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Adam Berman founded Urban Adamah in 2010 and currently serves as its Executive Director. From 2002 – 2009, Adam served as the Executive Director of the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in the Connecticut Berkshires. While at Isabella Freedman, Adam founded ADAMAH: The Jewish Environmental Fellowship, a three month leadership training program for Jewish young adults that integrates Jewish learning and living with sustainable agriculture, green living skills, teaching and contemplative spiritual practice. He also served as the program’s first Director. At Isabella Freedman, Adam also co-founded the Jewish Greening Fellowship (JGF), an intensive 18-month Fellowship program for Jewish professionals from twenty different New York Jewish summer camps and community centers. The JGF is working to reduce the carbon footprints of Jewish communal agencies and place environmental stewardship high on the agenda of every agency that participates. For three years (1996-1999), Adam served as the Director of the Teva Learning Alliance, the leading Jewish environmental education program in the United States.
Currently, Adam serves on the Board of Directors of the David Brower Center, Wilderness Torah, the Jewish Federation of the East Bay, and on Advisory Boards for the Teva Learning Center and Adamah. He teaches widely on issues related to Judaism, ecology and civic leadership. Adam holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A. in Environmental Policy from Brown University.
Prior to his arrival at Urban Adamah in the spring of 2011, Casey Yurow spent time as the farm program director at Eden Village Camp – a new pluralistic environmental Jewish sleep-away camp in Putnam Valley, New York (2010). From 2007 – 2009, Casey served as the education director at the Kayam Farm at Pearlstone in rural Maryland. While at Kayam, Casey helped to create several innovative projects including a farm semester for an interfaith group of Baltimore-area homeschooling families and an intergenerational Beit Midrash shabbaton to explore primary sources for sustainability and social justice in Jewish agriculture. From 2005-2007, Casey worked as the program coordinator at the Teva Learning Center. Casey has led alternative break trips for the Jewish Farm School as well as a month-long backpacking trip for teens on the Israel trail with Derech HaTeva (SPNI). He studied for two years in yeshiva in Israel and received a B.Sc in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Maryland. Casey is thrilled to bring his experience in farm and garden-based education, as well as his love of music, fermentation, and community to the Bay Area.
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Rae arrived at Urban Adamah as part of the fall fellowship class of 2011, and spent the winter working and co-managing the farm before becoming the full time farm manager in February of 2012. Rae has studied and practiced organic agriculture since 2005. During this time she’s been involved with various farms and gardens, including organic farms on Orcas Island in her home state of Washington and non-profit urban gardening projects while studying at McGill University in Montreal. Through her degrees in Human Geography and Women’s Studies, Rae focused on issues of inequality through anti-racist, feminist, and post-colonial lenses, and became deeply intrigued by the question of how individuals and communities respond to systemic oppression through local acts of resistance. After graduating from school in 2010 she interned at The Egg Farm in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, where she discovered her love for goats and blue hubbard squash, and decided to combine her passions for organic agriculture and social justice in her life’s work.
Rebecca joined our team in the spring of 2012, and is responsible for fellowship logistics, public program coordination and alumni relations. Rebecca has a stubborn fascination with food and culture, justice, farmers, hunger, climate change, race, class, gender, rural communities and cities. She has worked on farms in Washington and New York, has served as a community organizer for Food and Water Watch in Los Angeles and has worked in fundraising at Columbia/Barnard Hillel. She graduated with a B.A. in English from Barnard College in 2009. Rebecca was an Urban Adamah Fellow in the fall of 2011.
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Ash sees herself helping to create a more sustainable food system for our planet. Her introduction to this field began in 2007 during a Green Apprenticeship on Kibbutz Lotan in Israel and has taken her across the globe to farms in Hawaii and eventually to this landing spot in Berkeley. Ash was a fellow at Urban Adamah during the fall of 2011 and went on to become one of the founding members and Business Manager of Urban Worm, Urban Adamah’s worm composting project. Having graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2008 with degrees in geography, economics and business, Ash combines her greater passion for justice with her agricultural knowledge and business sense to not only keep Urban Adamah’s books balanced but expand its reach and ability to make a difference.
Office and Special Programs Manager
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Kat received a BA in Religious Studies in 2010 from Virginia Commonwealth University. During her studies she completed an in-depth research project investigating the negative health consequences of industrialized agriculture and the role of globalization in expanding these methods. Spurned into action by all she had learned, after graduation Kat began an 18-month sustainable agriculture and leadership-development program with the Allegheny Mountain School in Virginia. Through this fellowship, Kat came to work with Urban Adamah and after joining on as a fulltime staff member, she is enthralled to continue nurturing her new Bay Area roots. When she is not thinking about the joys of healthful eating, Kat enjoys writing and performing music, salsa dancing, traveling to foreign locations, forming connections with those around her, and delving into life through both the unexpected and extraordinary.
Lizzie lives to cultivate community centered on ecological and personal sustainability, social justice and spirituality and spent the 2011 growing season doing just that as a Farm Education Apprentice for the Jewish Farm School at Eden Village camp. Here she fell in love with earth-based Jewish living, herbalism and guiding others to new discoveries at their growing edges. Prior to this, Lizzie earned a B.A. in Contemplative Education from Brown University while working on various community-oriented sustainable food initiatives in Providence, RI. She spent breaks and summers farming and teaching in intentional communities in India and across the U.S. Lizzie is excited to build upon these experiences with Urban Adamah and set down roots in the East Bay where she spends her free time crafting, fermenting, strumming her ukulele and exploring with friends.
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Kimmy is a California native who discovered her passion for improving food systems during college, when she served as the manager of a Los Angeles farmers’ market. This experience drew her heart and her mind to the struggles of family farmers, the prevalence of food deserts, the challenge of healthy food affordability, and the importance of her place within it all. Powered by her endless passion, she strives to serve the goals of food justice, environmental sustainability, and radical compassion. Having spent Summer 2012 as a fellow, she couldn’t quite get enough of Urban Adamah, and now serves as Program Associate: managing public events, social media marketing, and our exciting new Aquaponic farm. She earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She often finds herself feeling extraordinarily inspired by the people and ideas that enter her world, and enjoys spending her leisure time strengthening personal connections, gardening, camping, and exploring the world of do-it-yourself projects for home sustainability.
Sarah teaches the ten week core urban agriculture course to all Urban Adamah fellowship cohorts. In addition to her role as Urban Adamah’s Senior Farm Educator, Sarah also works at City Slicker Farms where she supervises the construction of gardens in pre-schools throughout Alameda County. She is also a garden and nutrition educator at Bay Farm Elementary School, where she created and teaches a garden-based curriculum to 4th and 5th graders. Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in Culture, Ecology, and Sustainable Community with a concentration in Ecological Agriculture from New College of California. Sarah also holds a Certificate of Herbal Medicine from the California School of Herbal Studies and a Certificate of Permaculture Design from New College of California. She brings to her work a passion for gardens as tools for individual and community health, connection and well-being.