News From Ramaz
Why would thirty five graduating seniors meet at 7:30 in the morning, travel for 2½ hours to work at Hazon, a large farm and Jewish Retreat Center in Connecticut, dedicated to creating a more sustainable world for all? The answer is simple, that's our mission, and our newest alumni responded to the call for service, HINENI.
To honor the memory of Daniella Moffson z"l and to begin the difficult process of healing, students worked to identify a project that would give them a sense of renewal, literally planting the seeds for a better tomorrow. Daniella was always involved in helping to make tomorrow better for any community anywhere, and she used all of her natural talents, indomitable spirit and skills to create change, and it became our students goal to emulate her ways. As such, they established our day of service, at Hazon, as a yearly tradition in Daniella's honor.
Imagine these city slickers leaving the hub of Manhattan to cut down overgrown exotic species, hand feed them to goats, grind wheat kernels to make muffins, skim whey protein from simmering milk to churn cheese, dig huge holes using picks and shovels, fill them with buckets of water and compost for tree planting, melt wax and delicately wind the hot wax into havdalah candles, and using only wood burning tools creatively design challah boards. Students toured the farm with Arielle, Director of Teva, tasted the growing kale, visited with the chickens, and learned all about the Paw Paw and chestnut trees that have been rescued because of a shared growing space that Teva has designed for them.
The group hiked up a long rocky, uphill road to view the scenic Taconic mountains, and were challenged to sit in silence and make a private wish for a mazal-filled year ahead.
Faculty members Rabbi Albo, Ms. Abramson, Ms. Benel, Ms. Rabhan, and Rabbi Sklarin joined the seniors, and their enthusiastic participation inspired the students to appreciate the Earth in new ways, and to recognize its precious gifts.
The 4 fruit trees that the class of 2017 planted last year have blossomed beautifully, and this time each student participated in placing 2 sycamore trees deep into the earth. They listened to inspiring words of Torah from Elan Margulies, Hazon Director of Education, and they complemented Rabbi Sklarin's passionate remembrances of Daniella z"l. The tree planting ceremony in memory of Daniella z"l brought our day together to a meaningful closure.
Please click HERE for photos.