Living on the Edge

By Talya Oberfield

Josh Rolnick, The Sh'ma Institute, February 2010

This piece explores the Eco-Israel apprenticeship program at the Hava v'Adam ecological farm in Israel. The program focuses on studying permaculture, a design system and philosophy modeled after nature systems and applied to community life and social structures. The piece elaborates on the various challenges and experiences associated with the program which included planning the group's first Shabbat. Close attention is paid to the idea of the edge effect, which describes the interactions of borders between separate niches, which in this context applies to the way in which members of the community connect through activities and interactions while creating their own niches within this ecosystem. The piece concludes by noting how the edge can be found in contemporary Jewish life.

Topic: Environment, Education, Community Development, Discourse and Dialogue, Community Building

Name of Publication: Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas

Editor: Berrin, Susan

Volume/Issue: 40/666

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Genre: Article

Coverage: Israel

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use; Distribute link freely

Bibliographic Information:
Oberfield, Talya. Living on the Edge. Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas. Josh Rolnick, The Sh'ma Institute. February 2010:


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