Wilderness Torah Programs
The Pilgrimage Festivals and Beyond
Wilderness Torah has offered its core programs since 2007 — an annual cycle of experiential land-based festivals, including Sukkot on the Farm, Passover in the Desert, Shavuot First Fruits Festival, and Tu B’Shvat in the Redwoods — where we gather as a pluralistic, multi-generational community to celebrate the seasons and Jewish traditions in their original earth-based context.
During these festivals, we camp, eat and pray together, learn about the connections between Jewish spirituality and environmental awareness, offer sustainable living skills workshops, and celebrate the cycle of the seasons with joyous singing and celebration. We do this while contextualizing the holidays in their ancient earth-based roots in order to renew the earth-centered meaning and inspiration of these festivals.
Rites of Passage
Meaningful rites of passage are difficult to find today — throughout time, earth-based cultures like Judaism used rites of passage to help community members navigate the thresholds of life such as entering adulthood and to mark significant life transitions. In Judaism, solo journeys into the desert wilderness have been at the core of receiving wisdom and direction — our fore-fathers and fore-mothers from Moses to Miriam received prophecy and personal revelation through such solo journeys.
Wilderness Torah re-awakens this ancient tradition by offering the Jewish Wilderness Quest and Panim El Panim for adults, and B’naiture, a B’nai Mitzvah Rite of Passage Experience, for youth. These programs facilitate deep connection to nature and create opportunities for participants to understand their own life path through time alone in the outdoors. Programs always include reflection and integration with trained guides and a supportive community.
B’hootz: Bringing Torah to Life with the Seasons
B’hootz is a weekly outdoor experience that teaches children to learn and experience Torah and Jewish life in tune with nature and seasonal cycles. Children will discover and experience their own Jewish spirituality through nature awareness, ecological understanding, and the opportunity to enact personal power and responsibility.