by Elan Margulies
While I have attended the Hazon Food Conference in the past, it was refreshing to see new faces and new projects at the 2012 gathering. In particular I saw a strong and vibrant orthodox community this year. I was particularly impressed by the Bina School, who presented at the conference.
The Bina School is a progressive orthodox girls’ school that recently began a food awareness program. The program included activities such as meeting with farmers, participating in gleaning projects and volunteering at food pantries and kitchens. They also spent time reflecting about their personal awareness of food consumption and food waste.
To teach about their project, they put together a fantastic video. They researched the Jewish ethics about giving to the needy as well as agricultural laws. There was also an art project fundraiser: the students were taught about photography. They took pictures from their agricultural trips and sold the prints as a fund raiser. There were poster displays featuring what they had learned, and the girls presented their project to a large group.
I was impressed with this project as a teacher and as an environmental educator. The project taught the students lots of skills: food awareness, photography, public speaking and videography. The theme was worthwhile and also introduced the students to the Jewish food movement.
I was inspired to see that the food conference continues to involve and influence new groups of people, and that the message and teaching seem to be growing in strength. Siach provided me with the wonderful opportunity to go and be a part of this one of a kind experience and renew my commitment to my own projects.