Jewish Experiential Nature Educator (JENE) Fellowship
Jewish education has come of age in the 21st Century with the transformation of day schools, religious schools and summer camps into meaningful institutions of educational change – the type of change that leads to the development of creative and committed Jewish adults. Driving this transformation is a new type of Jewish educator who is equally as adept in engaging students in a classroom as on a camping trip. And the tools of this new educator are the skills and techniques found in the fields of Experiential Education and Outdoor Education.
This experiential training program will prepare you to be a Jewish educator who is able to transform the outdoors into a natural Jewish learning environment and to make nature a co-teacher in the classroom. You will learn through doing and then spend considerable time reflecting on what you did well and how to do it better. You will be continuously challenged to discover for yourself the value of Judaism in your life and how to share your discoveries with others. Fellows will spend 30 hours a week working in one of our organic gardens or other educational facilities and leading groups of visitors in learning experiences as well as taking time to reflect on the work that is being done, experiences that are being gained and placing it all in a Jewish context.
August 15th - December 15th, 17 weeks
Location of Fellowship
The Brandeis-Bardin Campus (BBC) of the American Jewish University is located 45 min. from Los Angeles in Simi Valley, CA. The campus encompasses 2,700 acres of land of which less than 200 acres are developed and includes a year round conference center with first class accommodations; swimming pools; tennis and basketball courts; climbing walls and an Alpine tower; batting cage and grassy soccer fields. The rest of the land includes a working farm with cows, horses, goats and chickens; a hydroponic and aquaponics garden; a 4,000 sq. foot organic garden and meditation orchard; citrus and avocado orchards; and the same ecosystem as that of Israel.
Description of Fellows Position
Fellows work 30 hours a week. This work will include but not be limited to:
- Learning organic gardening skills and caring for the garden
- Learning basic construction and building program areas
- Serving as educational staff for Jewish organizations and public schools coming to the Brandeis-Bardin Campus for Jewish and environmental programs.
- Learning about the role of nature in Jewish tradition
- Learning to see nature through the eyes of Judaism
- Learning the widest array of Jewish nature skills - from making animal track Shabbat candles to baking challah in an outdoor oven.
Fellows will also learn basic wilderness survival skills, tent camping skills, fire building and making skills and receive training in archery certification. All skills will be taught with an eye toward Jewish text and tradition. Sessions will be taught by our talented programming and wilderness and nature staff.
- Fellows must be highly motivated and eager to learn new skills
- Interested in becoming experiential Jewish educators
- Have a strong work ethic
- Want to broaden and improve their teaching skills and understanding of experiential education
- Have a desire to develop a deeper and more personal relationship with Judaism
- Willing to live in a small, pluralistic Jewish community
- Eager to live beyond an urban or suburban environment
Stipend of $300/week, room and board, certifications.
If you have any questions about our fellowship or the programs that we run, please contact hr aju.edu.