Jewish Life

At BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy, we meet every student where they are in their unique Jewish journey, and honor the roll Judaism does, or does not, play in their life.  As a community, we work with our students to find meaningful religious expression that speaks to them on an individual level. Our programming is guided by four core Jewish values:

  • Kavod – Honor, dignity and respect for ourselves and all of God’s creations.
  • Simcha – Finding joyful Jewish meaning in every aspect of our lives.
  • Tzmichah l’shit – Growth – Accepting the challenges of personal transformation in every important way.
  • Kehilla – Community and Connection – To spirituality, our families, the Jewish people, our communities, and the natural world.

BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy is kosher and Shabbat observant.

Identity:

Strong self-concept is essential to mental wellness and healthy decision-making. Through Jewish metaphor and storytelling, BaMidbar helps students see themselves in a larger framework of Jewish people, history, and values.  Through daily meditation or t’fillot (optional Jewish prayer), BaMidbar helps students strengthen personal identity and self-awareness.

Skills:

Skill development builds self-esteem and self-efficacy, and contributes to positive coping mechanisms.  BaMidbar helps students connect Jewish values to the process of recovery and explores Jewish practice as a positive coping mechanism in the face of challenges.

Community:

Research shows that a strong social support network is key to recovery efforts, but so often programs focus only on the personal process and do not fully consider the positive influence of strong social supports.   At BaMidbar, we understand that success isn’t achieved alone.  Community, particularly Jewish community, is a powerful champion for support and healthy outlets that continues beyond the wilderness setting.  The connections found around a Shabbat dinner table are not unique to the wilderness experience and can be a source of strength in any time or place.  By integrating engagement with Jewish community into our program, we hope students will be better equipped to build positive social supports at home and transfer lessons learned from the wilderness experience to their home environment.

Did you know: BaMidbar’s population is incredibly diverse, and our program attracts individuals from across the Jewish spectrum.  

5% of BaMidbar students have identified as Hassidic, 27% have identified as Modern Orthodox, 27% have identified as Conservative, and 36% have identified as Reform Jews.  77% of students thus far are male, 18% are female, and 5% identify as non-binary. 23% of students identify as Jews of color, and 28% of students identify as LGBTQ.  BaMidbar’s population is geographically diverse, and students have come from thirteen states and two countries.