Wilderness Torah has opened registration for its new training institute, and in the first week people from Israel, California and across the U.S. registered to attend the inaugural program set for July 20-24 in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The Berkeley-based organization sponsors nature-related holiday festivals for all ages, educational programs for youth, community programs for Jewish institutions and young adult leadership training.
“We have developed a unique model for Jewish community building,” said founding director Zelig Golden. “This is our ninth year running festivals, and our youth program has been in place for seven years — people are interested in how we’ve done that.”
Sixty people are expected to attend the training session, which will focus on exploring the Jewish connection to nature and the organization’s Earth-based Jewish philosophy, and will include an 80-page curriculum for participants to take home.
The institute is funded primarily by the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, the Jim Joseph Foundation and the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah. Golden hopes to offer a training program on the East Coast in 2017 or 2018.