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November 15, 2007 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2007-11-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

This section is sponsored by

• Congregation Shaarey Zedek of Oakland County
• Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

Emily Friedman sorts tomatoes during her stay at Hava v' Adam, an organic farm in Israel.

Israel's Green Movement

Organic farm near Modi'in proves land worth fighting for is worth sustaining.

Emily Friedman
Special to the Jewish News

A

s I was finishing my under-
graduate degree last March, I
decided to spend the summer
working the land of Israel. My friends
thought I was joking, and my parents
asked me how this fit into my "life plan."
They warned me it would be a little more
intense than my previous nature experi-
ence with Teva at Camp Tamarack in
Ortonville.
So there I was, volunteering on an
organic farm in Israel. The little electric-
ity we had came from a solar panel. There
is no Internet. There is no refrigeration.

A14

November 15 . 2007

There are, in fact, no doors. It doesn't get
closer to nature than this.
The farm is called Hava v' Adam, a
Hebrew pun on "Adam and Eve" (Chava
means Eve, hava means farm). The
farmland is owned by the young city of
Modi'in. Modi'in is unabashedly a bed-
room community for Jerusalem and Tel
Aviv. Like many of the new towns popping
up across Israel, it is — as of yet — cul-
turally deprived.
However, upon its foundation 14 years
ago, Modi'in left a sliver of the city to be
an environmental education center for
the community's children. The Hava will
eventually be a fully operational school
with an ecologically minded curricu-

lum. Until then, during the school year,
children in the Modi'in and surround-
ing school districts come to learn about
plants, solar energy and, as one of the
kids put it, "that food that doesn't grow in
the grocery store."
Education is the primary goal.
Therefore, the farm is set up as a func-
tional permaculture demonstration site:
All energy is produced on site with a solar
panel; leftover bath and dishwater gets
filtered and used to water the gardens; we
use composting toilets; and we grow our
food organically. Most of the people on
the farm are Israeli teenagers participat-
ing in a year of service, Sherut Leumi.
They teach the children's courses along-

side a staff of career naturalists.
Dr. Elaine Solowey, a professor and
researcher at the Arava Institute of
Environmental Studies in Eilat, cites the
Hava as part of the growing trend to con-
serve Israel's resources.
"There is a large 'back-to-the-land'
movement going on among the young
with communes and settlement groups
forming," she said. Most of these com-
munes spring out of secular Israeli soci-
ety and remain "ecological rather than
ideological."

Reaching Out Organically

When Yigal Deutscher, 27, left his
Orthodox neighborhood in Queens two

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