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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Wilderness Torah

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Wilderness Torah awakens and celebrates the earth-based traditions of Judaism to nourish the connections between self, community, earth, and Spirit.

Results: Over three years, we have created ten holiday pilgrimage festivals (Sukkot on the Farm Festival, Passover in the Desert, and Shavuot on the Mountain), and the day-long Tu B'Shvat in the Redwoods serving over 500 people in 2010. The demand for our programs has consistently demonstrated the deep need for our work. We have sold out every Wilderness Torah event since our first Sukkot in 2007, and attendance increases by more than 30% with each event. We started the first Jewish Vision Quest in 2008, and continued with Wilderness Walks and a second vision quest in 2009. IN 2010 we launched Gan Torah Children's Nature Program. In 2011, we will launch our B'nai Mitzvah Nature Mentoring Program and Hebrew Homesteading (classes like challah-baking and picking).

Target demographics: All ages! We are building multi-generational community at our festivals.

Geographic areas served: California and beyond

Programs: Passover in the Desert, Sukkot on the Farm, Tu B'Shvat in the Redwoods, community programs including Kabbalat Shabbat services with Urban Adamah, and programs for youth ages 5 through 18.

Community Stories

9 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wilderness Torah has been a gateway into the Jewish community and a tunnel into the depths of earth-based traditions throughout the year. I've enjoyed the warmhearted openness of a familial community, always feeling included and welcomed. The programs are deeply insightful and educational, ever expanding my knowledge and experience of Judaism.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am very impressed with what Wilderness Torah has created in a very short time. The leadership has built retreats and other program sthat sell out, attract vibrant, interesting participants from different geographic areas and create lasting community. I have worked in the Jewish community for many years as an educator, and am impressed with the work this group is doing. Though I have not yet attended a retreat do to scheduling conflicts, many of my friend have gone and have told me great things about their experiences. I've also seen pictures and noticed that I know a lot of the participants.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been a better person since I joined Wilderness Torah. After attending two wonderful multiday events, I've felt so much more connected to my community, my faith, and my higher self. The concept of combining Earth-based spirituality with traditional Judaism is both so inspired and so simple that I'm amazed it has been done before, especially in the Bay Area. I'm sure this organization will grow exponentially in the near future and I look forward to being a part of it.