The Fellowship is a service-learning program with four core components that are explained in detail below:
1. Sustainable Agriculture
2. Social Action
4. Jewish Tradition
Working the Land
Fellows spend time learning and practicing sustainable agriculture on our one-acre farm in Berkeley. They are involved in all aspects of food production—including soil development, crop selection, farm design, greenhouse management, planting, organic pest control, harvesting and animal care (goats, chickens, bees and worms). Fellows also take responsibility for farm chores, which keep the farm running.
Learn more about the farm.
The Urban Adamah farm relies on the support of hundreds of volunteers who donate their time and muscle to helping our farm grow. Volunteers are welcomed to the farm every week as well as monthly for organized work party events. Urban Adamah fellows are instrumental in facilitating the work of our volunteers.
Learn more about our volunteers.
Urban Farming Classes
Through this series of classes Urban Adamah fellows learn ways to grow, process, and distribute food within a whole-systems framework. This curriculum is designed to give fellows a foundation of knowledge and skills on a range of topics fundamental to starting and running a farm in an urban context.
For a detailed list of classes, click here.
Bay Area Urban Farm and Homestead Tours
As a part of their agricultural training, fellows have the opportunity to visit and lend a hand to other farms and gardens in the area. Past visits include Sunol Farm, The Edible Schoolyard, Treasure Island Job Corps, Green Faerie Goat Farm, the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center, and dozens of other Bay Area farms and homesteads.
Free Farm Stand
Ninety percent of food grown at Urban Adamah goes to our Free Farm Stand, through which we donate our produce to local residents most in need. Fellows harvest the produce we distribute and staff our Free Farm Stand every Wednesday morning.
Learn more about our Free Farm Stand.
Fellows spend one day per week volunteering at local community organizations, urban farms, or public schools.
Learn more about our community partners.
The Urban Adamah liberation curriculum blends discussion, storytelling, activities, and games to allow us to ask questions and do important internal work around issues of privilege, oppression, and social justice. Looking both inward and outward, we examine the ways privilege and oppression show up in ourselves and our lives, as well as how they function on a macro scale in the world. Topics include the cycle of socialization, the levels of oppression, shifting privilege, theories of change, allyship, and self-care and sustainability.
The Urban Adamah curriculum includes leadership development exercises, discussions, journaling, and role-play scenarios. It is designed to prepare fellows for leadership roles after they leave the program. The leadership curriculum integrates Non-Violent Communication (NVC), sessions developed by the Rockwood Leadership Training Institute, and the Emotional Intelligence work by Daniel Goleman (more info here and here).
Mindfulness practice is threaded throughout the fellowship curriculum. Meditation, singing, and other grounding practices are folded into many classes, services, and other curricular components. Here are a few spaces that allow us to practice mindfulness regularly:
Service of the Heart (Avodat Lev)
Each morning, we come together for an experience we call Avodat Lev, a meditative hour that is grounded in the traditional Jewish morning service. Our version is varied and creative, and includes music, poetry, and meditation. The service is lead by Urban Adamah staff initially and then handed over to fellows over the course of the season.
Community Listening Circle
Every 2-3 weeks, fellows gather for community listening circle, a space to share and hear how we are doing and what’s coming up for each person. This time allows us to practice deep listening, empathy and compassion, and authentic sharing.
Every week, fellows have time for a self-run house meeting. General agenda items might include: assigning dinner cooks, making announcements, talking about shared space, deciding on chores, or planning to host shabbat. These meetings are a chance to practice mindfulness in relationship, to try on others’ opinions, and to build conscious, kind community.
Urban Adamah takes an expansive approach to Jewish tradition. There are no do’s or don’ts, no shoulds or shouldn’ts. There is no empty ritual, rote prayer or confounding rules. We aim to use the ancient tools of our tradition to better understand ourselves, our relationships, and our world, today. With this intention, we explore, through classes, celebrations, and daily practice, holidays and rituals rooted in agricultural and natural cycles, texts that speak of an ancient relationship between humans and the earth, and laws designed to protect land, resources, and community. We explore perspectives—old and new—on Judaism’s core values of kindness (chesed), justice (tzedek) and love (ahava).