Zelig’s vision for a thriving, earth-based Jewish tradition developed out of a lifetime of nature connection, Jewish leadership, and commitment to environmental advocacy. Zelig invokes mentorship, facilitation, and ceremonial tools to guide an annual cycle of land-based festivals, nature-based rites of passage, and mentorship for emerging leaders.
Zelig holds a Masters in Jewish Studies from the Graduate Theological Union and will soon receive rabbinic ordination through ALEPH, supported by the prestigious Wexner Graduate Fellowship. Zelig was ordained Maggid by Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi ztz”l. He previously worked as an environmental lawyer protecting food and farms and has long guided groups into the wilderness.
Nancy brings more than twenty years experience to Wilderness Torah, where she’s responsible for fundraising, marketing and operations. Nancy previously served as director of the Craigslist Foundation, manager at the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, founder of the environmental responsibility program at Blue Shield of California, and in marketing for Fortune 500 companies.
Nancy received a BA from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Presidio Graduate School. Her Jewish community experience includes serving on her synagogue’s board and on the executive committee for the 2009 Hazon Food Conference. She lives in Berkeley with her husband and their dog.
Aya BaronYouth Programs Director
Aya manages Wilderness Torah’s youth programs. She brings three years experience in the field with Wilderness Torah and has served as lead mentor for B’hootz and B’naiture, and pioneered the teen program at festivals.
Previously, Aya worked as an educator and program designer at Urban Adamah and Eden Village. She is particularly passionate about cultivating a regenerative Jewish culture, developing programming to honor rites of passage for youth, and working with young girls. Aya holds a degree in Contemplative Education from Brown University and a certificate in herbal medicine from the California School of Herbal Studies.
Flora GoldmanTraining Institute Manager
Flora manages Wilderness Torah’s Training Institute and oversees program logistics staff. She is the project manager for the design, execution, and evaluation of Wilderness Torah’s international Training Institute and curriculum, and previously spent four years as Wilderness Torah’s Logistics Manager for the festivals, youth programs, and community programs.
Flora previously was Farm Manager for the Regenerative Design Institute, overseeing a 17-acre educational farm and its substantial volunteer program, and completed the Eco Israel program at Chava V’Adam. Flora holds a BA from the University of Colorado. She has completed holistic nutrition training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2010 and permaculture teacher training in 2011. Flora is the creator of nutritional permaculture, a new branch of the movement, and has taught in Israel and the United States.
Ophir HabererFestival & Leadership Manager
Ophir manages the festivals as well as the festival leadership training program for Wilderness Torah. Ophir comes with a passion for whole-system design and a purpose to integrate intention into all that he does. He graduated from Tulane University in 2014 with a BS in Economics and BA in International Development with an Environmental Science Focus. There, he started several programs for the university including The Hope Gardens Project, an urban gardening program for the university, and the Green Wave Community Market, a local market to link students with local businesses and farms. He then completed two Permaculture Design Courses, one with Turtle Lake Refuge in Durango, Colorado and one with the Center for Creative Ecology in Kibbutz Lotan, Israel. He also spent 10 months in Southern Vietnam as part of a Fulbright Fellowship.
Julia MilmedDevelopment & Operations Associate
Julia comes to this community with the belief that communing with nature can be the most fertile ground for spiritual development, self-reflection, and community building.
Julia holds a BA in Philosophy from Amherst College. Prior to joining Wilderness Torah, Julia worked as a yoga teacher and restaurant server in the Bay Area. Julia completed her yoga teacher training at Laughing Lotus and continued her study of non-dual philosophy at the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, India. She has been sharing the meaningful teachings she has learned ever since.
Ben RosenthalRegistrar and Tech Support
Ben spent five years at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Connecticut before migrating to the Bay to continue living and working in the same community. After completing his Bachelor’s in Organizational Communication at Ithaca College, Ben worked on faith-based and sustainability projects for the DC Government, started participating in and organizing Hazon Bike Rides, and found his way to the communities of Teva, Isabella Freedman, and Adamah.
Since completing his MBA in 2013, Ben has returned to his passions of technology, efficiency, and helping people, and his business of coaching Mac users.
Karina SmallMarketing & Communications Manager
Karina recently joined the Wilderness Torah team to support its growing communication efforts. She is a writer, editor, and programs specialist with over fifteen years of professional experience in marketing communications and web management for both non-profit and high-tech organizations.
Karina is a storyteller and gatherer with a passion for ferreting out language that inspires and rings true. She also works as an editor and writing coach, assisting people in discovering and crafting their unique voice. Karina holds an MFA in Writing and Consciousness from the California Institute of Integral Studies and a BA in English Literature from UC Berkeley.
Becca HeislerProgram Associate (JOFEE Fellow)
Becca is Wilderness Torah’s second JOFEE Fellow and Youth Program Associate. Originally from Chicago, she discovered her passion for the intersection of Judaism and nature exploration at OSRUI, a Jewish camp in Wisconsin. It was there that she cultivated her love of nature and Judaism as both a camper and counselor/trip leader, and she knew that the intersection of those two loves would be her calling.
Becca has worked extensively with Hillel, Tufts Wilderness Orientation, and Tufts Mountain Club. After graduating with degrees in Environmental Studies and Math, she served as a program coordinator for Tufts Wilderness Orientation and then swapped coasts for the Urban Adamah fellowship. She is overflowing with gratitude to serve as a JOFEE Fellow at Wilderness Torah and thrilled to be a part of the vibrant Bay Area Jewish community.
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.
Adam Edell is an alumnus of Adamah at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center with Zelig Golden. Shortly after moving to the Bay Area in 2006, he launched a site for Hazon’s national CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, which led to the first Sukkot on the Farm. Adam was also chair of the Sukkot on the Farm Festival planning committee in 2009 and 2010.
Adam is a garden-based nutrition educator for children and adults. Adam’s profound joys come from witnessing the connections people make to themselves, each other, and the Earth, as they constantly seek new meaning in Jewish ritual.
Dr. Jonathan Rosenfield
Dr. Jonathan Rosenfield works to protect aquatic ecosystems, endangered species, and freshwater sources as a Conservation Biologist for The Bay Institute and president of SalmonAID. He is a Wilderness First Responder and a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School’s Outdoor Educator training program. He integrates his passion for wilderness and living systems with his evolving spiritual practice.
Jon helped found and define Wilderness Torah and for two years played an integral role in creating Wilderness Torah programs and building the organization. Jon graduated from Cornell University and holds a PhD in biology from the University of New Mexico.