Earth Based Judaism Second Cohort
Please extend a warm welcome and mazel tov to the newest EBJ Cohort!
We appreciate the time and efforts of our selection committee, who had a very difficult task to complete. You can learn more about ALEPH’s Earth-Based Judaism program here.
Carey Averbook (she/they) comes from a long line of Ashkenazi Jews who came to this land while escaping pogroms in Eastern Europe. Carey wears many hats, including multimedia visual storyteller and artist, communications strategist, interdisciplinary designer, and Well-being Coach. She works on training and education development at Westfeldt Institute for Emotional Hygiene and on culture and community building in her multigenerational Queer Jewish community. The thread of her work is a mission to change the conscious and unconscious stories that we individually and collectively embody as we labor for cultural healing, liberation, and fierce love. She is passionate about creating visual multimedia stories that explore well-being and “the good life” by prompting questions and a felt sense of connection with nature, ritual, community, and cultural resilience and resistance.
Carey is currently going through a ceremonial rites of passage and adult initiation journey with Tree of Life in Northern California. They received their MA in New Media Photojournalism from the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University and her BA in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. View some of her multimedia work at www.careyaverbook.net.
Jake Ya’akov Raphael Sapon
Jon Gottsegen (he/him) lives in Denver, CO after having grown up back east and lived in Santa Barbara and Salt Lake City. Jon is certified as a Mashpia Ruchani (spiritual director) through Aleph. He is winding down a long career in information technologies, most recently serving as Chief Data Officer for the state of Colorado, to focus on bringing hashpa’ah (spiritual direction) work into nature and the wild. Jon has also participated in ALEPH’s Davennen’ Leadership Training Institute and is a certified Torah Trek guide through Rabbi Mike Comins’ Torah Trek program. He engages in several earth-based spiritual practices, and as with most people involved in ALEPH programs, he is interested in creating innovative and engaging ways for connecting with the Divine both in a Jewish framework and outside of Judaism. You can read more about Jon’s hashpa’ah work at www.jonspiritualdirectioncolo.com
Jonathan Zvi Berman Billig
Jonathan Zvi Berman Billig (he/they) has designed programs, trained teachers, and coordinated departments at The Bronx Botanical Garden, Wave Hill, and New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock. He holds a Masters of Science from Antioch University, New England, and B.A.s from The Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University. His spiritual journey includes participation in ALEPH’s Kesher Fellowship and Romemu’s Yeshiva program, a stint as a Teva educator and farmhand at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, and 10+ years of practice in the Plum Village tradition of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. He also co-designed and led the “Synagogue In the Woods” program for Temple Beth Shalom, Mahopac and taught Hebrew school for a gaggle of synagogues.
Rebecca Schisler (she/her) is a meditation teacher, artist and rabbinical student. A devoted mindfulness practitioner, Rebecca has sat numerous intensive Jewish and Buddhist retreats in the US, India and Israel, and teaches on retreat with Or Ha Lev and Awakened Heart Project. She has taught meditation to children, teachers and parents in California schools with Mindful Life Project and is currently developing curriculum on mindfulness-based skills for social/emotional learning and constructive conflict at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, Israel. Rebecca is trained in womens’ initiatory arts and has guided adolescents through nature-based rites-of-passage as a lead facilitator with Wilderness Torah. She offers mindfulness coaching and mentoring to individuals, youth & families, and organizations. Learn more at www.rebeccaschisler.com.
Rose is multiracial indigenous, Mexican, and Ashkenazi Jewish. Rose was raised Jewish, and came to social justice work through el Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán (MEChA) and Xicana spirituality. Rose has a home-, family-, ancestor-, and earth-based spiritual practice, and finds community in Jews of Color spaces. Rose is from South Florida and currently lives in the DC suburbs. In their free time, they enjoy hiking, making homemade herbal medicine, and watching reality TV.