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The Teva Learning Center relies heavily on the support of individual contributors to bring its message to communities across the Northeast. Donations from parents, students, staff alumni and other supportive individuals continue to enable Teva's growth and makes us the nations leading Jewish environmental education institution.

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Goal: $36,500
Week 9: South Area Solomon Schechter, Striar Hebrew Academy, Ezra Academy, Solomon Schechter of Hartford, New London Solomon Schechter (click to open in new full size window)

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Your child will soon have the opportunity to participate in an exciting residential outdoor school program called the Teva Learning Center. The Teva Learning Center is a Jewish environmental education program sponsored by Surprise Lake Camp and is located at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. This letter answers some of the questions parents have asked us in the past. Please feel free to email us at or call us (212-807-6376) with any additional questions or concerns you might have.


The Teva Learning Center integrates outdoor environmental education with Jewish concepts and values through exciting hands-on activities in a cooperative, non-competitive residential setting. Teva students develop a greater sense of responsibility, independence, and self-esteem. Students will come away from this experience excited about the natural world and more knowledgeable about what Judaism has to contribute to our understanding of the environment.


Over the course of four days and three nights, students participate in two types of daytime classes: Kvutzot (field groups) and Chugim (electives). In Kvutzot, students study earth sciences, plant and animal life, and the connections between them that allow ecosystems to function. They also take part in a Group Challenge Course, which promotes group-building skills and creative problem solving. In Chugim, students are able to choose classes on outdoor and environmental topics. Offerings are based on the particular interests and skills of the staff.

Evening Programs

Includes a night walk and an exciting interactive presentation. New songs are taught daily and journal writing is strongly encouraged. Also, shacharit services are led by the students, with help from the Teva Learning Center staff members. Blessings are said before and after eating, and taught for other natural events, as a means of heightening awareness and expressing wonder and gratitude.


Teva programs are hosted at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, CT during the Fall season, or either Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center outside Baltimore, MD or Surprise Lake Camp in Cold Springs, NY during the Spring season. Retreats, shabbaton, and family programs can be hosted at all of these sites. Please go to our Sites Page to learn more about the different locations that we use.


All staff are first aid and CPR certified. Medical personnel will be in residence during daytime hours and there is a hospital within 15 minutes of the camp.


The Teva Learning Center staff includes two Directors, a logistical coordinator, a medical professional and a teaching staff of qualified field group leaders and specialists. Schools also bring adult chaperones.

Forms for Students Attending Teva

The following forms should be filled out completely and handed in to your student's teachers. (all files were created in Word 2000 on a PC)

  • Packing List
  • Permission Slip & Participant Behavioral Contract
  • Medical Form
  • Medical Authorization and Release
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