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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 was my first experience of Judaism outside of a synagogue context, experiencing pilgrimmage festivals as they were meant to be: outside in nature, whether in the desert for Pesach, in the forest for Tu B'Shvat, or on a farm eating from the harvest for Sukkot. It kindled a greater vitality in Jewish observance for me and an appreciation for the Jewish holidays, their connection to the seasons, and the experience of our ancestors.
I went to the Dixon organic farm sukkot gathering that was amazing! The people that show up are very helpful, sweet, into Judaism, and open minded to discuss many topics with you & your companion if you so wish to bring one. I have recommended a few close friends to go & they also had a wonderful time exploring their spirituality...I can't imagine anyone not having a great time!!
Wilderness Torah's blend of experience, education, community and ritual opens doors for people seeking a deeper connection to land, time, inward reflection and outward connection. This year's Sukkot on the Farm Festival was held on a farm in a gorgeous valley on the coast - with amazing mostly local fresh foods prepared by every member of the community under the guidance of the Amazing Avishai - with visits from our farmer hosts and their neighbors - and with the full moon of Tishrei rising over the hillsides each evening.
Wilderness Torah is for me an opportunity to be in connection with good people and the land and to share what is most important and of value in a celebratory context which is sacred. Organizations such as Wilderness Torah are a gift to humanity - I so recommend experiencing and supporting its well being. Samantha N. Terriss
I have attended several multi-day WT events. Amazing stuff. Lots of chance to be outside, doing yoga, praying, eating incredible food, and connecting with old and new friends. When I'm at these events during Jewish festivals (which I usually observe), I feel deeply that I am in the exact right place. Looking forward to more.