Curriculum

The Fellowship is a program that works at the intersection of sustainable urban agriculture, Jewish spirituality, and community building

Sustainable Agriculture

Working The Land

Fellows spend time learning and practicing sustainable agriculture on our two-acre farm campus in Berkeley. They are involved in all aspects of food production including: maintaining soil health, bed preparation, greenhouse management, planting, organic pest control, harvesting, and animal care (goats, chickens, bees, and worms). Fellows take on significant responsibility for farm and site chores; their work keeps the farm alive and thriving.

Learn more about The Farm!

Building Farm Community

at our Free Farm Stand & Volunteer Day

90% of food grown at Urban Adamah goes to local residents — who otherwise do not have access to organic produce — through our weekly Free Farm Stand. Fellows play a central role in this operation by harvesting the crops, distributing the produce, and intimately interacting with the community every Wednesday morning. Additionally, Urban Adamah fellows are instrumental in facilitating the work of our community volunteers. Volunteers are welcomed to the farm every week as well as monthly for organized work party events. Fellows lead interactive farm tours and work days for the larger community every month.

Learn more about The Free Farm Stand!

Urban Farming & Food Justice Classes

Through this series of classes Urban Adamah fellows learn the science, meaning, and politics behind the complex processes and choices that govern human interventions in agricultural systems on our Urban Farm. This curriculum is designed to give fellows a foundation of knowledge and skills on a range of topics fundamental to starting and running a small farm or garden in an urban context. These classes will also give a survey of challenges and solutions available to farmers who choose to grow food with the seventh generation in mind. 

Learn more about the Agriculture Curriculum!

Bay Area Urban Farm & Homestead Tours

As a part of their agricultural training, fellows have the opportunity to spend one day a week in direct service at partner organizations working on food access, nutrition education, seed sovereignty, resilience building, and earth-connection opportunities with some of communities most affected by the reality of the rapidly-changing Bay Area. Additionally, fellows will visit and lend a hand to other farms and gardens in the area to learn about other approaches and applications of sustainable agriculture in and around the San Francisco Bay . Past visits include Sunol AgPark, The Edible Schoolyard, Treasure Island Job Corps, Green Faerie Farm, the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center, and dozens of other Bay Area farms and homesteads.

Learn more about our Community Partners!

Jewish Tradition

Jewish Practice & Leadership

A key goal of the fellowship is to open up access to Jewish ritual and to put Jewish practice into the hands of fellows. We start by learning about the Jewish basics, from Kashrut, to blessings, to Shabbat. We create opportunities for fellows to step into an active role in creating the Jewish community they want to be a part of, of course with support from our staff along the way.

Unpacking Antisemitism

We aim to create space in our social action journey to reflect, explore, and better understand the way antisemitism is at play internally for us as well as systemically and culturally in today’s political climate. Jewish trauma continues to play a role in our Jewish communities and it is hard to find safe affinity space to unpack the ways that trauma is still with us, whether we are conscious of it or not.

Avodat Lev (Service of the Heart)

Each morning, we come together for an experience we call Avodat Lev, a meditative hour that is grounded in the traditional Jewish morning service. Our version is varied and creative, and includes music, poetry, meditation, and movement. The service is led by Urban Adamah staff, alumni, educators, and fellows over the course of the season. 

Shabbat at Urban Adamah

Shabbat is fellows’ time off. The work-week ends on Friday a few hours before sunset, and begins again on either Sunday or on Monday morning.

After an intense week of learning and growing, Shabbat can be a profound time of reflection, and rejuvenation. Each group of fellows decides what “keeping” Shabbat will consist of, and which Shabbat observances, if any, to keep in the shared spaces of the community house.

Community Learning & Living

Council

Every two weeks, fellows gather for a council, a space to share and hear how we are doing and what is coming up for each person. This time allows us to practice deep listening, empathy, compassion, and authentic sharing. This is considered essential to the emotional health of the community. We follow strict guidelines which create a safe space that encourages courageous and honest sharing.

Fellowship Meetings

Every week, fellows hold a self-run house meeting. General agenda items might include: assigning dinner cooks, making announcements, talking about shared space, deciding on chores, or planning to host a Shabbat dinner. These meetings are a chance to practice mindfulness in relationship, to try on nonviolent communication tools, and to build conscious, kind community.

Sharing Space

Each fellow will share a room with one to two other fellows. This means that fellows have the opportunity to practice compassionate relationships with those they share space with. Fellows are encouraged to make clear agreements early on in the process and to address challenges that come up using nonviolent communication skills. 

Social Action, Leadership & Mindfulness

Anti-Oppression Training

The Urban Adamah liberation curriculum blends discussions, storytelling, and other experiential exercises to allow us to ask questions and explore issues of privilege, oppression, power, and justice. Looking both inward and outward, we examine the ways privilege and oppression show up in ourselves and our lives, as well as how they function on a macro scale in the world. Topics include the cycle of socialization, the levels of oppression, unpacking privilege, allyship, and much more.

Leadership Training

The Urban Adamah leadership curriculum includes a deep dive into NVC (Non-Violent Communication), equipping fellows with a shared language to use in times of conflict and challenge (as well as in times of joy and connection!). Fellows will also be supported in taking on leadership roles in various aspects of the program including: crew leader of the week (called farm rosh), leading fellow-led classes based on fellow interest and expertise, leading Jewish ritual like Avodat Lev & Shabbat, and facilitating consensus based decision making process each week at fellowship meetings.

Our Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness practice is threaded throughout the fellowship experience. Meditation, singing, and other grounding practices are integrated into classes, workshops, and other curricular components. We also specifically  develop / practice mindfulness through Avodat Lev, Council, and Fellowship Meetings. 

Learn more about the application process!