Here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about our Sunday Together b'Teva (Nature) gatherings. If you have other questions, please feel free to contact us through our Contact Page.
Q: Is this program for adults or for children?
A. The unique nature of ZMANIM programming is that it brings all generations together. Whether you have children or not, you can come to our gatherings, learn, grow, and help develop Jewish community outdoors. There will be some sessions that are geared for adults and self-selecting older teens, but most of our time together will be in mixed aged groupings. We all know that "it takes a village to raise a child." Yet, for many of us, we end up spending most of our time in our insular family and in age-specific settings: "elders," "young adults," "teens," families with young children ... Through ZMANIM programming, we all come together with our different experience, perspective, questions and insights, regardless of age and "parental" or "child" role, to explore our relationship to Judaism and the natural world.
Q. What do you mean by "multi-generational?" Will there be activities/opportunities for adults without children to study and practice together?
A. Our Sunday gatherings at Ocean Song Farm & Wilderness Center are designed to cultivate a multi-generational learning experience outdoors that will be spiritually nourishing for everyone. While there will be programming for children and their families to engage in together, it is our hope that older adults and elders, as well as young adults without children, will be drawn to participate in the experience of co-creating a diverse, nature-based Jewish community outdoors. We share the widely-held belief that "it takes a village to raise a child." Please join us in co-creating the village experience!
Q: Can I just come for part of the day?
A: We are crafting a program that we hope will feel like a complete, integrated experience as we build a community experience. To that end, we strongly request that people participate in the entire program.
Q. My partner is not Jewish and I am not very familiar with traditional Judaism. Will we be comfortable?
A. Everyone is welcome. We hope to create an environment where everyone feels included and comfortable. Our expectation is that some participants will have little or no experience with Jewish customs and practice, while others will have a lifelong connection with Judaism as well as many decades of ritual observance and advanced study ... and, also, everyone in between! The goal of ZMANIM is to create a diverse, multi-generational Jewish community experience outdoors that will be spiritually nourishing for everyone. The wider the range of participants' backgrounds, the richer the experience can be for all who gather.
Q. If I have a strong background in Judaism, will I be bored?
A. Our hope is to create nature-based programming that will be engaging for everyone, regardless of proficiency in Hebrew or knowledge of Jewish tradition. Our expectation is that some participants will have little or no experience with Jewish customs and practice, while others will have a lifelong connection with Judaism as well as many decades of ritual observance and advanced study ... and, also, everyone in between! The goal of ZMANIM is to create a diverse, multi-generational Jewish community experience outdoors that will be spiritually nourishing for everyone. The wider the range of participants' backgrounds, the richer the experience can be for all who gather.
Q. I'm a parent with a young child(ren). I want to be with my child(ren) during this program, and sharing our experience together. Can I?
A. Yes. Most of the day will be spent as a whole group, of mixed ages, all together. During the part of the day when we divide into small groups according to ages, you may certainly join your child with their group. However, please be prepared to participate (not as a spectator) in whatever their group is doing ... Let your inner child shine out with your own child!
Q. What if I don't have young children of my own ... Can I still participate in the children's activities, if I want to?
A. Absolutely! This would be a wonderful opportunity for you (and for the children) to spend time together.
Q. Can my child participate without me?
A. Since this program is intended to be a multi-generational program, where we can learn together and in parallel, parents are strongly encouraged to attend with their children. This is not a "drop-off" program. The locations are too beautiful, and life is too short to let only your child attend ZMANIM programs! If you are not able to join us, your child is welcome to come with another adult who can be responsible for them throughout the day.
Q: Can I bring my very young child?
A. If you have an infant to pre-K child, please come with your child/ren. We welcome participants of all ages! While you will be responsible for your young child for the entire day, in the spirit of "it takes a village to raise a child," we encourage the community that gathers to share in the care of little ones. If you would like to participate in a session geared for adults only without your child, you are welcome to find another adult who can be with your child in the children's session. We want to make sure we keep a safe adult-to-child ratio for the children's session, so please do not assume that the adult leaders of the children's program will be able to take care of your young child without another responsible adult.
Q. Can I register and pay on site?
A. You are welcome to pay on site, if necessary, but please do register by the registration deadline so that we can plan accordingly, and assure that we have enough materials and leaders for the number of participants.
Q. What do I need to bring?
A. For all our Together b'Teva (nature) gatherings (unless otherwise stated), please bring the following:
- Water bottle, and thermos for tea (optional)
- Lunch and snacks
- Camping chair or picnic blanket
- Warm clothes, walking shoes/hiking boots. It can be very cold, especially in the winter months. Please bring layers and be prepared to bundle up!
- Appropriate rain gear - We will have access to the barn at Ocean Song for basic shelter, but be prepared to be outside regardless of weather!
Q. Can I bring my dog with me to Ocean Song Farm & Wilderness Center?
A. No. Due to environmental concerns, dogs are NOT allowed at Ocean Song Farm & Wilderness Center.