True Nature Travels Blog

True Nature Interview with Rabbi Batsheva Meiri of Synagogue Beth Ha Tephila

It is already October, meaning that our 2012-13 retreat season is almost upon us.

We look forward first to the upcoming Costa Rica Tikkun Olam Adventure retreat, December 23-31, kicking off the True Nature Education retreat season. The excitement is building as the trip nears, one that will be an exciting opportunity and stands out in particular for the Jewish community of Asheville, NC.

While TNE has been running Tikkun Olam retreats for the past five years as one of our primary programs, this will be the first in direct partnership with members of the Jewish community in Asheville. Rabbi Batsheva Meiri of Beth Ha Tephila and TNE Director Joshua Canter will co-lead this exciting and unique travel experience that will bring the Asheville Jewish community together.

In addition participants from Warren Wilson College and The Asheville Chabad House will also be on the trip.

The trip will dive into the authentic, rich local culture of Costa Rica while also merging service work through Tikkun Olam projects with both indigenous populations as well as the land upon which they live.

We were lucky to catch up with Rabbi Batsheva Meiri of Synagogue Beth Ha Tehpila to hear her thoughts and insight about the retreat.

True Nature EducationGreetings, Rabbi Meiri, and thanks again for taking the time to speak with us about the trip. Could you begin by sharing how you feel about the importance of Tikkun Olam and Service on the planet at this time and in our daily lives?

Rabbi Batsheva Meiri–Tikkun Olam is the heart of Jewish life. It’s the way that we actualize our religious and spiritual values and commitments. I feel this way especially today, even more importantly, as we face the pressing issues of global warming, over-population, and massive hunger.

TNE–And what of the importance of serving together as a community?

Rabbi–I think we strengthen one another’s resolve when we do mitzvot together. The impact is also greater with the more hands that are joined in action. 

TNE–What are your thoughts on the upcoming Costa Rica Tikkun Olam Adventure retreat? How do you feel about these types of trips generally speaking?

Rabbi– I’m bringing my daughter on the trip because I believe it’s a way for her to connect with others in her community in a way that allows her to altogether have fun, explore the world, and see how other people and cultures live. These types of trips are great to sensitize us to the richness of diversity and see the ways in which we are all one human family. Traveling both as a tourist and a steward of service is a way that I feel that everybody wins.

TNE–And what is your intention for this trip?

Rabbi–To have a rich mindful experience of nature and people and to appreciate how blessed I am.

TNE–How might the retreat benefit the participants? And the Jewish community of Asheville as a whole?

Rabbi–This is the start of travel in a Jewish context to places not specifically of Jewish religious interest but for the purpose of behaving as Jews: serving others and healing the world. This deepens our commitment to one another and all acts of Tikkun Olam.

TNE–What is your relationship with Joshua [Canter] and True Nature Education as of now?

Rabbi–Joshua is a beautiful, sincere person with whom I am honored and privileged to partner. He’s really done so much to make the trip come to fruition. I look forward to continuing the journey.

For more information please visit to learn more about the upcoming trip. Deadline for discounted registration is November 1, 2012. Only a few spots are left.

True Nature Education and The Asheville Jewish Community will be running the Second Annual Costa Rica Tikkun Olam and Adventure Trip December 21-28, 2013. Mark your calendar now!



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