The Fellowship

Fellows live in a communal house right on the farm. Rooms are shared with one or two other people. Utilities, rooms, and food stipends are covered by Urban Adamah. Fellows are responsible for general house maintenance and cleanliness.

Living communally is a rich opportunity to develop communication skills, appreciate differences, and resolve conflicts. The Urban Adamah staff supports this process through community-building exercises, regular meetings, and other practices. Mutual trust and honest communication are cornerstones of the community.

Urban Adamah is an intense program. Hours are long and fellows are expected to be at all activities, unless there is a health issue or family emergency that prevents attendance.

Fellows have most Shabbats off (starting a couple hours before sundown on Friday – either Sunday or Monday morning). About twice a season – on Friday or Saturday nights – fellows help run special events on the farm. Additionally, approximately every other Sunday will be unscheduled with at least one program-free night during the week, starting around 5:00 PM.

Urban Adamah is committed to the financial access of the Fellowship program. The actual cost of the Fellowship is roughly $15,000 per Fellow. However, thanks to our program supporters, we are able to offer the Fellowship at a significantly subsidized rate. Learn more about the current season fee here.

You do not need any farming experience or Jewish knowledge to participate in the program. We are looking for individuals who are open, positive, excited to go ‘all in’, who are interested in using the tools of Jewish tradition to lead more intentional, connected and compassionate lives, and who will most likely leverage the experience to make positive social change inside and outside the Jewish community. To learn more about the farming component of the fellowship, please view the Urban Agriculture page. 

During the first week of the Fellowship, a representative from each partner community organization visits the farm and makes a presentation to the fellows about their work and about the nature of their internship. Fellows then work together as a group to select who will intern at which organization for the fellowship season.

Fellows do not need a car, but it can be helpful if fellows want to take adventures on off weekends. Most internships are reachable by public transportation and a bicycle is our recommended mode of alternative transportation. We have on-site bike racks to lock your bikes but do not offer on-site vehicle parking. We also have a few loaner bikes available to share and you can often find decent quality bikes in Berkeley for less than $200 to buy once you arrive.

There is considerable demand for the Fellowship and we are unable to accept all qualified applicants. Applications will be considered in the order they are received. Since the application process takes a bit of time, we encourage you to apply as soon as you decide you are interested.

Through our relationship with the Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theology Union, Urban Adamah fellows may receive either undergraduate or graduate-level credit for their Urban Adamah experience. There is an additional charge of $2,199 per class (three units). To receive credit, fellows are required to work on a separate independent project related to the work of Urban Adamah. Projects are supervised by a faculty member at the Center for Jewish Studies or UC Berkeley. The project must be completed within six weeks of the end of the Fellowship. To learn more, please contact the Young Adults Program Director.

Yes, we’d be happy to put in you touch with one or more of our alumni. To get an updated list of names and contact information, please email the Young Adults Program Director. The subject line should be: Requesting Alumni Contact Info.

The programs are kindred spirits and enjoy a cooperative relationship, yet there is no legal connection between us. Adam Berman, the President and Founder of Urban Adamah, founded Adamah at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in 2003. He also served as the program’s first director and currently sits on its Advisory Board. A good deal of the Urban Adamah curriculum was developed by Adam and other faculty members at Adamah between 2003 – 2008. Shamu Sadeh, the Director of Adamah in Connecticut, serves as a senior advisor to Urban Adamah.

No! We welcome individuals from all backgrounds and experiences of Jewish practice. For some fellows, Urban Adamah is their first exposure to Jewish tradition. Others have been part of Jewish educational settings and communities their entire lives. The fellowship is an immersive experience in Jewish learning and living that also invites fellows into an exploration of Jewish identity. We admit applicants who are actively and seriously exploring a life path informed by Jewish teachings, culture, and history.

Illegal drugs are not permitted for consumption during fellowship program hours, nor at any time at the fellows’ residence. There is no smoking of any kind on the property. Moderate consumption of alcohol is permitted in the house during non-program hours for those of legal drinking age.

Fellows are welcome to invite guests to visit during the Fellowship as per the guidelines in the Urban Adamah Guest Policy.

The community house is strictly vegetarian. Urban Adamah provides a food budget sufficient to purchase food for the season. Food shopping responsibilities and cooking, as well as all household duties, are shared among fellows. Please note, because of the shared nature of this space, our kitchen is not Kosher.

At Urban Adamah we practice a creative and expansive approach to Jewish tradition. Fellows are invited to develop new, relevant, and deeply personal connections to our Tradition.

We welcome individuals from all backgrounds and experiences of Jewish practice. For some fellows, Urban Adamah is their first exposure to Jewish tradition. Others have been part of Jewish educational settings and communities their entire lives.

Please note that we do play musical instruments during Shabbat and holiday programming, as part of the program.

“This is by far the most loving and mindful community I have ever been in, and I am so unbelievably grateful that I had the opportunity to be a part of this fellowship.”​

 — Ayelet Pinnolis —
 Summer 2015