From the baking heat of Israel’s summer, Sviva Israel’s Director of Media & Technology flew last week to a chilly Johannesburg winter, to launch the Eco Connection in our first South African school. Despite the cold, she was warmly welcomed by the Israel Centre, under the directorship of Shimon Shamila, and the 7th grade students of the Torah Academy Girls School, who were all very excited to begin their participation in the Beit Shemesh-South African Eco Connection. The Beit-Shemesh South Africa Eco Connection is supported by the Beit Shemesh-Mateh Yehuda-South Africa Partnership 2Gether of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israel Centre, South Africa.
The Partnership 2Gether South Africa Co-Chairs, Moonyeen Castle and Madeleine Fane, together with Tamar, met with principals in the Cape Town Herzlia schools and the Johannesburg King David schools who expressed an interest in joining the program this coming year.
Eli Rudolph, Partnership 2Gether South Africa National Director, helped run the first Eco Connection workshop at Torah Academy,in which the students learned about the 3R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – and received repurposed friendship bracelets and personal letters from the 7th graders of Ulpanat Ahavat Yisrael in Ramat Beit Shemesh. Eli helped the students make their own friendship bracelets from deconstructed sweaters, and took part in the joint poster signing that has become a trademark of the Eco Connection.
The students, and their new friends in Ramat Beit Shemesh, are looking forward to videoconferencing together later this year, to learn more about how they can care for the world together.
While in Johannesburg, Tamar, who was a participant earlier this year in a the US State Department IVLP Media Literacy program, gave a luncheon presentation on Media Literacy, hosted by the Israel Center for Jewish community professionals from a number of different organizations. Using examples from the Eco Campus, Tamar described how we can use online media to reach out and connect to our community audience.
The original of this article may be found at http://blog.ecocamp.us/2011/07/31/eco-connection-launches-in-south-africa/