Guides

Rabbi Stephen Booth-Nadav

Ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia, Rabbi Steve has been a congregational rabbi for over fourteen years. He is currently the rabbi for Har Mishpacha in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, an adjunct staff member of "Adventure Rabbi" based in Boulder, and the founder of "Wisdom House Denver: A Resource Center for Multifaith Dialogue and Spiritual Inquiry." He also runs a Jewish Meditation practice group at the Mizel Museum in Denver, where he lives with his wife and daughter.

Rebecca Cariati

Rebecca's aspiration as a TorahTrek Guide is to create a synthesis of her inherited Jewish tradition, the power of watching the mind, and the transformation that comes through cultivating devotional practices. She sees the natural world as just the right incubator for such work.

Dov d'Eustachio

Dov works and teaches in New Orleans. Her studies have taken her from Brandeis Summer Institute in California to Ulpan Alef at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In New Orleans, Dov has taught the Bagrut program for teens, focusing on writing creatively through midrashim. Future plans include investing in a farm space big enough to hold workshops on sustainable living as it relates to Spirituality.

Rabbi Getzel Davis

Getzel is the Associate Rabbi and Jewish Educator at Harvard Hillel. He is a graduate of Hebrew College’s rabbinic and education schools and studied comparative religion and peace studies at Brandeis University. Before coming to Harvard, Getzel taught for a number of Jewish social justice organizations including Hazon, American Jewish World Service, Bend the Arc, and PANIM. He also served as rabbinic intern to the Boston Synagogue and the spiritual director at Eden Village, a Jewish farming camp, and as a contributor to Interfaith Appalachia's curriculum for environmental service learning. Getzel is also editor of TorahTrek's eJournal on wilderness spirituality.

Daniel Farkas

Danny has a B.A. from the American Jewish University, where he developed an experiential Jewish Leadership course. He has worked for over 10 years in the Jewish education field, serving as a director for overnight camps, ropes courses and religious schools. As an educator, Danny weaves Jewish traditions into outdoor and nature connection experiences. Danny is currently a Jewish educator and mentor for 8th-12 grade students at Midrasha, the Jewish community high school of the East Bay.

Danny loves traveling, being in the outdoors, hiking, and cooking. He has led over 5 trips to Israel focused on wilderness connection and leadership development.

Rabbi Owen Gottlieb

Rabbi Owen was ordained at HUC-JIR, NY in 2010. He draws his exciting approach to Jewish learning from the wilderness, arts, media, and popular culture. Rabbi Owen's unusual path to the rabbinate included writing screenplays, software development and teaching hip hop to teens in the Negev. He is currently a Jim Joseph Fellow and PhD Candidate at NYU in Education and Jewish Studies. His specialty is in Digital Media and Games for Learning. Rabbi Owen is also the Founder and Director of ConverJent.org.

Jon Gottsegen

Jon Gottsegen has had a love for wilderness since backpacking for the first time in the Catskill Mountains as a young teenager in New York. Since then, the wild has been a welcome respite from his hyper-left brain daily work with geographic information. Jon finds connection to nature as a powerful spiritual door to connection with the Divine, whether in the canyons of Utah through the Boulder Outdoor Survival School or in ritual in the local mountains in Colorado. Jon is deepening his Jewish practice through Aleph courses, the Davvening Leadership Training Institute and now Torah Trek, while honing in on a specific path to share his knowledge and spiritual yearning with others.

Rabbi James Greene

Rabbi James first connected with Judaism and Jewish education while growing up at Jewish summer camps in the Midwest. He was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2008. Continually involved in Jewish camping and outdoor activities, he was the Director of Education and Music for Camp JRF and was the camp Rabbi for B'nai Brith Camp. Currently, he serves as the Program Director at the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center of Silicon Valley.

Outside of the Jewish Community Center, Rabbi James is the past-chair of the Reconstructionist Educators of North America and a member of the Reconstructionist Movement's National Tikkun Olam Commission. He has published several articles with Shma magazine, RRA Connections, Gannet News, and EJewishPhilanthropy. He has also published numerous creative rituals with Ritualwell.org and is an active contributor to Jewish Values Online's Panel of Rabbinic Scholars.

Rabbi James lives in San Jose with his partner, Jen, and their two beautiful daughters.

