ABOUT

Our Mission

BaMidbar’s mission is to ensure that Jewish youth and young adults have the confidence, skills, and community support to navigate life’s challenges and thrive in the face of adversity.

OUR VISION

BaMidbar envisions a Jewish community that actively supports its members in cultivating mental health and wellness.

We achieve our mission and vision through community education and by providing wilderness-based journeys of self-discovery, hope, and healing. 

BaMidbar supports Jewish young adults struggling with mental health challenges through immersive, wilderness-based, Therapeutic Expeditions.

BaMidbar supports all Jewish teens and young adults, regardless of their mental health history, through Wellness Programs focused on building resilience through increased self-confidence, skill-building, and healthy relationships.

BaMidbar provides Professional Development for Jewish community professionals looking to expand their mental health literacy and explore facilitation through the lens of social and emotional growth.

Kavod

כבוד

Promoting honor, dignity, and respect for ourselves and others.

Simcha

שמחה

Finding joyful Jewish meaning in every aspect of our lives.

Tzmicha Ishit

צמיחה אישית

Accepting and pursuing the challenges of personal transformation.

Kehilla

קהילה

Cultivating the power of an inclusive and supportive community.

jewish,judaism,mental health,jewish youth,young adults,confidence,skills,community support,life challenges,adversity,thrive,wellness,therapy,wilderness therapy,about

Jory Hanselman Mayschak (she/her)

Chief Executive Officer

Jory Hanselman Mayschak is the Founder and CEO of BaMidbar. Jory started her career in the world of Jewish camping, when she joined the Ramah in the Rockies team during its inaugural season. Since then, Jory has worked in a variety of wilderness therapy and experiential education programs. In 2016, Jory returned to Ramah in the Rockies to develop and launch BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy, the nation’s first Jewish wilderness therapy program. In 2021, Jory led BaMidbar through its transition from a fiscally sponsored entity to an independent 501(c)3. Jory has dedicated her career to empowering and inspiring youth, and is thrilled to work in an environment where her three greatest passions – experiential learning, mental health and wellness, and Jewish tradition – intersect. Jory has a Bachelors of Science from Tufts University, a Masters Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Leadership from University of Colorado, and a Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Stanford University. She is also a Wexner Field Fellow.

Jory sets the strategic vision for BaMidbar and oversees board development, strategic program development, and fundraising and development efforts. Contact Jory if you’d like to learn more about our work, further our impact, or explore new partnerships with BaMidbar.

jewish,judaism,mental health,jewish youth,young adults,confidence,skills,community support,life challenges,adversity,thrive,wellness,therapy,wilderness therapy,about

Hayden Lilien (she/her)

Chief Operations Officer

Prior to joining BaMidbar, Hayden was the VP of Finance and Operations at Techbridge Girls and before that she was the Director of Finance and Administration at the National Center for Youth Law. Hayden is passionate about conflict resolution, creating healing spaces, dancing, and spending quality time in nature and with her family. Hayden has a B.S. in Finance from University of Florida, a J.D./M.B.A. from Stetson University College of Law and two Mediation Certifications from Northern California Mediation Center and The Center for Understanding in Conflict.

Hayden manages all business systems at BaMidbar with a particular focus on increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization. Contact Hayden if you have questions about BaMidbar’s financial management, human resources, and business operations.

jewish,judaism,mental health,jewish youth,young adults,confidence,skills,community support,life challenges,adversity,thrive,wellness,therapy,wilderness therapy,about

Emily Heeren (she/her)

Program Director

Emily has worked with youth and young adults both in and outside of the formal classroom for over eight years. With a foundation in experiential learning, Emily has applied her skills in high school special education, higher education, Jewish education, outdoor education, and mental health settings. Emily has a masters degree in Curriculum and Teaching with a concentration in Special Education from Boston University.

Emily develops and manages BaMidbar’s program portfolio and plays a key role in facilitating Education programs. Contact Emily if you have questions about BaMidbar’s Prevention and Education programs, would like to offer mental health and wellness training at your workplace or in your community, or would like to learn more about the BaMidbar approach and philosophy. 

jewish,judaism,mental health,jewish youth,young adults,confidence,skills,community support,life challenges,adversity,thrive,wellness,therapy,wilderness therapy,about

Nick Magle-Haberek (he/him)

Clinical Director

Nick has worked in the field of wilderness therapy and experiential education for the past twenty years. He earned masters degrees in both Social Work and Outdoor Education at the University of New Hampshire, and is also on the leadership committee for the Therapeutic Adventure Professional Group. Nick is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Clinical Adventure Therapist.

