Our Mentors

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

B’HOOTZ MENTORS
B’NAITURE MENTORS
TEEN MENTORS

B’hootz Mentors

Daniella Aboody
Daniella AboodyEtzim Mentor
Daniella is our pioneer JOFEE (Jewish Outdoor, Food & Environmental Education) Fellow. When she first joined the Wilderness Torah tribe three years ago, she knew she was home. Daniella brings a deep love of community building, Earth-connection, and Jewish spirituality. She is an alumni of the Urban Adamah Fellowship, worked in groundwater conservation at Friends of the Earth Middle East, and was an educator at Urban Adamah and The Kitchen. She is particularly passionate about connecting others to the natural world and to their own sense of creativity, exploration, and wonder.

Daniella holds a BA in International Development and a minor in Dance from UC Berkeley.

Jonathan Furst
Jonathan FurstEtzim Lead Mentor & Peninsula B'hootz
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 HarmonPeninsula B'hootz 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.

Becca Heisler
Becca HeislerPeninsula B'hootz Mentor
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.

Becca graduated from Tufts with degrees in Environmental Studies and Mathematics. Outside of class, she led hiking trips and worked to cultivate dynamic Jewish community. The Urban Adamah fellowship initially brought her to the West Coast, and Becca is incredibly grateful for the chance to continue her time in the Bay bringing so many of her passions together while working for Wilderness Torah.

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 WernerEtzim Mentor
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.

B’naiture Mentors

Aya Baron
Aya BaronB'naiture Lead Mentor
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.

Daniel Schoen
Daniel SchoenB’naiture Lead Mentor
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.

Rebecca Schisler
Rebecca SchislerB'naiture Mentor
Rebecca discovered the magic of earth-based Jewish community at Eden Village Camp in 2012, where she worked for three years and developed a rites of passage program for teens. Her passions include regenerative culture, depth psychology and holistic health, and she is particularly interested in integrating spiritual practice, embodiment, and creative process. She found home in the world of rites-of-passage during a summer of threshold-crossing and vision questing with Golden Bridge and School of Lost Borders in Colorado upon her college graduation. In addition to working with B’naiture, Rebecca leads teen programs at Wilderness Torah festivals and co-facilitated a teen backpacking trip at Kallah in Colorado in 2016.

Rebecca holds a BA in Studio Art from Wesleyan University. She currently resides deep in the redwoods of Sonoma County, where she also teaches yoga and makes art.

Jenya Schneider
Jenya SchneiderB'naiture Mentor
Jenya comes to B’naiture with decades of experience being human. As an avid practitioner of natural and traditional skills, you may find her in forests foraging for food, medicine and dyes, milking goats and preparing labne for a Middle Eastern meal, or scraping hides in her backyard. She is an incessant tracer of the origins of things, especially of words and traditions.

Jenya graduated from Brown University with a BA in Religious Studies and an unofficial minor in Decolonial Studies. She garnered her earth skills at Headwaters Outdoor School in Mount Shasta, CA, where she also worked alongside midwives as an assistant and doula. She currently lives in Oakland with 15 roommates if you count the three goats, six chickens and two cats, and works as a lead mentor with Gaia Girls Passages.

John Wolfstone
John WolfstoneB'naiture Mentor
John Wolfstone hails from Colorado where he spent his youth gallivanting up rocky peaks and chasing many a critter deep into the woods, until he’d become so lost, he later claims, he was actually found.

For the past ten years, John has mentored youth into deep connection with their inner and outer wilds, using both the wonders of nature and the arts. He was a B’hootz mentor last year and led a Wilderness Torah teen backpacking trip at Kallah this past summer. He is currently a student of the Weaving Earth Relational Education program. When not in the wilderness, John is using his love of storytelling, often through video, writing, circus and song, to share narratives of a regenerative culture. See his other work.

Teen Shoreshim Apprentice Mentors

Teen Mentors
Our teen apprentice mentors play a unique role in our youth programs as intermediaries between youth and adults. While they are still in touch with the magic of childhood, they are also stepping into responsibility for the mizvot (Jewish teachings on how to live responsibly and compassionately). Each teen mentor is paired with an experienced adult mentor and helps lead a group of kids grades K–7.


Find out more about our Teen Shomrim.

YOUTH PROGRAMS