Greg Hersh

Greg earned BA's in Philosophy and Religion from George Washington University. After college, setting out to further bridge the gaps between Eastern and Western thought, Greg traveled to Southeast Asia where he taught English, lived in a Buddhist monastery, backpacked around, and explored the philosophies of the East. The following year was spent in Jerusalem learning Hebrew and applying to the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where he currently studies. Greg was also a participant in Tom Brown's Tracker School, which filled him with useful survival information, a deeper understanding of Native American philosophy, and an intractable love of the wilderness. Greg hopes to integrate his passions of Eastern philosophy, the bliss of nature and Jewish tradition/wisdom into his life-path.

Oriana Kahn Hurwit

A fifth generation American, Oriana grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A year after graduating from Tulane University with a degree in psychology, she moved to Israel, eventually making aliyah and living in Israel for 22 years. While there, Oriana worked in educational frameworks for overseas students, both with short-term summer programs and as the Coordinator for the One Year Program at Ben Gurion University. Oriana received a Masters in Social Work through Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Yeshiva University in New York, and has held positions in a variety of settings with various populations: troubled youth, mental health clinics, welfare offices, families of victims of terror, battered women and new immigrants, among others. Since returning to the U.S. with her husband in 2002, Oriana has lived in Eugene, Oregon. She is involved in the local Jewish Community and sits on a variety of synagogue committees and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Federation.

Rabbi Josh Jacobs-Velde

Josh fell in love with wilderness on a family camping trip to Mt. Rainier at age 12 and was blown away by the sheer awesomeness of that mountain. He fell in love with Judaism as a summer intern at the Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality and was blown away by the sheer awesomeness of the Jewish mystical tradition. He is a backpacker, meditator, nature lover, father of two boys and a congregational rabbi in Youngstown, Ohio. He was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2011. He is also a member of Ohalah, the Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal. He loves TorahTrek because it is the best vehicle he has found for bringing together his love of Jewish spirituality and the natural world, and for figuring out how to effectively convey and teach that love to others.

Josh Kleyman

Josh joined the faculty of the Teton Science Schools' Graduate Program in 2006, training adults as environmental educators and naturalists. He is currently the Coordinator of the Kelly Campus, focusing on connecting people to nature and place through field education. He is active in the Jackson Hole Jewish Community, serving as Vice President of the board of directors, teaching Bet Sefer and helping facilitate services and study sessions. Josh explores spirituality and expresses his passion through community, wilderness, education and Judaism.

Josh Lake

From canoeing the Allagash and Colorado Rivers to hiking the Throng La Pass of Nepal, Josh has learned as much on the trail as in his formal education. Founder of Outdoor Jewish Adventures, Josh has spent the last 14 years leading outdoor excursions for Jewish clientele across the U.S., Canada, Israel, England and even the wilds of N.Y. City and L.A. Josh's passions are outdoor education and connecting people to spiritual and soulful experiences through outdoor adventures.

Jeff Mazur

You can find Jeff in the woods, fields and mountains, hunting for mushrooms and other wild edibles. Jeff enjoys being out in the wilderness with his family and friends, and through his experience and learning with TorahTrek, has brought his spirituality and prayer practice into the outdoors, which has deepened his love and connection to the natural world around him. Jeff seeks to continue to expand his learnings of spirituality and Torah, and to draw on these elements and in sharing outdoor experiential learning opportunities and spiritual offerings to the community.

Amy Price

Amy's love of nature started with family reunion trips to the north Georgia mountains as a child. She grew up in Augusta, GA and went to school at University of Georgia majoring in Child and Family Development. During college she spent a semester in Israel that had a major impact. Amy spent two seasons as an educator with the Teva Learning Center. While an educator Amy learned how to incorporate Jewish values into environmental education. Amy enjoys traveling and even spent time living in Rwanda. She currently is working on finishing a graduate program in educational policy and supporting adults with disability in their jobs. Amy lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her nine chickens.

Ariela Ronay-Jinich

Ariela's passion for living on the Earth as a Jew has been nurtured through years of personal study and work in the community. After completing her B.A.in Education from Brown University, she spent a year in Israel learning Torah and other traditional texts at the Eco-Activist Beit Midrash in Jerusalem. After working for the Teva Learning Center as a Jewish environmental educator, she settled in the Bay Area and has taken on diverse educational projects, including coordinating Camp Tawonga's garden, integrating nature-based learning at Gan Shalom Preschool in Berkeley, and founding “B’Hootz,” Wilderness Torah’s year-round children’s program. She served as Education Director of Edah, a Jewish afterschool program, and currently works at Urban Adamah, inspiring many to find wildness on a Jewish urban farm in Berkeley.

