Developing Awareness & Connection to the Natural World through Bird Language & Judaism
Birds are the eyes and ears of the forest. Understanding Bird Language reveals many of natures secrets. As we open our senses to the birds, it brings us deep connection with the wild. Come learn to decipher what birds tell us about their wild friends, foes, as well as what they have to say about our own awareness & movement in the world.
Expand your awareness...activate your senses...and start to pick up on the constant conversation going on right in your backyard!
Did you know- a number of Rabbis and other important Jewish figures (King Solomon!) had the skills to communicate with the plants and animals around us, including birds. Such a practice can come alive, and off the pages of our books through this special two-part program.
Join Zmanim for one or both parts of this two-part workshop at Ragle Ranch Park, Sebastopol (March 18 & 26)
*Please note: if possible, both sessions are highly recommended and encouraged, since the second session can then build upon the first and teach new skills.
However, it is also possible to attend just one of the two sessions if you are otherwise unable to make it to both. Please contact us to let us know if you would like to attend but can only make it to one.
Why is Zmanim organizing such a gathering? See "*" below!
For more on bird language, check out Jon Young's book What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World
Early bird discount! Register by March 12!
**Advance registration required by Wed., March 15.**
March 18, 1:00-5pm
**Advance registration required by Wed., 3/15.**
March 26, 1:00-5pm
**Advance registration required by Wed., 3/22.**
(*Optional picnic together @ the conclusion of the program on each day.)
There will be two cohorts: one of adults and one of children ages 6-10. Each cohort will learn new awareness and connection skills through the lens of bird language and Judaism.
*These ages are guidelines!
- If your child is a little younger or a little older, email us and let's check in.
- If your child is a mature teenager, perhaps the adult cohort would be a good fit!
- If your child is much younger, perhaps a "babysitter share" can take place among interested parents with one of your favorite babysitters!
Ragle Ranch Park, Sebastopol.
We'll meet by the gazebo. Park at the end of the road. Ragle Park is a Sonoma County Regional Park and costs $7 to enter if you don't have a pass. Alternatively, you can park on the road outside the park and walk in.
Advance Registration Required by March 22
Free for Zmanim Cultivators
(Learn about becoming a Zmanim Cultivator here.)
- We'll be outside rain or shine, so bring rain gear and layers depending on the weather!
- Your own snacks and water (optional)
- Picnic dinner (optional)
- More details will be included in registration materials that will be sent out.
Who is teaching?
On March 18 Zmanim Rabbis Josh and Daria Jacobs-Velde will be joined by special guest educators, Jess Lerner and Jonathan Furst.
*Why is Zmanim organizing such a gathering?
There are actually concrete practices that promote the practice of deep listening, and a deeper sense of relationship with the landscape and what's around us that we aren't aware, but through paying attention to the birds, we can more acutely attune ourselves to that which surrounds us.
Why do we spend time organizing and creating such an offering? For all these connections that people can learn about and feel powerfully in their bodies, there are also Jewish teachings, prayers, and practices that connect to these ways of being in the world. For many people, "Judaism" is something that takes place in a synagogue, or is just about lighting Shabbat or Hanukkah candles, or having a Passover meal. It's not about a powerful, connected, ancient way to live in this world. And yet, Judaism can be a path of transformation, guidance and deep connection to life and all that's in it.
Through our Together b'Teva "Nature's Song" program, we hope to leave you with a deeper sense of connection to the natural world, skills to continue to deepen your connection after the program ends, and Jewish teachings and practices to ground this deep nature-connection experience in the moment and beyond.
Jess Lerner, is an educator, naturalist, and deep nature connection facilitator. Trained in the 8 Shields model of experiential learning and community building, Jess has been on the team of numerous bird language workshops both as participant and facilitator, and has had the fortunate opportunity to be mentored by bird language masters. Jess is currently a Youth Mentor with Wilderness Torah and the Marin-based Vilda Nature. Jess has an MA in Environmental Studies, and was recently certified as a California naturalist.
Fred Werner leads nature meditation, bird walks, and birding expeditions around the Bay Area. By day, he teaches sustainable design and architecture for San Fransisco high school students and mentors for Wilderness Torah's "B'Hootz" experiential outdoor Jewish education programming for Bay Area elementary students. A native of Washington DC, alumnus of the University of Michigan, Cornell University, and Peace Corps-Bolivia, Fred developed a "thing" for birds along the way, and has intensively studied birds on both coasts and in several Central and South American countries. He loves getting to be outside, surrounded by the noisy calm of birds and wind, melding Judaism, spirituality and his love of nature.