Introduction to Earth-Based Judaism

An Online Learning Series with Rabbi Zelig Golden and Guest Educators

Spring 2022 Course Complete

Thank you for joining us!


Dive into the Torah and cosmology of earth-based Judaism in this online course. Join Rabbi Zelig Golden and expert community leaders as they reveal, at the heart of earth-based Judaism, the holy work of village-building. This spiritual medicine ignites personal growth and fosters vibrant community. 

Develop meaningful daily practices rooted in earth-based Jewish rituals, ancient wisdom, and the elements. Study in whole-group and intimate chavruta (partnered) settings while exploring how nature and Judaism intersect to renew our human purpose. 

Approach to Diversity and Inclusion:

This course is open to adults of all ages, identities, abilities, and experience levels. You do not have to be Jewish to attend! Wilderness Torah creates a pluralistic community for participants across the spectrum of religious observance. We do not tolerate any forms of bigotry or discrimination. We invite you to come with an open mind, a willing heart, and the permission to openly share your needs. We are committed to continuously working to dismantle our own biases towards perpetuating systems of oppression. We encourage your feedback on how we can continue to be more inclusive to all.

Registration is Now Closed.


This course showed me a more spiritual connection between Wilderness and Judaism. It forged a deeper connection between our traditions and history. It introduced me to practices that enhance my prayer and spirituality. This is not the end for me. My hope is to someday be a physical part of Wilderness Torah programming. 

2021 Course Participant

I came into the course really excited to learn more about Earth-Based Judaism, and I adored the course! During the course, I always felt a sense of calmness and peace – even while I was being pushed to view things differently. I plan to still keep up some of the practices that I learned during the course, and I would love to continue to dig deeper with Earth-Based Judaism.

2021 Course Participant

Class Schedule

2022 Dates & Course Topics

Click the + below to read each class description.

What new story is needed to heal the planet, our communities, and ourselves? Earth-based Judaism is a powerful doorway through which you can reconnect with nature, reveal ancient understanding, and reawaken a new paradigm. In transitioning into a new paradigm, we must embrace new stories and new approaches that renew Judaism and our own lives. Join us as we begin our course journey by exploring our most authentic relationships with ourselves, our communities, the earth, and Spirit.

Facilitated by Rabbi Zelig Golden

EXERCISE: Hitbodedut (solo nature time)

We will explore hitbodedut (solo nature time) to reconnect with the healing rhythm of earth and Spirit.

What anchors your life rhythms? Jewish time is profound in its relationship to time as sacred,  synchronizing daily, weekly, and annual life events with nature’s cycles. The Hebrew calendar simultaneously attunes us to Jewish tradition and the natural world. Join us as we explore the Hebrew calendar as Judaism’s natural operating system that anchors us in life’s rhythms, natural cycles, and the medicine that Judaism has to offer as we spiral through time. 

Facilitated by Kohenet Riv Shapiro  

EXERCISE: Hebrew Phenology Wheel

The rhythms of the Hebrew calendar have always been deeply rooted in the cycles of nature. This week’s exercise offers a guide to restoring and deepening this connection through phenology, the study of how an ecosystem responds to the changing of the seasons. Phenology “wheels” are interactive lunar calendars that aid our awareness of these shifts through recording observations like sunrise and sunset time, temperature and weather, and plant and animal behavior. Kohenet Riv will share their personal story of connecting with this practice in a Hebrew calendar context over a year of pandemic and concrete tools for relating to Jewish time through the natural world. Participants will receive a wheel template for the month of Iyar and resources for establishing an ongoing practice. For a sneak peek, check out Riv’s phenology wheels at

Thursday, May 19 | BREAK. No class.

We will explore what it means to tend a sacred fire and how this practice can offer us a space for deep integration and reflection in our lives. We will learn the ingredients we need to make a successful and safe fire, and how we can build a sacred fire place — a safe and beautiful container to house our fires. We will look at our growing fear of fires and how fire suppression is not the answer to the dilemma we find ourselves in. We will also have the opportunity to make our own fire in our home or outside on the land, and embark on a mini-adventure to harvest all we need to create our own fire.

Facilitated by Asher Lyons

EXERCISE: Fire on the Altars
Fire has always been a central element of Jewish practice and an essential marker of Jewish time and space. This week we will ask participants to try-on fire ritual as an instrument for Jewish prayer.

