An OKY update:
Well folks, it has been about 9 shabbatot and 4 major holidays since camp, and Persephone and I are just settling into life at OKY off season.
Our first Shabbat away from camp was spent at the Hazon Food Conference at UC Davis. The conference was an incredible weekend full of Jewish learning, song, and networking with other Jewish environmentalists and organizations. At the conference, people expressed an incredible amount of support for OKY and their enthusiasm was the perfect inspiration we needed as we began working on OKY year-round. For those of you who have never heard about Hazon check out their website and see how you can get involved, http://www.hazon.org/.
Sophie explaining OKY at the Hazon Food Conference
Since Hazon, we have enjoyed harvesting, cooking with, and sharing the vegetables grown by Avodah last summer. Congregation Beth El in Berkeley joined in on the harvesting fun when they came to visit last month. Beth El congregants came to Kibbutz, harvested Apples, and learned about biblical harvesting practices. According to the Torah, a minimum of 10% of your harvest must be donated to those in need. Beth El members separated out 10% of the harvest and we donated a bucketful of apples to the Santa Rosa Food Bank. Beth El kids made a delicious apple crumble with the remaining apples, topped off with Camp Newman’s famous blackberries.
In other news, with the exception of some of our hardy kale plants, Sukkot has meant the end of our Fall harvest for OKY (I hope chef Tammy enjoyed the last bunch of baby tomatoes at the Fall Kallah retreat). Sukkot with Fall Kallah was wonderful! Sophie dressed up like Moses in the Israel garden and we all learned about the 13 attributes of G-D’s lovingkindness and how through acting in the likeness of G-D we can learn to fulfill our duty as guardians of the earth.
Sophie, as Moses, teaching kids to blow the shofar at Fall Kallah
Fall is a beautiful time at Camp Newman, the OKY garden is full of winter crops and we couldn’t be happier to be beginning the journey of Kibbutz Yarok. As we witness the season change we become more in tune with G-D’s creation. May we all become better listeners: to our own needs, the needs of our loved ones, and to the needs of our community, country, and earth. After all, the kids at Fall Kallah learned that G-D manifests G-D’s self through loving kindness. Ken yehi ratzon, may it be G-D’s will, that we all approach this year with the same loving kindness that makes camp such a beautiful place.