed as a tree, sitting in[...]

The Journey Begins

The Journey Begins

July 7th, 2014

I have the immense honor and pleasure of writing the first blog post from the road of this 2014 Teva Topsy Turvy Shmita Bus Tour! To be the first to try to articulate the experiences of this amazing group of[...]

Bus History

The Topsy Turvy Bus was originally commissioned by Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s and was built by Tom Kennedy and his partner, Haideen, at Tom Kennedy’s Art Cards shop in San Francisco, CA in 2007. The first tour was focused on reducing the wasteful spending of the Pentagon. The second tour was to advocate for the White House Organic Farm project.

Our Story

Over the past 7 years Teva has been on four unique adventures to open minds and stretch imaginations, showing communities all across the country the power we have as individuals and communities to change the course of history and flip the environmental damage we see around us on its head!
And what better way to spread this message than on a Topsy Turvy School Bus that runs on used vegetable oil?

We aim to make it through our tours without ever stopping at a gas station – you can follow our blog to see if we can do it!

On our tours we build, celebrate, and strengthen the Jewish communities we visit through innovative learning methods, and grassroots action around Jewish values and renewable energy topics. We dream big, and discover creative ways to re-think energy and conservation issues, from worm composting to human-powered bicycle generators.

Meet The Crew

Emily entered the Hazon community by way of Teva and Isabella Freedman. It was here that she nourished her love of living and working in community, and found ways to tie together her passions of spirituality and social justice. Prior to this life Emily studied Social Thought & Political Economy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. A portion of her time in college was spent studying Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Haifa. While in Israel she taught at the Leo Baeck School for Coexistence and led programming at various community centers throughout the city. When she isn’t thinking about driving the Topsy Turvy Bus around the United States, you can find Emily riding her beloved bicycle, dancing, practicing her baritone ukulele, or eating salty foods. Emily is currently residing in Brooklyn.

Frances graduated from the  University of Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and a concentration in Faith, Education, and the Environment.  Growing up in a youth movement where tikkun olam was not only talked about, but acted upon, Frances loves exploring her two passions, environmental stewardship and Jewish education, in an effort to do her part in making the world a better place.  Frances enjoys reading, knitting, and getting dirty and is pumped to be joining the Topsy Turvy Team for her second bus tour!

Molly is a rising senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying Anthropology. She spent a gap year in Israel volunteering at a home for the elderly in Yafo and with Rabbi’s For Human Rights in Jerusalem, three wonderful summers working at URJ Eisner Camp in the Berkshires, a summer in the Adirondacks making sandwiches at a small local general store, and hiking and swimming in the off time.  In her free time Molly loves experimenting with various gluten-free bread recipes and cooking for and with friends.

Yaakov, a self-identified fermentation guru, is thrilled to be joining the Topsy Turvy Team for the second summer in a row. As a current graduate student at the University of Connecticut, Yaakov (officially) studies molecular biology. In reality, he spends most of his time contemplating how to make the stinkiest cheese possible. Larping, berry picking, hiking, and brewing bus-bucha are just a few passions that Yaakov can’t wait to share with his cohort this summer.

Itai just graduated with a Master’s degree in Jewish Education. He is also a songwriter, a piano player, and singer. After having done Adamah in the summer of 2013, he moved to Boston and spent the past three years community organizing with Moishe Kavod House,  attending classes at Hebrew College, and teaching Hebrew school.


Apply to the Topsy Turvy Bus

Past Tours

Gearing Up for Shmita
Summer 2014
From Denver to Connecticut we worked with communities in the Midwest and on the East Coast in preparation for the biblical sabbatical year (starting in 5775)

Purim to Freedom
Spring 2011
We toured the Southeast and the Florida Keys, during the Jewish holidays of Purim to Passover

Jewish Climate Change Tour
Winter 2009 – Spring 2010
From east to west coast and then back, this cross-country tour taught about renewable energy during and after the Jewish holiday of Chanukah

Birkat Hachamah / Blessing of the Sun Tour
Spring 2009
We toured the Northeast and Cleveland teaching students of all ages about solar energy and the Jewish holiday of Birkat Hachamah