Bringing environmental awareness and stewardship together with the rich history of Jewish culture in a non denominational and inclusive manner is what this organization is about. I have been moved, impressed and inspired by the vision and dedication that this organization is bringing to our 21st century evolving culture.
Though I have not attended a Wilderness Torah event, the transformation and illumination i have seen in those who have is enough to convince me of its great service to the Jewish community.
I've been to only one Wilderness Torah event, but it left me and my family feeling more connected to community and the environment. Everything that was planned for the event -- from the food to the tribes -- was done with loving intention to create a stronger, more vibrant, more diverse and more connected kinship among the participants.
Wilderness Torah Helped me deepen my roots in the bay area Jewish community. My first interaction with Wilderness Torah was Pesach in the desert. I didn't even like the desert and now I have a new appreciation for it. Most importantly, I made life time friends in the Jewish community. The workshops were informative and spiritual.
Wilderness Torah is the future of Judaism. The people who are involved are some of the most kind spirited people I have ever met. The underlying philosophy that the potential for spiritual connection and transformation happens in a sacred space that is rooted deeply in proven ancient traditions yet fluid and open to shifting when Spirit calls for it on the spur of the moment, is a great strength unique to Wilderness Torah. Although my husband an I do not have children yet we admired the way in which the Wilderness Torah leaders taught and cared for the young children and are hoping that by the time we have children they will have a full time hebrew school. My husband and I drove 7 hours to spend Succot with Wilderness Torah and are now planning to spend all our holidays with them no matter how far we have to drive. There is nothing else like this out there and it needs to thrive. Additionally, our lifestyle has changed because of what we learned at succot on the farm. We now only use reusable dishes when we camp. Additionally we reduced our consumption of meat to almost nothing and we eat more grains and organic fruits and vegetables.
Wilderness Torah is a dynamic community that has a core structure yet grows and changes because it constantly incorporates and makes room for what participants bring to gatherings. It is trully a creative, grassroots, Jewish organization. The potential it holds for bringing people to experience Torah in an embodied, experiential, personal way is something to be excited about and involved in!
Wilderness Torah provided me, my wife, and my 4yr old daughter with a memorable time celebrating Succot on an organic farm on the California coast, making friends and contributing to a beautiful collective experience.
I have attended two of Wilderness Torah's events. They have been transformative and have brought me closer to my culture, my community, and myself. They are an organization on the leading edge of making the connection between the role of religion, culture, and sustainability.
I went on the Pesach in the Desert experience in 2008, and it was an amazing experience. The trip was fantastic--it was well organized, we had plenty of wonderful food, and the real connections I've made with the people and the land have stayed with me and continued to improve my life. CHL partners with Wilderness Torah when possible, and in that capacity I continue to see Wilderness Torah growing by leaps and bounds in their service to the community.
This is a ground-breaking organization doing the crucial work of linking earth and spirituality, bringing Jews back to our deepest roots in the Torah and the land. I am so thankful for the transformations in my personal practice and my relationship to Judaism that have arisen because of the programs of Wilderness Torah. I especially appreciate the phenomenal leadership of this organization -- balanced, wise, grounded, courageous. This work is truly unprecedented!
When I first heard about Wilderness Torah, I couldn't believe it - an organization bringing Jews together to study, pray and play in the wilderness??! It was like a dream come true, two of my worlds and passions coming together in a way they hadn't since my ecstatic days at Jewish overnight camp in the Santa Cruz mountains. And participating in the events and coming to know the people involved has surpassed even my initial excitement. The programming is rich, the opportunities for learning are mind and heart opening, the people leading and participating are stellar and open to authentic connection, the music and food are great, and the practice of Jewish ritual in these beautiful places as was done by our ancestors is just what my soul needs. I am thrilled about this organization and look forward to continuing to play and pray with them.
As Rabbi of Chochmat HaLev, the spiritual community the helped birth Wilderness Torah, I am happy to provide a reference. I have attended three of their events - at Sukkot, Pesah and TuB'Shvat. each time, I have further deepened my connection between Judaism and Imma Adama, our Mother Earth. Their leadership is both inspired and grounded. I am delighted Wilderness Torah is planning to continue and expand their earth- based Judaism programming. Rabbi SaraLeya Schley, Berkeley, CA
I have been hearing and reading about the incredible growth of Wilderness Torah since its inception. I am thoroughly impressed with the strength of the community it has built and the energy, dedication and commitment of its volunteers, staff and leaders. I am excited to participate in future family-oriented events (i.e. Sukkot on the Farm) so my entire family can all experience the warm, welcoming and educational environment WT has created.
An incredibly simple concept: taking Jewish holidays and rituals, and putting them outside in their original context. It's ancient-retro in trying to engage the original style and spirit of the rituals. And it's 21st century ultra-modern in its blending of environmental sustainability, back-to-the-land wilderness=beauty, and neo-Kabbalistic in the connection to "Something great than ourselves" through connecting with your own inner truth. It's the Judaism I didn't even know I was always looking for.
Wilderness Torah offers me a chance to bear witness to Oneness, in all its many forms, but especially as it can be seen and felt beyond the walls of institutional Judaism. The rituals I have experienced with Wilderness Torah have been accessible, grounding and full of joy. I felt blessed to be a part of the holy community woven together at Sukkot on the Farm 2009.
Wilderness Torah is something I have been seeking for awhile: a way to connect to self, community, and nature in the context of Jewish cycles. I have learned so much so far!
Wilderness Torah has provided me with the most essential thing I can hope for: a sense of belonging, exactly as I am, and an inspiration to care for the earth because I feel the caring that comes from belonging. I also leave these events with the a sense that there are other people playing on this team and a network to facilitate change. The events are rich in education and integrity, the people are loving, the purpose is completely uplifting and I come from there feeling like a better person and wanting to take action accordingly. It has brought me back to Judaism more so than any Havurah I have come across.
This was a new kind of Jewish experience for me outdoors, and no synangogue affiliation. The experience was tremendous, it was really uplifting and really different from other Jewish experiences. I actually think I find more spirituality when in nature so perhaps this is a natural for me. What impressed me about WT was their absolute professionalism- they had learning sessions all night (far longer than I could keep awake for) that were varied and informative, the arrangements were superb by that I mean transit & food , the location perfect. This WT program brought what is clearly in demand as it was full, and I think it brought a cross section together that was unique.
I love Wilderness Torah as it is bringing alive the often lost connection to nature in our modern world. The concepts and depth of what is being offered feeds the Jewish soul like nothing I have found in Judaism. Zelig's energy is great and teachings are grounded, accessable and experiential causing one to get more into their body, pay attention and into healthy relationship with God's country (nature) and being in authentic community.
Wilderness Torah is a cutting edge organization that has taken the lead in revitalizing Judaism with the Earth Based origin of this ancient tradition. I have participated in several of their gatherings including Pesach in the Desert and Shavuout on the Mountain. All events were wonderful and profoundly meaningful for those who attended. Community bonds are strengthened and tradition is given deeper meaning and exploration. I know that this organization has really got their finger on the pulse of such and important piece of the need to reconnect our tradition with the wisdom at it's roots. I look forward to many more gatherings and celebrations with this amazing group!