Blog  Moshavat HaTeva: An Intentional Nature Community

Moshavat HaTeva: An Intentional Nature Community

By Scott Goode and Rabbi Anne Persin, Our Moshavah Segel (Faculty)

At first glance you’d think the whole focus of the eidah (unit) is about exposing and integrating the chanichim (campers) into a fully immersive nature experience. While this is one of the methods and outcomes of Moshavah, there is actually something deeper happening. In the middle of our first tiyul (trip), a camper posited the following truth about Moshavah: it’s not really about teva (nature), rather, it’s about being pushed further than we think we can go, especially when we don’t have everything we’re used to having.

This was amazing to hear in particular because our limmud (learning) theme this session is on manhigut (leadership), and one of the quotes that we have based our study on is from psalms 61:3, “Lead me to a rock that is too high for me.” This is what we do in Moshavah. We teach chanichim that they can make it to that rock that they think is too high for them, and sometimes – when it really works – they can see the rock before they even get to the mountain. Tiyulim in Moshavah aren’t always easy. Canoes tip, bikes have flat tires, packs are way too heavy, and the top of the rock is very, very high. But at the end of the day, the chanichim in Moshavah are strong and capable of growing, achieving, and becoming their best selves. This is what Moshavat HaTeva is all about.

Scott Goode serves as the Manager of Communications and Engagement at Temple Chai in Long Grove, IL. Rabbi Anne Persin serves as the Associate Director of Education at Am Shalom in Glencoe, IL.