Rabbi-Cantor Elana Rosen-Brown

Elana, a graduate of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion where she was a School of Sacred Music Fellow, is currently the Rabbi-Cantor at Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael, CA. Elana graduated summa cum laude from Middlebury College with a degree in History and Secondary Education. She has participated in the National Outdoor Leadership School's Semester in the Rockies, the Adamah Jewish Environmental Fellowship, Hazon bike rides and programming, Teva Learning Center seminars, and Simchat Shlomo's Eco-Jewish beit midrash in Jerusalem. During her years as a rabbinical/cantorial student Elana was honored to serve congregations in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Los Angeles. Elana has specific interests and training in mindfulness meditation, interfaith dialogue, and outdoor education and looks forward to sharing her love of teaching and learning with students of all ages. In her spare time Elana enjoys backpacking, exploring libraries, and discovering local music.

Ruhi Sophia Rubenstein

Ruhi is currently working towards her ordination at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She serves on the Teva Learning Center Advisory Council, and is rabbinic intern for GreenFaith, a non-profit, interfaith environmental organization based in New Jersey. Ruhi spends her summers running the Teva nature program at the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation overnight camp in the Poconos.

Eric Sbar

Eric

Daniel Schaefer

Passionate about Jewish learning, teaching, and being in nature, Daniel feels blessed to combine all three with TorahTrek. Daniel is in rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College (HUC) and has worked as a writer, entrepreneur, and outdoor educator. He is an alum of AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps and the PresenTense Institute in Jerusalem. He loves to backpack through national parks and his favorite state park is Big Basin.

Samuel Singer

Samuel grew up exploring the high desert in Yerington, Nevada. Study for a B.A. in Physics and Astronomy took him to Hampshire College and the deciduous forests of the east coast, where he discovered his love for outdoor science education. He earned a Masters in Science Education - Environment & Natural Resources by way of the Teton Science Schools of the University of Wyoming. Over the past decade Samuel has worked as an outdoor educator and wilderness guide in Wyoming and across the country. Recently, he completed his doctorate degree in Science Education from the University of Wyoming. His dissertation research focused on spirituality in outdoor environmental education. Currently, Samuel lives in Jackson, WY where he is working as a tour guide and developing a nonprofit organization called Wyoming Star Gazing.

Rebecca Stern

Rebecca's connection to the outdoors began as a young child, hiking in Maine with her family, and her deep love of Judaism was inspired by experiences at day school and Camp Ramah. After college, Rebecca worked at Nature's Classroom, an outdoor environmental education center in Western, MA; next, as a middle school science teacher for three years; and then in the Education Department at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where she worked with teachers to explore the connection between plants and the school curriculum.

Rebecca is a graduate of Wellesley College ('03), completed her Masters degree in Science Education at Teachers College in 2012 and is currently in the doctoral program at The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont.

Sophie Vener

Sophie grew up basking in the sunshine of San Diego. While on Shnat Netzer, the worldwide Reform movement's gap-year program, Sophie participated in Kibbutz Lotan's Green Apprenticeship (GA). Lotan exposed her to the world of alternative living and Jewish environmentalism. She brought her new enthusiasm for sustainable agriculture and ecological communities to Camp Newman's Operation Kibbutz Yarok, where she worked to develop the dream of a kibbutz mini farm for Camp Newman.

Toby Joy Zelt

Toby is a Wilderness First Responder through the National Outdoor Leadership School, an Environmental Educator and the founder of Wild Spirit Adventure. Toby has a Masters of Arts in religious studies and another MA in administration in religious education. She earned her Bachelors with majors in Philosophy, Psychology, and Women’s Studies, all from Towson University in Maryland. Toby has studied and practiced Judaism and Jewish education in natural settings with the Teva Learning Center, Adventure Rabbi, and Kayam Farm, among others. An enthusiastic spiritual educator, Toby is a dedicated to making a difference in student's lives through experiential education.