Urban Adamah, the Jewish educational farm in Berkeley, is undergoing a leadership change that the organization says will help it continue to grow.
The 2-acre urban farm in northwest Berkeley, which offers Shabbat services, leadership training, camps for kids, young-adult social events, concerts and workshops on everything from meditation to pickling, will have a new executive director as of June 17. Founder Adam Berman, who has been in that role for nine years, will become president, overseeing long-term strategy, fundraising and future projects.
“I’m really excited for my new responsibilities and the possibilities presented by my shift in focus,” said Berman, who founded Urban Adamah in 2010.
Adam Weisberg, a founding board member, will take over as executive director. Weisberg, 56, will manage the day-to-day operations of the combination farm/community center, which brings in more than $2 million in revenue each year and has assets worth over $10 million.
Weisberg is a Jewish nonprofit professional who holds master’s degrees in social work and Jewish studies. He has served as the director of the Diller Teen Fellows program and director of Berkeley Hillel from 2000 to 2008.
“For me, it’s coming full circle,” said Weisberg, who began his career with the Teva Learning Center, a New York-based Jewish environmental nonprofit. “It’s about integrating Jewish values and meaning with sustainability, mindfulness, doing right by the planet and the people who live on it.”
Urban Adamah, which offers a popular three-month residential fellowship for Jews ages 21-35, has a staff of about 20 people who work in concert with fellows and volunteers tending to 60 different types of fruits and vegetables and helping to raise the resident goats and chickens. Every Wednesday, community members hand out produce at a free farm stand.
According to Berman, the board of directors’ decision to bring Weisberg on as executive director was more or less a no-brainer.
“When I shared with the board my desire to transition into a different role, it was almost immediately clear to everyone who was involved that we had an extraordinary potential candidate in Adam Weisberg,” Berman said. “The board decided not to do an external search. We felt like we had the ideal candidate.”
Weisberg and Berman have formed a close working partnership over the years, particularly since Weisberg took over as board co-chair. The two Adams often call each other by their last names.
Board co-chair Gale Mondry said she feels the move is a “natural next step” for Urban Adamah as it moves into its 10th year. “Bringing on Adam Weisberg and evolving Adam Berman’s role as currently imagined is setting us up for even greater impact in the years to come.”