Our Mentors

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


B’hootz Mentors

Daniella Aboody
Daniella AboodyShoreshim Lead 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.

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.

Becca Heisler
Becca HeislerB'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. 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.

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 Boys 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 Girls Lead 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.

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.