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Studying the great outdoors

Sixth-graders from Ezra Academy in Woodbridge recently spent four days connecting Judaism with nature and ecology at the Isabella Freedman Center in Falls Village. Among their many activities they engaged in as part of Isabella Freedman’s TEVA program, students learned to build a fire, make cheese, turn recycled paper into new paper, fix an eruv, bake ‘stick’ bread, and build a solar oven. They also set off on a “trust walk,” in which students were blindfolded and guided by a fellow student to the top of the rocky knoll.

Following their experience, the 19 students have set themselves a goal of reducing p’solet – waste. They plan to educate teachers and students about the importance of not wasting photocopy and computer paper. They are investigating ways to get rid of paper towel waste from the bathrooms. Some students are researching the cost of hand dryers and others are working on creating a manual hand dryer that won’t use electricity. A third group, taking note of the paper cups discarded each week after Kabbalat Shabbat, are getting prices for re-usable plastic cups and investigating the cost of running the dishwasher each week.

CAP: Ezra 6th-graders and their TEVA teachers.

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