Festival Leadership Training

Join Wilderness Torah to build the village for our Passover festival. The Village Leadership Training is an in depth curriculum that trains you in earth-based Jewish traditions and community leadership as part of a wonderful cohort of volunteer leaders.

  • Help plan and co-create Wilderness Torah festivals, building vibrant village life
  • Learn valuable community leadership, ritual and facilitation skills
  • Get training in earth-based Judaism content
  • Bring your creativity alive in the village with real-time leadership experience
Wilderness Torah prioritizes empowering new leadership. We do this through the Lev(heart), a circle of up-and-coming leaders that provide a cultural engine for each Wilderness Torah village experience. Mentored by more experienced Wilderness Torah leaders, the Lev forms a collaborative circle that each hold specific cultural roles and together generate the holistic village magic. Lev members learn leadership and facilitation skills, Jewish knowledge and approaches to ritual, that empower them to co-create festival experiences.

New this year, Heads of Spaces(HOS) will lead the village spaces, more deeply invoking our collective creativity. Especially for those with previous Lev experience, this provides an opportunity to exercise your leadership by curating space-related programs and culture-making. Duties include curating programming, recruiting teachers & educators, reviewing content, and managing the space and offering during the event.

All spaces require you to arrive to the desert on April 23 and assist in the construction and decoration of your space (materials provided), as well as assisting in the deconstruction and breakdown on April 29.

Compensation for the 14 hour spaces is $500, a free ticket for yourself and and assistant (or teacher) of your choosing

Compensation for the 4 hour spaces is $200, a free ticket for yourself and an assistant (or teacher) of your choosing

New Spaces This Year!
This year our village grows and we offer several new spaces. These spaces are broken out into the time commitments: 14 hour programing and 4 hour programming.

14 Hours Programming

  • Queer Space
  • Ancestral Connection
  • Healing Oasis
  • Music & Movement
  • Beit Midrash

4 Hours Programming

  • Tea Lounge
  • Red Tent
  • Men’s Lodge

Lev and Heads of Spaces (HOS) receive training in:

  • Festival planning
  • Earth-based Jewish teachings
  • Regenerative Community Design & Village Building
  • Nature connection, storytelling, and personal growth
  1. Meaningful Community: Make and deepen friendships and become a part of the Wilderness Torah Core Community.
  2. Leadership Training: Learn leadership and village/community-building skills such as public speaking, conflict resolution, peace making, group and ritual facilitation, and nature connection.
  3. Jewish Learning: Learn about earth-based Judaism, specific teachings about Passover, and general Jewish practice including prayers and songs.
  4. Learn the 8 Shields Model: Learn this collaborative cultural design model based on the cycles of nature and indigenous knowledge systems from across the globe. By joining the Lev, you will learn and embody the 8 Shields model of cultural creation. (We are grateful to the 8 Shields Institute for their partnership and mentorship in the 8 Shield Model.)
  5. Create Something Wonderful: Help build on a vision to connect Jewish life back to its ancestral roots on the land. This year in particular we are deepening, evolving, and open to new sparks of creativity and vision.
  6. Attend Festival for Free: In exchange for the service you give before and during the festival your ticket will be fully comped, including all pre- and post-festival time onsite.
The entire Lev and Heads of Spaces(HOS) meets in person once before the festival, and once after the festival for a debrief and gratitude celebration.

Below is detailed information about the commitment for Passover in the Desert 2019.

Participation requires full commitment to the following:

  1. Full Participation From Beginning to End:Lev members and Heads of Spaces are required to arrive no later than Wednesday, April 24 at 3 pm and stay onsite until Monday, April 29 at 4 pm. While not required, the Lev is encouraged stay overnight on Monday, April 29 for an afternoon at the Surprise Canyon Oasis and a decompression campfire at night. If available to stay, you can then head home Tuesday morning with the breakdown crew.
  2. Deeper Trainings:During our pre-festival time we will be participating in even deeper trainings, ritual, and nature connection on the land, allowing the Lev and HOS to be fully settled and prepared by the time the main festival begins.
  3. Pre-Festival Tasks:Each lev member and HOS will have 1–3 clearly communicated tasks to prepare for the festival. The festival manager will be discussing these with each member at the beginning of the training process.
  4. Attend One Required Pre-Festival Village Council Training and several one-on-one or small group meetings
  5. March 1 & 2, 2019 the village council leadership training program held in Sebastopol, CA.

  6. Your Festival Service:Each Lev member will act as a Rosh (head) for a tribe, as well as holding 2–3 tasks associated with your specific Lev role. In holding your Lev role, you will provide a direct feedback line from participants to program staff as well as support for program staff related to your role.

    Heads of spaces (as stated above) will hold responsibility of their space, their hired
    teachers and participant volunteers.

  7. Attend Our Gratitude Feast and Celebration: A week or so after the festival we get together to celebrate our amazing team and debrief the festival in the East Bay.
  8. Give Us Feedback: Fill out the festival evaluation surveys so that we may continue to refine and deepen this learning journey.

Lev and Head of Space applicants must have attended the multi-day festival for which they are applying, and ideally have attended at least one other festival. Applications for the Lev and HOS will be accepted on a rolling basis until January 20, 2019.

Please make sure you have read over the commitments and are available for the dates listed before filling out an application.

The evaluation will be based on your:

  • Application
  • Previous festival experience
  • A possible conversation with the WT Festival Manager
  • Collective agreement from Wilderness Torah staff

We will respond to applications on a rolling basis. We plan to fill all Passover Lev positions by February 5, 2018.

Being on the lev was a transformative experience for me. I built a lot of confidence through this process, and left feeling freer in spirit, holding a deeper sense of belonging in the Wilderness Torah community, and more aware of the gifts I can bring to community work and leadership.
Lev Member, Passover in the Desert 2015


Wilderness Torah planted in me a seed of possibility that I could be a leader in new and innovate ways that I never thought possible. Through the opportunity to sit on the village council I expanded my capacity to facilitate meetings, delegate duties, and communicate effectively to get projects done. The skills I’m learning through Wilderness Torah I harvest in my professional and personal life. I think Wilderness Torah holds the key to a powerful new way of organizing our Jewish community.
Village Council member, 2012 Passover in the Desert