Yom Kippur

Thank you to all who joined us for our 5784 Yom Kippur!

Retreat, Release & Renew for Yom Kippur

Join the Wilderness Torah community in Sonoma County for an earth-based Yom Kippur journey. We will gather at a beautiful space near Sebastopol for an overnight retreat co-facilitated by Rabbi Zelig Golden, Nathaniel Markman, Music Director, Suzannah Sosman, Hazanit, and other community musicians. Stay overnight or just for the day.

Retreat includes:

  • Multigenerational village in nature
  • Traditional Yom Kippur liturgy integrated with innovative, embodied ritual
  • Music, chanting, prayer, solo time on the land
  • Spiritual guidance for meaningful teshuvah (relational & spiritual return)
  • All-night sacred fire (air quality permitting)
  • Experiential youth programming during services
  • Delicious break fast meal

Dates & Time: Sunday, September 24, 3:00 pm – Monday, September 25, 9:30 pm

Location: Outdoor venue near Sebastopol in Sonoma County (exact location and directions provided upon registration)

Please stay tuned for our 5785 Yom Kippur program and tickets.


I loved celebrating Yom Kippur by spending sundown to sundown with one intentional, loving, joyful community. I slipped out of secular time and into sacred time, where every moment mattered.
2022 Yom Kippur Participant
Yom Kippur with Wilderness Torah allowed me to deepen into my Jewish experience and my human experience.
2022 Yom Kippur Participant
I’d been seeking an experiential, experimental Jewish community that reflected my earth-centered, innovative spirit. I found all of that, and so much more in the Wilderness Torah community in their profound, inclusive, and joyful gatherings.
2020 Yom Kippur Participant


Yom Kippur is a family-friendly event and we encourage families to join! 

  • We cultivate a vibrant, intergenerational experience and believe that it truly does “take a village to raise a child.” 
  • Youth programming for children of all ages runs from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm on Monday, September 25. Kids are invited to take part in afternoon workshops and will eat a special kids’ dinner together at 6:00 pm.
  • Wilderness Torah mentors provide an outdoor, inclusive, and experiential program for kids to connect with the spirit of the holidays. Through nature connection games, embodied Jewish learning, and kid-friendly rituals, our young participants deepen their relationship to Yom Kippur. Youth share in the joys of being outside with new and old friends. 
  • During evening and morning prayers, we offer youth programming to help support and supervise your children so that parents can drop-in to the adult services. 

Family Considerations:

  • While we provide youth programming during parts of the holiday, all parents and guardians are responsible for knowing where their children and teens are at all times.
  • Please pack a lunch for your children to eat during Yom Kippur day. The kids will eat lunch together during scheduled youth programming.

Contact us with any questions about our youth programs. We hope to see your family at the event!


Jewish folks singing together on Shabbat

Erev Yom Kippur: Sunday, September 24, 2023

3:00 pm Guest arrival begins*
5:45 pm Family Orientation & Newcomer Orientation
6:30 pm Opening circle
6:45–9:00 pm Kol Nidre & Evening Services

*Please note that this year we will NOT be providing dinner on Sunday night. Please eat dinner before arriving or bring a picnic dinner to eat onsite before chag begins. (Also note if for any reason you are not planning to fast, please come prepared with your own food and snacks for Monday).

Yom Kippur Day: Monday, September 25, 2023

8:00 am Morning Meditation
9:00 am Morning Services
9:00 am – 1:30 pm Youth programming
12:30 pm Yitzkor Service / Ancestor Offering
1:30 pm Break
4:00 pm Workshops
6:00 pm Neilah (Closing Prayers) / Havdallah / Kids Dinner
8:15 pm Break-Fast & departure

Would you like to sponsor a meal?

Deepen your connection to the Wilderness Torah community by sponsoring one of our beautiful ritual meals. This is an incredible way to honor yourself or someone in your life undergoing a significant rite of passage. Whether a b’nei mitzvah, birth, wedding, or passage of life, we want to bring sanctity and celebration to the ways our community grows and evolves. 

By sponsoring a meal, we dedicate this meal to you or your chosen loved one and invite you to offer a blessing and dedication before the community. This is a gift that gives to everyone! 

To sign up, all you need to do is indicate on your registration form that you would like to sponsor, and we will follow up with you.


Prayer & Musical Leaders (2023/5784)

Zelig Golden

Nathaniel Markman
Musical Director

Riv Shapiro

Suzannah Sosman

Workshop Facilitators (2023/5784)

Day Schildkret

Sarai Shapiro

Melita Silberstein


Lauren Ashley (Lo) Brown

Rachel Ruach Golden

Wowlvenn Seward-Katzmiller



Please see our packing list here.

Wilderness Torah creates pluralistic, multigenerational community celebrations to reconnect us to the earth-based traditions of Judaism. We strive to build a village inclusive of all people. Jews, people with other faiths and backgrounds, interfaith couples and families, those who identify as LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and anyone who wants to participate are welcome to join in building village. 

