Judaism is an ancient, earth-based tradition. Due to historic discontinuities, Judaism became estranged from its ancient origins. Today, waves of younger Jews are flocking back to Judaism through nature’s doorway, which offers a critical answer to Judaism’s continuity concerns, at a time when environmental responsibility have never been more urgent.
Aaron David Gordon, “Logic from the Future” (1910)
"When you will return to Nature—on that day your eyes will be open, you will gaze straight into the eyes of Nature, and in the mirror you will see your own image. You will know that you have returned to yourself, that when you hid from Nature, you hid from yourself."
Wilderness Torah awakens and celebrates the earth-based traditions of Judaism by nourishing the connections between self, community, earth, and Spirit.
Wilderness Torah's distinctive programs include multi-generational holiday retreats in nature; K-12 outdoor Jewish education; young adult leadership training; joyful Jewish ritual; and conscious development of socially engaged, diverse community. In 2016, Wilderness Torah launched the Wilderness Torah Training Institute, training 50 leaders from across the U.S. and Israel in our innovative methods for community-building and nature connection, through the lens of Judaism.
Wilderness Torah's approach—bringing forward a culture shift through immersive experience, participatory community, and mentorship-based education and leadership development—resonates deeply for thousands, who report deep connections to Jewish tradition and the natural world after its immersive programs.
Learn More about Wilderness Torah by visiting www.WildernessTorah.org
Check out this 3 minute video about Wilderness Torah's annual pilgrimage to the desert, Passover in the Desert:
SEEDS OF OPPORTUNITY: A National Study of Immersive Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education (JOFEE) is the the first-ever national survey on JOFEE. The report, released by the Jim Joseph Foundation, Leichtag Foundation, The Morningstar Foundation, Rose Community Foundation, Schusterman Family Foundation, UJA-Federation of New York, and Hazon, examines the history, programs, professionals, and participants that comprise JOFEE experiences.The report was funded to learn more about the emerging field and the potential to create and support more Jewish learning experiences. Examples of the vast array of JOFEE experiences include Jewish farming programs, wilderness celebrations of Jewish holidays, multi-day Jewish bike rides, and a sustainable food tour of Israel.
Read the report by following this link:
JOFEE stands for Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming & Environmental Education. JOFEE experiences connect people to Judaism, community, and the natural world through hands-on, thoughtful and engaging Jewish content across different ages, Jewish backgrounds, and religious approaches. JOFEE experiences connect people to Judaism, community, and the natural world. JOFEE programs engage participants of many different ages, Jewish backgrounds, and religious approaches. Tens of thousands of people engage in JOFEE activities every year, from learning about Jewish harvest rituals to starting a CSA. Combining methods from existing secular models with Jewish learning, wisdom, and traditions, JOFEE programs create entry points to Jewish life and social action. The number of people participating in immersive (multi-day) JOFEE activities is growing explosively, from about 2,500 in 2012 to more than 6,000 participants last year. Day programs have reached over 36,000 participants since January 2016 with the help of our JOFEE Fellowship. From young adults at Wilderness Torah, children at Teva, teenagers at Ramah Outdoors, and kids at Eden Village, JOFEE is changing lives.