Wilderness Torah | wildernesstorah.org
Zelig brings over ten years of visionary leadership to the Jewish community as a community Maggid, farmer and environmental lawyer. He has brought earth-based Jewish spirituality to the Bay Area for several years as a Jewish vision quest guide, through Wilderness Torah’s annual cycle of land-based pilgrimage festivals, and as a teacher at his home congregation, Chochmat Ha Lev. To help bring the Jewish Food Movement to the Bay Area, Zelig is a member of the Hazon Board of Directors and co-chaired Hazon’s 2008 Food Conference. He is also active in the Jewish farm movement as an adviser and educator of the Jewish Farm School. Zelig derives much inspiration from his 2006 season farming and teaching at the Isabella Freedman Center’s Adamah program, where he started the Adamah pickling shop, and his years in the wilderness as an Outward Bound instructor in the Colorado Rockies, a backcountry park ranger in Alaska, and a life-long explorer of wild places. Zelig got his start in the Jewish environmental movement in 1998 as the first program director of the Northwest Jewish Environmental Project. Until recently, he worked as an environmental attorney for the Center for Food Safety in San Francisco to protect our food and farms and to promote sustainable agriculture.
At a time of growing concern for the environment and Jewish continuity, Wilderness Torah revitalizes Jewish life by reconnecting Jewish traditions to the cycles of nature. We facilitate individual spiritual growth, strengthen multi-generational community, and connect people to nature through land-based festivals, rites of passage, and sustainable life skills education. Our programs cultivate understanding of Judaism’s earth-based roots, inspire appreciation for Creation, and offer skills that empower participants to engage in Tikkun Olam by living sustainably in the modern world.
Wilderness Torah’s vision is to develop a Bay Area center for earth-based Judaism that integrates community programs, organic farm and sustainable life skills education, and nature awareness training – a local educational center that serves as a national resource and training ground for building healthy, sustainable Jewish community. We are developing curricula and will train Jewish leaders to bring Wilderness Torah’s programs into communities across the Jewish world.