Our Stories

Fifth Graders Explore Nature and Judaism at TEVA

May 27, 2015 by Lincoln A (’16) (Students)

The 5th graders at JPDS-NC went on a four-day field trip to TEVA at the Pearlstone Center in Reisterstown, MD for an educational outdoors adventure. (“TEVA” is Hebrew for “nature.”) We went on hikes where we learned about the local environment including “the F.B.I.” – fungi, bacteria, and invertebrates. The hikes were full of wildlife and plants that we had never seen before. Watching a hawk consume a worm, we witnessed the food chain in action. We did many activities where we learned about reusing and recycling materials.

We also learned about the connections between nature and Jewish teachings, like “shmitah” which is the biblical Sabbath year for the land. When we ate meals, we tried to decrease the amount of p’solet (that’s Hebrew for wasted food) that we produced. We went to Pearlstone’s pasture where we saw goats, chickens, and ducks. At the end of the trip, each student got a necklace of ‘TEVA beads’ representing the different topics we studied. Then we split into groups to figure out some ways that we could make our school better – by starting a garden, making the school lunch boxes compostable, or starting a competition each year at our school to see which grade would produce the least p’solet. TEVA also inspired me to think about starting a compost pile in my backyard so that I can make my own environment healthier. The experience we had at TEVA will stay with us forever.