B’hootz Elements

Learn more about Shoreshim (grades K–2), Etzim (grades 3–5),
our Parent Program, and Mentors

AGE GROUP
PARENT PROGRAM
MEET THE MENTORS

Age Group

B’HOOTZ: GRADES K–5

Your child may begin their journey in B’hootz Shoreshim (Roots),
exploring through play and imagination the wonder of creation through a Jewish lens.

Your child can then progress into B’hootz Etzim (Trees),
gaining deeper knowledge of the relationship between Judaism and the cycles of nature while learning wilderness skills.

Shoreshim: Roots

For students in grades K–2. Nourish the roots of Jewish nature connection.

Shoreshim is an adventurous, creative, and playful program, full of imaginative storytelling, singing, and games that embody the Jewish lessons of each session.


Etzim: Trees

For students in grades 3–5. Grow the branches and leaves of Jewish nature connection.

Etzim brings Jewish concepts to life by connecting mind, heart, and body through adventure; hands-on skills like fire making, wild food processing, basketry, and whittling; tracking, and nature connection skills.


Parent Program

Parents can join the nature-connection journey too! And a child’s experience at B’hootz improves when parents get involved.

The parent program is a great way to stay connected to your child’s journey in B’hootz! Parents are invited to join at several points throughout the season, including time in a parent learning group and family days with your kids. Learn more and see the schedule.

Meet the Mentors

Learn more about some of our amazing mentors who bring Judaism to life with the seasons!

Jonathan Furst
Jonathan FurstEtzim Lead Mentor
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.

Mathew Harmon
Mathew HarmonShoreshim Mentor
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.

Faryn-Beth Hart
Faryn-Beth Hart Shoreshim Lead Mentor
It wasn’t until Faryn was invited by a mentor to take off her shoes, go outside, and say Modah Ani (the morning gratitude blessing) that she began to understand her Self, not only as a Jew but as nature. She has worked the soil in India, South Africa, Israel, and the United States supporting social justice efforts. She began to weave Jewish values into her environmental education when she worked as a farm educator at Eden Village Camp as well as a service learning trip leader for the Jewish Farm School.

Faryn is completing her professional registration in horticultural therapy and has designed a program that works with women and adolescents in residential eating disorder treatment. Faryn is the founder of Harticulture, nature-based child care using horticultural therapy. She also runs a Waldorf-inspired summer camp. Faryn has spent most of her adult life outside, learning and listening, and is committed to facilitating fun and restorative nature connection.

Jess Lerner
Jess LernerEtzim Mentor
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.

Rose Rothfeder
Rose RothfederShoreshim Mentor
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.

Fred Werner
Fred WernerMentor
An active member in the Wilderness Torah community since its beginnings, Fred Werner is thrilled to be passing on spiritually and ecologically relevant Jewish wisdom to the next generation.

Fred has taught science to kindergartners through college undergrads for over a decade. He leads bird-watching outings, orients by the birds, plants, and other creatures he can identify, and brings his library of field guides, microscopes, binoculars, and factoids to every B’hootz adventure. Fred earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan and his master’s degree at Cornell.

REGISTER NOW