Posted by: asusser77 | January 11, 2010

Greetings from Arad

Andrew & another Arad sunset.

My name is Andrew Susser and I am currently a participant of OTZMA’s Israel Teaching Corps program.  I live in Arad, Israel with Mollie Cherson, another OTZMA ITC participant.  I am an English teacher’s assistant at Yealim-Ofarim and Ort-Arad high school.  Born and raised in Monmouth County, New Jersey, I began my studies at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs before moving back east to Philadelphia, where I completed my studies at Temple University majoring in Religion and Literature.

Environmentalism and conservation are really important issues that I think about often.  John Muir, one of the earliest pioneers of conservationism wrote, “G-d has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.”  We have made some really idiotic, irrational, and poor choices over the last two centuries–so much that we are faced with the daunting task of changing our ways in less than one century.   If we want the earth to be a place that flourishes with greenery and wildlife, then human beings have to assume the role of caretaker, not destroyer.

John Muir also wrote on the need for children to experience nature before their young adult life.  From his book, My Boyhood and Youth, he reflected “When I was a boy in Scotland I was fond of everything that was wild, and all of my life I’ve been growing fonder and fonder of wild places and wild creatures.”  It is so important to bring children closer to nature–to help them appreciate the home that G-d created for us.  So after you bring your kids to see, “Where the Wild Things Are,” take them for a hike or go camping when the weather is right.

I am really glad to know that a program like the Eco Connection exists for children in Israel and America.  My generation and theirs are taking on a problem that seems irreversible at times, but with strong advocacy and education, we can do anything!  All it takes is a little imagination–and of course, commonsense.



  1. Hi Andrew

    Would like to get some more details on your life adventures since leaving Colorado Mountain College.
    Would make a great eNews post. Please contact me through my email address.

    Eileen Boyle
    Marketing Assistant
    Colorado Mountain College

  2. Wow! It looks like you like to write a lot.
    In New Jersey the temperature varies. In the winter it is really cold, the fall has nice weather not too cold or not too hot, spring is also like fall, and summer is the hottest.
    So far in winter we have got a lot of snow so far, unlike in Israel where you don’t get snow. One time we got 24 inches (60 centimeters).
    We recycle a lot of things. At our homes , we recycle bottles, newspapers, and cardboard. A lot of people do not recycle in New Jersey, but many people do. Our families recycle and we love to help save our earth.
    We are very excited to be in the Eco Connection program and meet people from other parts in USA and people in Israel!!!!

    7th Grade
    Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Monmouth County
    (Mia, Nathan, Daniela, Shanee, Jack, and Ella!)

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