“The organization is overflowing with caring, intentional staff members and it is joyful to simply be on the farm surrounded by them.” – Shana Wallace, Summer 2015
The Urban Adamah Fellowship educational curriculum is taught by in-house staff and an extraordinary group of visiting scholars and practitioners. They come from a range of backgrounds, and together bring amazing perspective, diversity and richness to the Urban Adamah Fellowship experience. The individuals below serve as regular teachers in the Fellowship.
Environmental, Agricultural, Social Action Training
Corey Block, Urban Adamah’s Farm Manager teaches the core Urban Agriculture and Permaculture Curriculum and Chloe Zelkha, our Fellowship Director, teaches the core Liberation Curriculum in the Urban Adamah Fellowship.
In addition, the following individuals serve as regular adjunct faculty.
Arielle Cohen is a professional hospice chaplain in the East Bay. She completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at UCSF Medical Center and spent a year training on the Palliative Care Service also at UCSF. Arielle earned a Masters in Divinity from the Graduate Theological Union and spent two years studying at The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. A long-time Buddhist practitioner, she is ordained as a Buddhist Reverend through Insight Meditation Center, endorsed through Spirit Rock Buddhist Meditation Center and completed the Sati Center Training for Buddhist Chaplaincy. Arielle studied Non-Violent Communication with Bay NVC and loves teaching NVC to the fellows.
Tali first fell in love with cooking while living in Bologna, Italy. From there, she went on to work as a pastry chef at Union Square Cafe in Manhattan and as a farmer in Vermont and upstate New York. While farming, and faced with fields exploding with produce, she began to learn the joys of food preservation, especially canning and fermenting. Tali loves teaching and sharing these skills with others. In addition, she runs her own business, Kitchen Doula, cooking for families with brand-new babies. Tali’s favorite things in life are woodstoves, maple syrup, goats, and all her friends sitting around one table.
Motivated by her passion for food justice, seed security, and a deep love and respect for life, Tali has spent much of the past 10 years with her hands in the earth. She worked as the farm manager for the Adamah fellowship in the Berkshires in 2006 and 2007 and coordinated the Tel Sheva Desert medicine project in the Northern Negev desert, while working for environmental justice organization BUSTAN. She spent 2 years living at the Bullocks Permaculture Homestead and moved to the Bay area in 2011 to design and run the Urban Adamah farm. Tali currently teaches workshops on sustainability and permaculture and is studying Chinese medicine at the Acupuncture Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley.
Wiley Rogers is a Berkeley Native bee keeper. He can be seen sailing around the bay or driving in his blue school bus. He manages media projects for Planting Justice and teaches bee keeping workshops on the side. Growing up with a commercial beekeeper father, Wiley learned a lot of tricks of the trade that he is excited to pass on.
Adam Berman, Urban Adamah’s Executive Director, and Ariela Ronay-Jinich, our Director of Youth and Family Programs, teach the core Jewish Curriculum in the Urban Adamah Fellowship. In addition, the following individuals occasionally serve as adjunct faculty.
Rabbi Adina Allen
Rabbi Adina Allen is a spiritual leader, writer, and social innovator. She is co-founder and Creative Director of The Jewish Studio Project, a new Bay Area-based organization that uses art making as a tool for Jewish learning, self-discovery and social change. Adina was ordained by Hebrew College in 2014 where she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. Adina is co-founder of the Movement Minyan, a method that explores Jewish text, liturgy and communal dynamics through embodied practice, and was the 2012 National Havurah Summer Institute Liturgist in Residence. Adina has worked for Tufts University Hillel, as a chaplain at Hebrew Senior Life, and as an educator at Brandeis Bardin Collegiate Institute and has taught at Jewish institutions across the country. Adina’s work has been published in Tikkun, The Journal for Inter-Religious Dialogue, and State of Formation, among others. A proud alum of Adamah (Fall 2005) Adina is a current Adamah Advisory Board member and a past member of the Board of Directors of the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. Adina grew up in Oak Park, IL and received her BA in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from Tufts University in 2005.
Maggid Jhos Singer
Maggid Jhos Singer serves as spiritual leader and teacher at Chochmat HaLev, a progressive, welcoming community for those seeking a joyful, inclusive, and embodied path to Jewish spiritual and ethical practice. He received smicha from Rabbi Gershon Winkler in 2002 as a Maggid – literally “one who tells.” The title of Maggid was used in the early Chassidic movement to describe a person of learning who was skilled in storytelling, preaching, counseling, teaching and singing. Jhos holds a degree in music from UCLA, and spent many years working in a variety of occupations: oceanographic researcher, scuba diver, music teacher, fire fighter, symphonic percussionist, and barrista. His deep and inspirational teaching draws from this wildly diverse background.
Deena Aranoff, Ph.D.
Professor Deena Aranoff teaches courses on Jewish history, culture and mysticism at the Center for Jewish Studies (CJS) at the Graduate Theological Union. She also serves as a scholar at Wexner Heritage Foundation programs throughout the country. In addition to her Jewish scholarly pursuits, Professor Aranoff has been a dedicated yoga student for many years and now teaches widely in the Bay Area. She completed her Ph.D. in 2006 in the department of history at Columbia University.
Rabbi David Kasher
Rabbi David Kasher was part of the founding team at Kevah and now serves on their faculty as the Senior Rabbinic Educator. After studying at Wesleyan University and spending several years at yeshivot in Israel, he went to rabbinical school at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York and was ordained there in 2007. Previously, he worked as the Senior Jewish Educator at Berkeley Hillel and as a lecturer at Berkeley Law. He received his masters in law at Berkeley and is currently a doctoral candidate there, writing his dissertation on religious and secular jurisprudence. Check out his weekly blog on the Torah portion at www.parshanut.com