Wilderness Torah is a drug- and alcohol-free environment. This is a spiritual community and our festivals are family-friendly. Our primary goal is to build connections among ourselves, community, earth, and Spirit. We will provide a modest amount of wine for ritual purposes.

Wilderness Torah adheres to recommended guidelines from the CDC, as well as from state and local governments. Our priority is to protect the health of attendees, staff, and the community at large. Wilderness Torah currently does not require attendees to take COVID-19 tests prior to attending. However,  we ask you to exercise an abundance of caution. If you feel sick before the event, please stay home or contact program staff to discuss your situation before coming. 

Yes, all of Yom Kippur is family-friendly. We will be providing youth programming on Monday September 26th from 9:00 am – 1:30 pm. Please see the Families section of our webpage for more information.

Yes! We have a limited number of Avodah positions available for Yom Kippur! Learn more here.


Pets are not allowed due to site rules and the desire to keep the focus on people and ritual space. We make allowances for licensed service animals. Please request this if it applies to you by emailing registrar@wildernesstorah.org.

All program elements will be held outdoors and generally under our central meeting tent. Please dress accordingly and bring the gear you need. Refer to our Packing List for more information

We will spend our time together outside with the land. There will be no indoor spaces available for us except portable toilets. Dress in layers so that you can adjust easily to changing temperatures. Summer in northern California can be sunny and hot or foggy and cold, with nighttime temperatures dropping significantly. Refer to our packing list for guidance. 

We will provide portable toilets and hand washing stations for everyone to use.

There will be portable toilets and hand washing stations

For overnight guests, please bring your own tent and camp on the land.

There are a minimum number of indoor rooms onsite, which can be booked for an additional price by contacting registrar@wildernesstorah.org.

For additional lodging options, check out these resources:

You will receive exact driving directions prior to the event. You can also explore carpooling options here.

Our Sukkot In-Gathering Festival will be entirely outdoors. Wilderness Torah will provide shade structures for all programs, services, and workshops, although they are not fully resistant to wind and rain. 

The terrain is a combination of flat and uneven ground made of gravel and grass. Access to the camping zone requires a walk through a grassy field (about 5-10 minutes). We will have volunteers and wagons to help guests transport their materials from the parking lot.

If you are renting one of the limited rooms in the Victorian House and have difficulties climbing stairs, please let us know. Otherwise, there are no major staircases around the property that campers will need to access. 

If you have further questions about the accessibility of our gathering, please contact info@wildernesstorah.org.


Wilderness Torah will provide the break-fast meal, but no other food will be provided. There is plenty of fresh, potable water. Please bring a water bottle so you can stay hydrated.

We will not have any cooking of food storage facilities available. Please bring pre-cooked and/or picnic-style food if you wish to eat dinner onsite before Yom Kippur begins.  If you will not be fasting, please take care of storing your own food in a cooler.

Wilderness Torah endeavors to maintain fundamental standards of kashrut (Jewish dietary laws), while prioritizing sustainable, organic, and locally sourced food. We serve mostly vegetarian and vegan meals using as much local and organic ingredients as possible. On occasion, we supplement our meals with kosher fish. Once a year, we may offer pasture-raised, kosher-certified meat at Passover in the Desert. 

We never cook milk and meat in the same meal. We refrain from using traif (non-kosher) ingredients. We strive to use ingredients with hechshers (certified to be kosher); when we do not, we clearly indicate it so participants can choose whether to eat those dishes.  

We aim to provide a truly inclusive environment, including supporting those who maintain a strict level of kosher observance. You may indicate your kashrut level during registration. We will contact you so we can best accommodate your needs (e.g., by bringing in specially made kosher-certified meals from a kosher vendor).  

Dinner will be provided on Monday Sept 25 for kids. Please pack your kid’s breakfast and lunch for the day.


Yom Kippur is a very solemn day where we fast and refrain from self-care. Traditionally we do not wear jewelry, leather, or anything luxurious. It is traditional to wear our burial shrouds, if we have them, because Yom Kippur is a time of confronting death, mourning, and repenting. 

For each of these holidays we will be praying on the ground, so come with clothing that can get leaves and soil on it and footwear that is comfortable on soft and uneven ground. Daytime weather can be hot and dry; evening weather can be cold and moist; it could rain. Bring warm layers and if rain is in the forecast bring a rain jacket to keep cozy. You can refer to our packing list  for more guidance on what to bring.

We will use excerpts from B’sefer Hayim Machzor (created by Gary Konensburg) to follow the major parts of the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur liturgy. If you prefer to have the complete liturgy, please bring your own Machzor (High Holiday prayer book).

Wilderness Torah aims to create a pluralistic community environment where participants of the range of religious observances can participate. We support the observance of Jewish law, such as Shabbat and kashrut (Jewish dietary laws), and support our diverse community with options for religious observance. During these High Holiday ceremonies, we will pray as one circle blending traditional liturgy with new, innovative musical and ritual approaches, and will include musical instrumentation.

We invite you to come with an open mind, a willing heart, and the permission to openly share your needs. We ask all participants to respect differing observance levels and get curious about differences you perceive. If something is new or unclear to you, go ahead, ask!