The Fellowship is a leadership training and community building program with four core components...
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.
Building Farm Community
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 also occasionally lead interactive farm tours for the larger community.
Urban Farming Classes
Through this series of classes Urban Adamah fellows learn the science and meaning behind the complex processes and choices that govern human interventions in agricultural systems. 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.
Bay Area Urban Farm & Homestead Tours
As a part of their agricultural training, fellows have the opportunity to visit and lend a hand to other farms and gardens in the area. 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.
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.
The Urban Adamah curriculum includes leadership development exercises, discussions, journaling, and role-play scenarios. It is designed to prepare fellows for leadership roles after they leave the program. The leadership curriculum integrates Non-Violent Communication (NVC), workshops developed by the Rockwood Leadership Training Institute, and the Emotional Intelligence work of Daniel Goleman.
Free Farm Stand
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.
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.
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, and meditation. The service is led by Urban Adamah staff, alumni, outside educators, and fellows over the course of the season.
Every two weeks, fellows gather for an hour-long 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.
Every week, fellows have time for 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 NVC communication tools, and to build conscious, kind community.
At Urban Adamah we aim to use the ancient tools of our tradition to better understand ourselves, to build healthy relationships, and to create thriving community. Together, we also explore our holidays and rituals rooted in agricultural and natural cycles, texts that speak of an ancient relationship between humans and the earth, and laws designed to protect land, resources, and community. In all of it, we are guided by our tradition’s core values of kindness (chesed), justice (tzedek) and love (ahava).
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.
* Please note… There are musical instruments played as part of group programs during Shabbat and holidays. The kitchen in the fellow’s residence is strictly vegetarian (though not technically or supervised Kosher). No meat of any kind is permitted.