Brian is passionate about the protection of the world’s threatened forests and wildlife. His goal is to make a positive impact on our earth and leave it in better shape than how he found it.
For the past four years, Brian has been Wildlife Director of Asia for Wildlife Works Carbon. Before joining WWC, Brian was Chief Executive Officer for Red Panda Network, an international NGO committed to supporting red panda in the wild. He has also taught Environmental Studies at San Jose State University, and worked in Guatemala with the Peace Corps.
Brian holds a BS in Decision Science and Management of Informational Systems from George Mason University, and an MS in Environmental Studies from San Jose State University
Leah Katz AhmadiVice Chair
Leah started her career in conservation planning, working in the public, academic, and non-governmental sectors to resolve environmental conflicts through collaborative working groups. In 2008, Leah joined Sustainable Conservation, an organization that unites people to solve the toughest challenges facing California’s land, air, and water.
Leah holds a BA from UC San Diego and an MS from University of Michigan. An alum of the Adamah Fellowship (Summer 2004) and long-time Wilderness Torah participant, Leah takes great pleasure in digging in the soil alongside her family and jumping in the ocean.
Jared is a business owner and long time lover of earth-based Jewish spirituality, dating back to his time growing up as a Labor Zionist and working on Kibbutz in the 1970’s. Jared raised grass fed beef and pastured poultry back in the 90’s, before it was trendy. He is also glad to be able to contribute to Wilderness Torah because the B’hootz and B’naiture programs are models of what we need to do with our young people. Our culture lacks the grounding that often comes from being earth based. Jared is co-owner and executive director of The Center for Integrated Teacher Education (CITE), and is President of the Board for the Albert Einstein Academy in Wilmington, DE.
Susie currently serves as an education and nonprofit consultant to several East Bay organizations. She offers services in the areas of fundraising development, strategic planning, and organizational development as well as one-to-one coaching for clients. Prior to branching out independently, Susie had a 25-year career as a teacher and administrator in Bay Area high schools.
Susie holds a BA from Princeton University and an MA from Stanford. Susie enjoys exploring the world outdoors, whether on foot — preferably above 10,000 feet — or afloat in a kayak. She is a past participant in several Wilderness Torah festivals and the parent of a B’naiture graduate who is now a mentor in our B’hootz program.
Terry started his career in the travel industry, launching a yoga retreat center in the Peruvian Andes and overseeing Backroads’ bike tours in Europe. He then managed several cultural exchange businesses to help students work, study, and volunteer overseas. Most recently, Terry led global initiatives for high profile education technology start-ups and is currently advising UC Berkeley on their on-line business courses.
Terry completed his MBA at Stanford and holds a BA from UC Berkeley in Political Economics and Spanish/Portuguese. When not learning a new word in a foreign language, Terry spends his time doing yoga, cycling, and rock climbing.
Adrienne GembalaSan Francisco Federation Board Fellow
Adrienne works as an Operations Supervisor at Recology Golden Gate, San Francisco’s waste management company. Here she brings together her love for composting and recycling with logistics and customer service. Adrienne was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, and in 2013 relocated to San Francisco, the place she now calls home.
Adrienne holds a BA from UC Santa Barbara in both Environmental Studies and Cultural Anthropology. When she is not getting her hands dirty in garbage, Adrienne sings in a choir, cooks vegetarian meals, hikes, bikes, and enjoys the various festivals in the Bay Area.
Jim publishes three online city guides that explore the people, places and culture of Los Angeles, New York and the Bay Area. Prior to launching those projects, he co-founded several software startups and worked in the fields of high tech marketing and business development, urban planning and academic publishing.
Aside from his work with Wilderness Torah, Jim serves on the board of the East Bay School for Boys, located in Berkeley, CA. Prior to that, he served on the board of the Orange County Community Scholar Program, an organization dedicated to adult Jewish education and family Jewish celebrations. Jim is a parent in our B’naiture program.
Sam GoldmanChair, Development Committee
Sam is the California Program Director at the Conservation Lands Foundation where he works to protect public lands throughout the West. Currently, his work is focused on building constituencies and community collaboratives for large-landscape conservation initiatives like the designation of new National Monuments.
Sam grew up attending Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, MO, and is a former Hillel president at Bates College. Sam is an alumni of the Wexner Heritage Program, a two-year Jewish leadership and Jewish study program for community leaders. Sam is the co-chair of the LGBT Alliance of the San Francisco Jewish Federation.
Adam works as the Director of the Diller Teen Initiatives. Prior to that Adam served as Camp Tawonga’s executive director from 2008–2011 and as Berkeley Hillel’s executive director in 1997-1998 And from 2000–2008.
Additionally, Adam has worked in a variety of roles in the Jewish community in New York, Israel, and Bulgaria. He has also worked in a variety of settings as a coach, mentor, and management advisor
Julie WolkChair, Nominating Committee
Co-Founder of Wilderness Torah, Julie now works as a business coach helping other visionaries express their gifts in the world. She works with teacher-guides, consultant-experts, holistic healers, and other mission-driven entrepreneurs to create successful businesses that provide transformative and connective experiences for their clients. Previous to founding Wilderness Torah, she worked for ten years in environmental and social justice advocacy.
Julie is a Certified Co-Active Coach and has a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy and ecology from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources. She spends a lot of time doing yoga and wandering through the East Bay hills.