Yesod, Hebrew for “foundation,” is a year-long, nature-based B’nei Mitzvah experience for youth seeking a meaningful rite of passage that weaves Jewish wisdom and ritual, nature connection, and wilderness skills with community and identity building.
Join us on Monday November 20th at 7:30 PM for a deep virtual dive, information session about our 4th Yesod Cohort (for grade 7&8 students in the 2024-25 school year). To receive the Zoom link to attend, email email@example.com.
Yesod, Hebrew for foundation, prepares participants in Grades 7 and 8 for Jewish adulthood with a meaningful coming-of-age experience. Running from September to June, Yesod seeks to offer an environmentally conscious, non-denominational Jewish rite-of-passage that leads to long-term nature connection and engagement in Jewish community, by building:
- Familiarity with Jewish tradition, stories, and teachings;
- Environmental values, ecological knowledge, and naturalist skills;
- Maturity, responsibility, and activism.
The Yesod program includes:
- Yamim (Days) B’Nature (one Sunday a month) are outdoor gatherings in Ontario’s natural spaces, where participants build their wilderness skills and awareness while engaging in experiential learning about Jewish cycles, wisdom, and history.
- Evenings B’Yachad (Together) (one Wednesday a month) involve community sharing circles, storytelling, and wild crafting to create unique Jewish ritual objects using natural materials.
- Shabbat B’Nature is a canoe trip focused on unearthing the awe of Creation through the practice of Shabbat, as well as a gathering of the wider community, including Yesod families, to celebrate this milestone.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Who is this for?
Yesod is for Jewish youth in Grades 7 and 8 (bar / bat / b. mitzvah age) who are seeking a hands-on, meaningful rite-of-passage experience that brings Jewish values, rituals and teachings to life through deep connection with the natural world. Yesod might be the right fit for:
- someone wondering how Judaism applies to their life or where they fit within Jewish tradition;
- someone looking for an alternative to the traditional b’nei mitzvah experience;
- and/or someone looking to ground and guide their b’nei mitzvah preparations and celebrations in Jewish wisdom, the outdoors and intentional community.
All levels of Jewish learning and practice are welcome.
Who are the Yesod mentors?
With a strong focus on deep nature-connection, joyful Jewish ritual, and interdependent resilience, our mentors support and guide our B’nei Mitzvahs in their first steps on the path of adulthood. Click here to see more about our staff.
What does Jewish learning look like in Yesod?
Throughout the entirety of the Yesod program, participants will be invited to explore, question, and envision their relationship to Jewish cycles of time, ritual, communication with Creator/Divine, texts, and ethics. Yesod takes a pluralistic approach to cultivating Jewish identity for its participants. Participants’ unique Jewish (and other) backgrounds will be respected and welcomed when openly discussing Jewish observance and values, and grappling with the complexities of Jewish tradition. By amplifying diverse voices, Yesod aims to create a supportive environment to foster individual and collective growth.
Where will Yesod take place?
Yesod programs and activities will take place at various parks, ravines, and urban wild spaces in the GTA, including Earl Bales Park, Cedarvale Ravine, Dufferin Grove Park, and High Park. As well, some Yom B’Naiture Sunday programs will take place at Bela Farm and conservation areas within a one-hour drive of Toronto. Our Evening B’Yachad will take place at a community member’s backyard or at the Shoresh office. The closing Shabbaton will take place further afield, within three hours of Toronto. Participants are responsible for travel to and from program locations.
How much does the program cost?
The cost of the Yesod B’nei Mitzvah Journey is sliding scale, from $2400-$3200 /participant (break-even cost is $2800/participant). Generous subsidies are available. To apply for a subsidy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Options for subsidy exist within the registration portal.
How do I sign up?
To register, kindly make a profile on CampBrain and sign up for Yesod and submit your deposit via EFT on CampBrain. Once received, you will be contacted to set up a 30 minute phone/video interview to ensure that Yesod is a good fit for your family. Following the interview, you will be asked to remit the remainder of tuition.
How can I learn more?
If you’re not sure yet if this is the right program for you, read about one of our days with a former cohort here,
A full refund (less non-refundable deposit) will be issued to any cancellation made at least 28 calendar days prior to the start date of the program. There will be no refunds issued for cancellations after 28 days prior to the program start date.
In-person programs run in all weather. In the event of extreme weather, a program may need to be rescheduled. No refunds will be issued for programs rescheduled due to extreme weather.
If a participant is unable to attend a session of Yesod due to illness, no refund will be issued.
Shoresh reserves the right to cancel a program or change a program’s duration, price, or location.
The above cancellation policy is not applicable during a time of force majeure or circumstances beyond our control (eg. pandemic, quarantine, natural disaster, etc.)
Cancellation due to Covid-19
If a participant is unable to attend Yesod due to illness or quarantine, we are, unfortunately, unable to issue a refund for days missed. If we are forced to shut down Yesod due to government mandate or other COVID-related circumstances, families will be issued a 50% prorated refund for each day missed.
Information and Accessibility
For more information, or to discuss any accessibility needs you have in order to be able to participate in Yesod, please contact Paul Kitz, Yesod Program Coordinator, at email@example.com or call 416-805-8382.