Families at Tu B’Shvat

GENERAL INFO
FAMILY OFFERINGS
MEET THE MENTORS

General Info

Below is information about our family programs from 2017.

All children and teens must be accompanied by an adult. This is not a stand alone program for youth.

Tu B’Shvat in the Redwoods is a family-friendly event, and we encourage families to join us! We cultivate a welcoming family-friendly environment with a vibrant youth village, believing that it truly does “take a village to raise a child.” We seek to create an atmosphere where tots, children, and teens receive the support they need to find their unique place within the community, and enjoy the wonders of the forest.

During the community seder in the morning, experienced mentors will take youth ages 4–13 on active Tu B’shvat-themed adventures, modeled after our B’hootz and B’naiture programs. There is also a Sprout Corner for ages 0–3. Teens over 13 participate in the seder with the whole village. In the afternoon, all youth rejoin their family and weave into our whole-village lunch and afternoon programming. Please see below for more information.

Please note that, while we provide supervision and programming, all parents and guardians are responsible for knowing where their children and teens are at all times.

Contact Us with any questions about our Tu B’Shvat youth programs. We hope to see your family in the redwoods!

Tu B'Shvat Family

Family Offerings

Read below for information on our offerings for families and each age group.

Tu B'Shvat Family Offerings
Families are encouraged to join for the entire festival. Youth ages 4–13 will be taken on adventures into the forest for the morning and will rejoin their families at 12:30 for lunch and afternoon offerings.

Enjoy an afternoon together at one of our many family-friendly activities. There will be something fun for everyone between a Musical Journey with Octopretzel, roasting Bay Nuts over a fire, tree-themed games, and more!

We invite our littlest village members to celebrate the birthday of the trees at our Sprout Corner. We’ll create a cozy space and sprout parent volunteers will lead simple activities, stories, and songs during part of the community seder. We welcome your creativity! All Sprouts must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
PLEASE NOTE: Youth tickets for Pre-K to grade 4 are now sold out!

Modeled after our B’hootz Program, youth ages 4–10 enjoy active Tu B’shvat-themed adventures led by our outstanding mentors. We provide structured activity and supervision blended with space for creative, spontaneous play and exploration.

Youth will spend their morning exploring, playing games, crafting, and connecting to the trees, themselves, our mentors, and each other. In the afternoon, they will rejoin the whole village for lunch and family-friendly offerings.

Whether they’re enrolled in B’naiture or curious to check out our programming for the first time, youth in 5th, 6th and 7th grades are invited to come join our B’naiture mentors for a morning adventure before integrating into the rest of the village at lunch and for family-friendly afternoon offerings.

Teens are invited to participate in the seder and offerings. If you would like to talk about your teen helping with the seder or children’s program, please inquire.

Families with at least one child receive 20% off the entire party’s registration fee.

Families with youth enrolled in B’hootz, B’naiture, or Shomrim receive a 30% discount off the entire family’s registration fee.

Meet the 2017 Mentors

Read below for information about our mentors.

Jonathan Furst

Jonathan is an outdoor educator, congregational leader, and part-time shepherd. Since childhood, his deepest religious experiences have occurred outdoors. He delights in sharing the spiritual and wilderness practices that have transformed his life.

For more than ten years Jonathan has taught nature awareness classes in schools, family camps, and other venues throughout the Bay Area. He also serves as the maggid (spiritual facilitator/storyteller) for Keneset HaLev in San Francisco. He is a co-counselor, a teacher in the Reclaiming earth-based spiritual tradition, and leader of interfaith kirtans. He lives on a permaculture farm in Cazadero and gladly travels down for the opportunity to teach others how to reintegrate into the wild community.

Jonathan Furst
Mathew Harmon

Mathew Harmon

Mathew is a musician, educator, and naturalist from Santa Cruz, California. He loves spending time in nature, surfing, and working on music with his many musical projects, and is very excited to join the B’hootz team this year!

Mathew has worked with children in various capacities, both as a mentor for the Wild Child Outdoor School and currently as a mentor for autistic teens. Mathew is a passionate music teacher with an AA in Music from Cabrillo College and is inspired by traditional Jewish music and nigunim (wordless melodies). He brings songs, dances, and joyful musicality to his work with B’hootz. Mathew has always been closely connected with the earth and receives immense inspiration from the natural world. He has recently deepened his scope of Jewish Nature education with the Wilderness Torah Training institute and is thrilled to share his love of the outdoors with young people.

Jess Lerner

After several years as an environmental educator facilitating deep nature connection and experiential learning with kids on the East Coast, Jess discovered the extraordinary existence of Wilderness Torah when she moved to the Bay Area. Jess was wildly inspired by the youth programs, and could not imagine a better way to integrate nature awareness and Jewish values.

In addition to leading programs as a naturalist educator, her background includes founding and directing a green living consulting business, working with conservation biologists to help protect endangered bird species, helping spearhead local environmental campaigns with short films she directed and produced, and training in the 8 Shields mentoring model. She holds an MA in Environmental Studies from Brown University and recently received her California Naturalist certification from the University of California.

Jess Lerner
Rose Rothfeder

Rose Rothfeder

Rose has spent much of her life cultivating a connection to and love for the wilderness. Raised in the great outdoors of Utah, she has been lucky to walk many miles through the forest, the desert, the mountain, and more. Early on, Rose found a passion for working with youth and delights to share in their playful and vibrant spirit. She has spent several years in the practice of K-12 facilitation and enrichment in the arts, music, mindfulness, and yoga, and continues to learn from the young ones.

Rose is grateful to the work of Wilderness Torah that has been instrumental in discovering her authentic connection to Judaism and her heritage. She is thrilled to join the mentor team and continue to be of service. She is joyful to share the empowerment and healing in recognizing ourselves as part of the Earth.

Daniel Schoen

A five-hour Bar Mitzvah co-led by his Hebrew school teacher and a Zen monk began Daniel’s journey with rites of passage work. Travels around the globe, exposure to earth based spirituality and extended time in the wilderness have fueled Daniel’s passion for community based human development. Now, as an adult with years of working as an experiential educator, Daniel supports young people through their own unique path into adolescence.

Daniel holds a BA in Nature and Culture from UC Davis and is a certified Wilderness First Responder. Daniel is in his second year of studying deep nature connection and cultural mentoring at Weaving Earth, an immersion program in Sonoma County. Daniel loves tracking and bird language, playing piano and turning off his cell phone for Shabbat.

Daniel Schoen

Testimonials

It is the only Jewish event I’ve attended where I feel like genuine love, thought, and effort goes into making it a comfortable space for families of young children.
Parent at Tu B'shvat in the Redwoods 2016