Listed below are the amazing offerings from our community. Download your own copy at the bottom of this page if you'd like.

Jocelyn Berger - “Shavuot: From Charity and Dependency to Dignity and Sustainability” (American Jewish World Service From the Sources study guide)

What does the Book of Ruth teach us about hunger, kindness, and justice?  On this harvest holiday, we will explore these lessons and use them to examine current US international food aid policy. 

Jocelyn Berger is the Bay Area Program Officer for the American Jewish World Service-AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps Partnership.

Avishai Pearlson - Preparing a Breakfast Feast as Prayer:  A Hands on Cooking Workshop with Avishef

"Im ain kemach, ain Torah. Im ain Torah, ain kemach"~Piryei Avot
(If there is no flour (milled grain), there is no Torah. If there is no Torah, there is no flour).
Shavuot is also called Chag HaBikkurim, (Festival of the First Fruits), celebrating the abundance of the early harvest after the long winter and spring. We will prepare a scrumptious feast to nourish us after a long night of Torah study and deep connection with our hearts and minds. Feeding the body allows us to fulfill our purpose as a Human.
Join us at the crack of dawn for an hour or two of meditative, passionate food preparation.
Heads covered, aprons helps too!

Avishai Pearlson is the Founder of PassionFoods and is an International Breema Body work Instructor.

Jonathon Furst - Mochin d'Gadlut – Great Mind and the Song of Nature in 30 Seconds

Mochin d'Gadlut ("Great Mind") isn't a far off goal – it is right now. And one of the most direct ways is through Shir HaAdamah, the song of the earth.  Experience and practice physical techniques to join the flow of nature and reconnect with Hebrew indigenous mind: fox walking, owl eyes, kabbalistic techniques and Jewish native knowledge. Tools for a lifetime of practice that even by beginners can use to access states of expanding consciousness within seconds.  We'll use these techniques to see and walk in the dark, so dress appropriately.

Jonathon Furst is the Maggid for Keneset HaLev – Community of the Heart – and an experienced teacher of nature awareness workshops for all ages.

Taylor Maurand  -  Looking At Ruth from the Convert’s Perspective
In this session, we will read excerpts from the Book of Ruth, and discuss how tragedy can lead to healing. We will talk about what it means to be a convert, and what the role of the convert is in the context of Judaism, shifting the focus from the perspective of one who is born Jewish to how it might appear to a person who is a convert.  Taylor will share her story of deciding to convert, relate this experience to the Book of Ruth, and open the group to a conversation about conversion and the Book of Ruth.

Taylor is converting, finds parallels between her life and the Book of Ruth, and finds that by sharing persona stories about this topic, she and others deepen their truth.  She invites you to join this conversation.

Jon Rosenfield  -  Nightime Silent Meditation Walk
Come explore the night and explore yourself in this nighttime silent walk and meditation.  We’ll explore the night with a short walk and then some solo meditation time, followed by an opportunity to explore what it means to be “alone” v. “in community”, in a “wilderness” v. a “city”, observing v. communicating.  Come explore the idea that that (1) the Torah is always in front of you, (2) that there is great potential to “study” the way Abraham did – by keen observation of the internal and external landscape; and (3) that the “fear” that may crop up during such an experience is a powerful teacher and guide. 

Jon Rosenfield is an experienced meditator and a co-founder of Wilderness Torah.

Rich Robinson  -  Blessing Others and Being Blessed
Receiving a blessing is a wonderful feeling, and giving a blessing is very special. Everyone can give and receive blessings. We don’t have to be Rabbis or scholars. We only need to have our heart in the right place.  In this experiential workshop, Rich will guide us in the simple and powerful art of giving and receiving blessings.

Rich is a psychotherapist and vision quest guide.

Jonathon Sheff  -  The Torah’s Deepest Secret: Shavuot and the infinite nature of fifty
We find fifty hidden throughout the Torah, from beginning to end. What is it coming to teach us, and how can this help us to understand the fifty-day journey from Pesach to Shavuot? Why is Shavuot on the fiftieth day, and what does this mean for our lives, our world and our future?

Jonathan is a misfit, resident Jew, living in the forests of Big Sur at a Catholic Hermitage, pursuing rabbinic ordination – check out his new website—

Joti Levy  -  Song and dance through the Sefirot
We will enter the workshop with a check in and talk briefly about the Sefirot. Through song and dance we will enter the essence of the different Sefirot. Then we will debrief at the end.

Joti Levy is a School garden educator, songstress extraordinaire, and movement maven. 

Rabbi Sydney Mintz  -  Who was there then-Who we are now?  How does the experience at Mt. Sinai impact and inform who we think we are as Jews today?
This session will focus on the origins of Jewish identity based on the experience at Sinai.  We will explore texts from Heschel to Buber to Rosensweig and modern commentary on Jewish identity as well as encouraging participants to share the origins of their own Jewish identity. 

Rabbi Sydny Mintz is a Rabbi at Temple Emanuel.

Michael Gelbart  -  Embodying Essential Soul Qualities in the four dimensions of existence

To cultivate inner soul qualities, essences or states of consciousness, we can reach into our tradition to find the archetypes and alchemical elements of each quality we seek to embody. Then, in a variety of ways, we can practice sensing, breathing, moving and more fully experiencing these qualities.  In this workshop, participants will explore, in depth, a quality or essence that they would like to more fully embody in their lives (i.e. faithfulness, truth, love, dignity,…) we will review the 7 qualities of the 7 weeks of the Omer counting.

Michael Gelbart is a therapist and healer who has explored these teachings from Judaic and other traditions. 

Rabbi Daniel Lev  -  A Chassidic Taste

In this session we’ll experience together some of the Old/New wisdom of the Chassidic Masters.  We’ll learn from Hebrew texts, hear stories and sing niggun-songs from these wild and crazy Rebbes!
Since his days at Rabbi Reb Shlomo Carelebach’s “House of Love and Prayer,” Rabbi Daniel Lev has served the San Francisco Bay Area as a Maggid, which is a “teachin’ preachin’ storyteller, singin’ dancin’ prayin’ feller.”

Julie Wolk   - Revelation Yoga
Revelation is simply the uncovering of that which is already there. Come see how yoga can facilitate revelations in your body that can open up your heart and mind. This slow flow class is based on Anusara yoga principles and focuses on alignment and building strength, while creating flexibility and opening the heart. It will also be fun.

Julie is a yoga teacher and co-founder of Wilderness Torah.

Aharon Wheels Bolsta  -  Frame Drum Workshop
In Aharon’s drumming offering you will learn to play confident, steady meditative rhythms that don’t have to be loud.  Any level is welcome as we focus on accompaniment for Jewish songs while we draw from Sufi, Jewish, Middle-Eastern, and Indian rhythms. Frame drums (hoop drum, bendir, tar, def) and other quieter percussion accents are encouraged and some will be supplied.

Aharon Wheels Bolsta is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist who has learned rhythms from all over the world.

Samantha Terris  -  Body Flow
Connect with your body, your breath, your movement and each other through safe partner directed touch and movement exploration.

Samantha Terris is a body work healer.

Main Ritual: At midnight, Zelig Golden, Elizheva Hurvitz, and Shulamit Fairman will lead us in a special fireside ritual to help each one of us tap into our inner Moses and discover the sparks of our own revelation!

Wilderness Torah,
May 25, 2009, 5:24 PM