Our Mentors

Learn more about the amazing mentors who bring Judaism
to life with the seasons!

EAST BAY B’HOOTZ MENTORS
B’NAITURE MENTORS
TEEN MENTORS

East Bay B’hootz Mentors

Brianna Sommer
Brianna SommerEast Bay B'hootz Mentor
Brianna graduated with an MSc in Outdoor, Environmental, and Sustainability Education from the University of Edinburgh, focusing her dissertation on Eco-Jewish education. During the masters, she was elected President of the University’s Jewish society, as well as the Executive Officer for the Israel Engagement society, in which she helped build a stronger, more active community for students in Edinburgh and beyond. In 2018, Brianna started her work with the JCC East Bay as Assistant Director for their after-school program Club J, as well as the Director of the summer camp, Camp Tzofim, in which she uses experiential learning and leading to help young people explore and flourish their relationship with the world through a Jewish lens.

B’naiture Mentors

Daniel Schoen
Daniel SchoenB'naiture Boys Lead Mentor
Daniel is returning for his third year as a mentor in the B’Naiture program. An epic Bar Mitzvah led by his Hebrew school teacher and a Zen monk jump started Daniel’s journey with rites-of-passage work. Travels around the globe and extended time in the wilderness have fueled Daniel’s passion for community-based human development. Now, as an older person with years of learning from his mistakes, Daniel supports young people on their own brilliant and unique path into adolescence.

Daniel completed a degree in Nature & Culture at UC Davis and was incredibly blessed to study deep nature connection with Weaving Earth for two years. The Baal Shem Tov, the ancient Hebrew poets, and his grandmother Pauline are all huge inspirations in Daniel’s Jewish learning adventure. In addition to B’naiture, Daniel directs a forest kindergarten class in the Oakland hills and lives/creates at Canticle Farm — a multi-racial and interfaith community in Fruitvale.

Daniel Jubelirer
Daniel JubelirerB'naiture Mentor
Youth mentorship and outdoor education have been important to Daniel since he first experienced a transformative outdoor program as a middle schooler. Originally from North Carolina, he is passionate about climate change and climate justice, Jewish ritual and community, facilitation, coaching, dance, making chocolate and playing music. Daniel participated in the Urban Adamah fellowship in 2015 and continues to work in Jewish education spaces today. He has been involved in organizing and social change work for the past 10 years, with a focus on reproductive rights, climate justice and human rights organizing. Daniel lives in Oakland, CA. Besides serving as a B’Naiture Mentor, he works as a coach for changemakers and is co-leading a youth delegation to the UN Climate Talks.
Rivkah Khanin
Rivkah KhaninB'naiture Mentor
Rivkah grew up in New York City, obsessively reading animal encyclopedias, books about the Amazon, and practically living at the Museum of Natural History and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. While a naturalist at heart, she has a rigorous and varied background in the visual arts, and completed a BFA in Graphic Design with a concentration in Sustainability & Social Practice at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2012. She currently serves on the council of the Mycological Society of San Francisco, and spends most of her time pruning fruit trees, designing publications, harvesting and processing whatever is in season, eating pastries, rock climbing, and marveling at the interconnectedness of everything. It took some time for Rivkah to identify and trust what lit her up in this life, and is excited about supporting young people through times of transition by offering skills and ways of connection.
Cedar Ranney
Cedar RanneyB'naiture Mentor
Cedar (they/them) grew up in Minnesota and graduated from Macalester College in 2014 with a major in Classical Languages (Hebrew and Arabic) and a minor in Environmental Studies. Shortly after graduating, they migrated to the Bay Area to connect with earth-based Jewish community and begin studying ecofeminist Jewish ritual leadership with the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute. After four years of training, they were ordained in July 2018. As a Kohenet, Cedar is passionate about making Jewish wisdom accessible, inclusive, liberatory and engaging.

Cedar’s creative and professional work dances at the intersection of art, spirituality, ancestors and social change. In addition to their work with B’Naiture, Cedar teaches Hebrew at a local synagogue, works as a Digital Storyteller with their company Sacred Witness Media, creates and performs liturgical and loop music, and studies movement-based expressive art therapy with Tamalpa Institute. Cedar is beyond thrilled to be supporting B’Naiture’s teens as a mentor and looks forward to continuing to weave our community with song, story, wilderness skills and earth-based Jewish wisdom!

Teen Shoreshim Apprentice Mentors

Teen Mentors

Our teen apprentice mentors play a unique role in our youth programs as intermediaries between youth and adults. While they are still in touch with the magic of childhood, they are also stepping into responsibility for the mizvot (Jewish teachings on how to live responsibly and compassionately). Each teen mentor is paired with an experienced adult mentor and helps lead a group of kids grades K–7.
Find out more about our Teen Shomrim.

YOUTH PROGRAMS