How does our relationship to the natural world connect us to God? What is our role as guardians of water? What is the particular Jewish orientation to this human role?  Join us to explore Judaism’s unique relationship to rain, water, and drought. We will explore how we can reclaim water for profound healing, and will discover how rain becomes central to the Hebrew calendar, Jewish prayer, urging us to be water guardians in the time of climate change.

Facilitated by Kohenet Rebekah Erev

EXERCISE: Water Altars, Rain Prayers

Water has always been a central element of Jewish practice. This week we will ask participants to try-on a water ritual as an instrument of transformation.

From where do we source our human nature? The Torah repeatedly demonstrates that our most fundamental relationship is to the Creator through Creation. Virtually all of our archetypal ancestors find their gifts in the wilderness, and the wilderness provides a unique role in our self-discovery as earthlings. Join us to explore human capacities to commune with Creation and the critical role of nature in supporting us each to find our innate, God-given gifts. 

Facilitated by Rabbi Jill Hammer

Exercise to be announced soon.

How do we serve with our gifts? Part of the wound inherent in the disconnection related to exile and modernity is the challenge to embody our spiritual traditions. Earth-Based Judaism orients us to how we enact and embody our spiritual traditions on earth. Join us to explore rebuilding village life through our integration and embodiment of honoring sacred time, serving community with our unique gifts, building our village with our hands and the gifts from the earth, all while liberating ourselves from the systems of oppression that engendered our disconnection in the first place. Come ready to explore your unique role(s) and take this work into your life! 

Facilitated by Rabbi Zelig Golden.

Rabbi Zelig is such a skilled teacher, and for me, as a teacher, I learn a great deal each time I experience his teaching. I love the way he assembles each lesson; it’s a beautiful blend of story and interpretation, clarity and imagination.

2021 Course Participant

I would definitely recommend this course! It closed the circle of my lifelong spiritual journey by connecting my Jewish roots to my feminist, nature based, witchy, adult spiritual practice. I discovered that my indigenous Jewish heritage is intricately interwoven with my connection to the earth, my energetic communication with the trees, and the spiritual practice my community has been co-creating on our own for decades.

2021 Course Participant



Registration Fee: 

  • $90 Early Bird: (Available through March 31)
  • $280:  (Will support the Financial Accessibility of others)
  • $180: Regular Price

Financial Accessibility: To make our programs as accessible as possible, while understanding that our options may still not support some, we also offer the below discount options. Please fill out this form to apply for the discount. 

  • $135: For parents of enrollees in B’hootz, B’naiture, or Neshama Quest
  • $72: For people of color, Jews of color, LGBTQA+ and/or low income folks


Registration is nonrefundable. Please see our cancellation policy for more information.

Registration is Now Closed.

Your Teachers

Wilderness Torah is thrilled to welcome some incredible Kohanot and Rabbis as guest teachers for the Introduction to Earth-Based Judaism course.

Rabbi Zelig Golden

Kohenit Riv Shapiro

Asher Lyons

Kohenet Rebekah Erev

Rabbi Jill Hammer


This course is open to adults of all ages, identities, abilities, and experience levels. We actively invite all interested people across the spectrum of faith and spiritual practices to learn with us. Wilderness Torah creates a pluralistic community for participants across the spectrum of religious observance. We continually work to become more inclusive and anti-racist.We invite you to come with an open mind, a willing heart, and the permission to openly share your needs. We are committed to continuously working to dismantle our own biases towards perpetuating systems of oppression. We encourage your feedback on how we can continue to be more inclusive to all.

Live on Zoom: Link and Password provided upon enrollment.

Yes. We will be recording each session, and a link to the video recording will be sent out to all participants within a couple days of that session.

Please reach out to to request subtitles or an ASL interpreter, transcription

  • Journal, pen, pencil
  • Any seating arrangement, clothes, or food and drinks you need to show up comfortably
  • Good internet connection
  • Computer with webcam (and charger)
  • Headphones (with a microphone)

We’re so sorry if you can’t attend! Unfortunately, we are unable to offer refunds at this time. 

In extenuating circumstances (such as serious illness, family emergency, etc.), where we are contacted prior to the first day of the course, we will offer credit that you can use toward future events. Read More Details Here.

This program is brought to you in part by our generous donor: