Participants

Jennifer Clayman

Rabbi Jennifer Clayman has been a rabbi/educator at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, CA, since 2008. Before joining full-time, Rabbi Jennifer worked on several initiatives, most notably Re-Imagine, Beth Am's long-term project to re-invent congregational education. She also works with Beth Am's Include team, whose purpose is to help acknowledge, embrace, support and connect families with special needs to the larger congregation. In 2013-14, Rabbi Jennifer participated in the first cohort of the Kesher Fellowship through Jewish LearningWorks; she is a member of the Bay Area's Shinui Think Tank on innovation in congregational education, and she is frequently consulted by educators looking to embark on paths toward innovation in their own congregations or institutions.  

Originally from the Washington, D.C., area, Rabbi Jennifer received her B.A. in Religion from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and she holds a Master of Arts in Jewish Education from HUC-JIR's Rhea Hirsch School of Education. She was ordained by HUC-JIR in Los Angeles in 2003. Before coming to Beth Am, she served Temple Emanu-El in Westfield, New Jersey.  

Rabbi Jennifer is an avid camper and hiker, and she and her husband, Rabbi John Fishman, live on the Peninsula with their two sons.

Robyn Israel

Robyn Israel is the token Canadian of the group. She grew up in Montreal, where she braved cold winters skiing and skating. Summers were spent at Jewish camp in the Laurentian Mountains, where she got her first taste of nature and camping. She loved hiking and canoe trips to remote areas of northern Quebec and Vermont.

After graduating from McGill and The University of Western Ontario, Robyn lived eight years in Palo Alto, California, where she worked as an arts journalist. During that time she developed a deeper love of hiking and the Northern California landscape. She currently lives in London, Ontario, where she has a counseling practice and enjoys hiking trails along the Thames River. Robyn serves on the national board of Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America.

Robyn is also a playwright. She is best known for her one-woman show Jewish Girls Don’t Kayak, which explores her journey through Judaism with humour. She sees theatre as a powerful way to explore relationship dynamics and change. Robyn continues to explore Judaism, and is excited to see how her experience with Torah Trek will further her own spiritual growth. 

Tom Levy

Tom Levy was born and raised in San Francisco. As a child, he enjoyed solitary time in the coastal scrub landscape of Twin Peaks. His love of the outdoors led to high school and college backpacking trips. Tom’s second love, photography, led him to a decades-long career as a newspaper photojournalist and freelance photographer. He later spent 10 years as a writer/photographer at nonprofits in Hawaii and the Bay Area.

After growing up in a secular, assimilated family, Tom approached Judaism as an adult. He found spiritual connection through Renewal Judaism, especially via Wilderness Torah’s Earth-based Jewish festivals where he’s volunteered since 2013. Now living in Oakland, Calif., where he does freelance writing and photography, Tom enjoys hiking and camping with his wife and 11-year-old son. With guidance and teachings from TorahTrek, Tom hopes to continue sharing with others the joy and divine connection he finds in nature.

Mikey Pauker

How do you channel divine experience and Jewish mysticism to others? For Mikey Pauker, the answer did not stop at yoga or Torah and Chassidic text study (which he practices daily). Instead, Pauker chose to share his spiritual love and light with the world through music.

Pauker's full-length album Extraordinary Love  is a seamless blend of folk, electronica, pop, hip-hop, and reggae, woven together by Pauker’s divine experiences with ancient texts that pulse through the artist’s veins and enter listeners’ hearts.

Simon Stratford

Simon’s love for nature began in his teenage years, when he participated in a backpacking trip out west through Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute, a URJ camp in Wisconsin. Since that time, he has continued to explore the wilderness in a variety of ways, and is thrilled to be furthering his outdoor experience as a member of TorahTrek Guides Track this year. 

Simon grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and received a B.A in Social Work from Michigan State University in 2012. Directly after undergrad, Simon followed his life long aspiration of becoming a rabbi and entered rabbinical school at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Currently a fourth year rabbinical student in Cincinnati, when he is not studying, Simon enjoys going on hikes in the hills of southeastern Ohio. Simon joins TorahTrek this year in order to strike a balance between academic schoolwork, and his love for nature and desire to further his own spirituality and mindfulness practice.