Nick oversees BaMidbar’s Treatment programming and manages our summer wilderness therapy program. He is also one of our lead Education program facilitators. Contact Nick if you have questions about our clinical approach and philosophy.

jewish,judaism,mental health,jewish youth,young adults,confidence,skills,community support,life challenges,adversity,thrive,wellness,therapy,wilderness therapy,about

Adam Karp (he/him)

Wellness programs manager

Adam graduated from Antioch University with a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in Spring 2021. Prior to pursuing his master’s degree, Adam worked in the fields of wilderness therapy and Jewish experiential education. Adam has also taught English as a Second Language in South Korea and French in Burlington, Vermont. He loves exploring the ways in which our hearts and minds align with Jewish history and philosophy. Most recently, that has involved working as a Field Therapist for BaMidbar, designing curriculum for Moving Traditions, and teaching high school students in Jewish educational settings. Adam enjoys hiking, traveling, languages, tinkering on the harmonica, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 

Adam is BaMidbar’s project lead with curriculum development and facilitation of the first Wellness Cohort of the Peer Leadership Fellowship; a program offered in partnership with the Jewish Teen Initiative at Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston. Contact Adam if you have questions about this program.

jewish,judaism,mental health,jewish youth,young adults,confidence,skills,community support,life challenges,adversity,thrive,wellness,therapy,wilderness therapy,about

Rose Savage Levenson (she/her)

Program and Operations coordinator

Prior to joining the team at BaMidbar, Rose was the Associate Director of Camp Bob Waldorf in Glendale, CA. In this role, Rose cultivated her growing passion for creating healing spaces in the outdoors for all youth and families, regardless of socio-economic status. Rose received her BA from Mount Holyoke College in Psychology and Education as well as an MBA in Non-Profit Management and an MA in Jewish Professional Leadership as a Wexner Graduate Fellow / Davidson Scholar from Brandeis University.

Rose supports organizational operations, including program coordination and implementation. Rose also provides on-the-ground logistical support for BaMidbar’s Treatment programs and works on growing and scaling professional development programs and new program initiatives. Contact Rose if you have questions about wilderness therapy program logistics.

Our Board

Rabbi Matt Shapiro, Co-Chair

Douglas Wolf, Treasurer

Teena Slatkin

Cliff Stockton

Elyssa Hammerman, Co-Chair

Alex Fader

Rabbi Anat Moskowitz

Judy Gerstenblith

jewish,judaism,mental health,jewish youth,young adults,confidence,skills,community support,life challenges,adversity,thrive,wellness,therapy,wilderness therapy,about

Join Our Summer Team!

We are currently hiring for seasonal staff to support our Wilderness Therapy programs. We are hiring for the following roles:

  • Field Guide

Read below for position information and use THIS LINK to apply today. 

jewish,judaism,mental health,jewish youth,young adults,confidence,skills,community support,life challenges,adversity,thrive,wellness,therapy,wilderness therapy,about

Seasonal Summer

Field Guide

Working in BaMidbar’s Wilderness Therapy program, Assistant and Lead Field Guides serve as mentors and wilderness guides for young adults struggling with mild to moderate social, emotional, behavioral, and academic challenges. Through applying therapeutic concepts, teaching technical and fundamental skills, integrating Jewish values and traditions, and connecting personally with students, staff serve as a support system for program participants.  Using BaMidbar’s supportive, strengths-based approach, Field Guides encourage students to move beyond their comfort zones to experience new, unexpected levels of confidence, personal achievement, and growth. Learn more here.

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jewish,judaism,mental health,jewish youth,young adults,confidence,skills,community support,life challenges,adversity,thrive,wellness,therapy,wilderness therapy,about

“For if they fall…”

In approaching program development, I knew that many of our tasks would be framed by the “existential questions” we needed to answer. These questions cover a broad swath of territory – from defining our target demographic to the nature of our family program to the integration of Judaism …

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jewish,judaism,mental health,jewish youth,young adults,confidence,skills,community support,life challenges,adversity,thrive,wellness,therapy,wilderness therapy,about

So, what’s this all about?

The most basic (and common) question that I hear is, “What is wilderness therapy?” In a nutshell, Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH) programs use wilderness and adventure-based experiences as a vehicle to promote the therapeutic growth of participants, in a process guided and directed by a licensed mental health …

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jewish,judaism,mental health,jewish youth,young adults,confidence,skills,community support,life challenges,adversity,thrive,wellness,therapy,wilderness therapy,about

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else”

It’s hard to believe three months have already passed since I joined the Ramah in the Rockies team to move BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy from an inception to reality. Over the coming months I’ll be using this blog to dive into particular program development topics in more detail. Today …

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