B’hootz is an experiential mentorship program that focuses on embodied, nature-based learning — we weave Jewish teachings, story, and song with wilderness skills, nature awareness, challenges, and community building experiences. There are no walls, no desks, and usually no paper. The forest is our classroom.
Wilderness Torah youth programs do not replace synagogue Hebrew school education, where students formally learn skills such as Hebrew, Torah, and prayer. Rather, Wilderness Torah’s programs engage youth in the natural world through Jewish stories, teachings, songs, and prayers to help youth learn about themselves, become more self-reliant, and deepen their relationship to nature and Jewish tradition.
For many families, our programs are their stand-alone source of Jewish education, while roughly ⅓ additionally enroll their children at Hebrew schools or Jewish day schools.Young people who come with very little background in Jewish learning often reflect feeling a newfound sense of Jewish identity through learning prayers, songs, and understanding the Hebrew calendar. Children with more Jewish education background often reflect on the balance our programs provide through embodied experience to the intellectually focused school environment and discover an enlivened relationship to their faith.