Mentoring & Four Worlds Approach

Mentoring Approach

B’hootz provides long-term mentorship for youth in grades K–5 of any denomination or observance level. We welcome all who seek to integrate nature-based exploration with Jewish spirituality, tradition, and wisdom.

B’hootz brings Judaism to life through the seasons.

Tracking the Jewish calendar in concert with local ecology, our four-worlds, holistic mentoring approach helps children learn with body, heart, mind, and spirit that Judaism is intimately connected to the natural world.

We weave games and crafts with Jewish themes, songs, stories, and teachings.

For example, we learn about Passover with a wilderness wandering game followed by matzah-making over the fire to connect the holiday to the Exodus or the story of Moses.

We aim to inspire youth to engage with tradition in ways that are relevant, meaningful, creative, and fun.

We guide children on a journey into deep nature connection and invite them to cultivate a sacred, playful, and caring relationship with place.

Meeting in the same grove of trees each week helps children develop intimacy with local ecology and seasonal rhythms.

We encourage youth to feel their connection with this ecosystem through activities such as: mimicking animal forms—fox walking, owl eyes, deer ears and hitbodedut—rekindling the ancient Jewish practice of spending quiet time alone in nature.

We also mentor age-appropriate wilderness skills such as building fires, carving, and crafting to connect with local materials.

We believe that each child has a unique learning journey.

Adult and teen mentors carefully track each child to provide them with the support, connection, and challenges that support their growth.

For this reason, we maintain a 6:1 child to mentor ratio.


B’hootz Four Worlds

B’hootz aims to meet the needs of the whole child, not just their brain! Our curriculum is balanced to nurture a child’s body, emotions, mind, and spirit. We believe this is how humans learn best.

Assiyah (Physical)

  • Connecting to nature through games and other activities
  • Adventuring in the wilderness
  • Learning hand crafts such as cordage, carving, and basketry
  • Developing survival skills such as fire and shelter building
  • Identifying, harvesting, and preparing wild, edible, and medicinal plants for food and medicine

Yetzirah (Emotional)

  • Learning about core Jewish values as opportunities for authentic connection
  • Cultivating self-awareness through sharing circles, journaling, and self-reflection
  • Building group and peer connection through games, adventures, and more
  • Exploring challenges that build confidence and foster growth

Briyah (Intellectual)

  • Learning and experiencing Jewish calendar through the seasons
  • Exploring Jewish holidays, weekly Torah portions, and core Jewish stories from around the world
  • Singing and practicing Jewish songs and basic Jewish prayers
  • Learning about local plants, animals, and ecology

Atzilut (Spiritual)

  • Learning fundamentals of Jewish spirituality
  • Experiencing Hitbodedut, sitting alone in nature
  • Practicing sensory awareness activities

Sample Schedule

B’hootz days are active and engaging and provide youth opportunities to experience Judaism as vibrant, nature-connected, relevant and fun.

Sample B’hootz pod schedule during the celebration of Sukkot (fall harvest festival):

Arrival Activities:

  • Build fairy houses
  • Active ice breakers!

Opening Circle:

  • Sing Modeh Ani (Jewish gratitude prayer) and offer gratitudes from our week
  • Morning stretches

Morning Nature Connection Adventure:

  • Build individual Sukkahs (temporary shelter celebrating the harvest holiday)
  • Go on a Sukkah tour!


  • Hear a story about Honi the Circle Maker’s prayer for rain

Wilderness Skills Development: 

  • Make Lulavs (gathering of plants symbolizing rain prayers) from native California plants
  • Practice Hitbodedut (making oneself alone in nature)
  • Share challenges of spending time alone

Closing Circle:

  • Share intentions for the week ahead
  • Embodying rain sounds