A Teen Leadership Program

Applications for the 2024-25 year cohort will open this spring.


Shomrim (“Guardians”) is an immersive year-long Bay Area Jewish teen leadership program where teens immerse in wilderness, gain life skills, build peer community, and learn Jewish values that guide them through life. Teens learn important life lessons that deepen their confidence in taking on new responsibilities to care for themselves and others.

With wholeness as the primary goal, Shomrim supports healthy teen development, which supports well-being and ability to navigate life challenges.

Program Includes:

  • A 3-day backpacking trip at the beginning of the year-long program. 
  • Monthly fire circles where teens will gather with mentors to explore seasonal Jewish teachings and learn valuable skills based on the Hebrew month, holidays, and Torah stories.
  • Peer group community building that draws upon Jewish wisdom traditions to ground our experience and bring attention toward the awe inspiring world we live in. 
  • A week-long backpacking trip in the High Sierra mountain wilderness at the end of the year-long program! 

Key Program Dates

  • Kick-off Backpacking Trip: August 11-13, 2023
  • Culminating 7-day backpacking trip: June 18-24. 2024
Thursdays:  5–8:00 pm PT Make-up Days (save, in case of weather)
September 7, 2023 February 15, 2024 February 29, 2024
October 12, 2023 March 14, 2024 June 6, 2024
November 16, 2023 April 18, 2024
December 14, 2023 May 16, 2024
January 25, 2024 May 30, 2024
A group photo of teenagers in front of a fire at our Bay Area Jewish teen leadership

Pillars of the Program

Mental Health & Wellbeing

  • Increase self-awareness and self esteem
  • Gain coping skills with failures, anxiety, and depression
  • Learn to receive support from peers

Jewish Connection

  • Discover and explore relationship to Jewish identity
  • Experience Jewish life through ritual, study, and Jewish peer community building
  • Learn about Hebrew calendar cycles and Torah stories


  • Experience challenges that facilitate growth and learning with guided mentorship 
  • Strengthen decision making, communication, and conflict resolution skills
  • Learn to build and lead peer community

Stewardship & Purpose

  • Gain greater sense of purpose and service
  • Deepen connection to nature and practice of environmental care
  • Take time to pause and reflect on personal life goals

Inclusive Community:

  • Embrace differing views to grow healthy, compassionate relationships.
  • Engage with other teens who identify as Jews, different religious affiliations, and/or those whose Jewish identity feels complicated.
  • Connect with a diverse cohort of teens that welcomes interfaith families, gender expansive youth, teens who identify as LGBTQ+, and people of color.

In recent years we’ve seen increasing danger of wildfires, partly due to climate change and a century of suppression of the natural fire ecology of California. We will be monitoring wildfires and smoke closely, changing the area we will be traveling through if needed, and rescheduling in the rare case that no area is safe for us to travel.

All food served by Wilderness Torah is kosher, except for a few small exceptions. In making its food choices, Wilderness Torah prepares food according to the highest ethical standards, including kosher, local, organic, seasonal, humane, and socially just. Wilderness Torah prioritizes sourcing fresh, unprocessed foods, and when choosing processed or packaged foods, aims to purchase certified kosher foods. Wilderness Torah may at times prioritize certain values, such as local or organic, over kosher-certified. When such a choice is warranted, we will share such decisions openly, and a kosher option will be available. Example: We purchased local, homemade, organic bagels that were not kosher but we had kosher bread choices available.

For other refund related questions, please see our cancellation policy.


Program Fees & Deadlines:

  • Early bird (first 3 to apply and register) :  $3400
  • Regular Fee: $3600
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: Extended – July 14, 2023

Registration Timeline

  • Parents begin the Application form
  • Teens fill out the Teen portion of the form (we encourage them to fill this out on their own)
  • Parents will receive an email to confirm receipt of the application. Applications will then be reviewed.
  • 1-2 weeks after application is submitted, check your email for follow up communication and an invitation to complete the registration process.
  • Complete the registration form.
  • Submit payment

Payment is required with registration. 

Participants will receive more information about location and logistics upon registration. 

Limited scholarships are available. As part of the application process, you will have the chance to indicate your interest.

Questions? Email

This program is supported by the Covenant Foundation