Our Jewish Commitment
Judaism guides us in all our adventures. Jewish skills and knowledge come alive as we navigate through the natural world. Our Shacharit (morning) prayers help open our eyes to the miracles that are constantly happening around us (Pokiach Ivrim). Baking Challah over an open fire thrusts us into an experiential relationship with our rituals and ancestors. Judaism organically flows through our activities so both those with an intimate knowledge of Judaism, and those experimenting with spirituality, feel comfortable and engaged by our programs.
Our Environmental Commitment
Tikkun Olam (Fixing the World) is a guiding principal at OJA. We practice what we preach. From buying local, organic ingredients for our food whenever possible, to recycling our kiddush grape juice and wine bottles, we believe we are partners in Creation and that we have a responsibility to care for our world. We practice Leave No Trace guidelines, both in nature and at home. Our advertising materials are produced from post-consumer, recycled paper products with soy-based inks. On our camping trips we practice and teach sustainable and practical ways to protect our natural resources. We leave the places we visit cleaner then when we arrived. These are standard operating procedures on all our adventures. Sometimes our principles cost us extra time and money, but this is our way of doing business.
Our Educational Commitment
Education is at the core of our programming. Fun, exciting and engaging activities help create educational opportunities. We believe that education does not happen in a vacuum; we need to explore our world in order to learn about ourselves. Experiential education is a guiding principal in the development of our programming. We believe that hands-on activities such as building a fire, making a natural Mezuzah and canoeing down a river, create experiences that will enable us to navigate our world and our lives with more ease, confidence and enjoyment.
"In order to serve God, one needs access to the enjoyment of the beauties of nature, such as the contemplation of flower decorated meadows, majestic mountains, flowing rivers etc. For all these are essential to the development of even the holiest of people."
-Rabbi Abraham ben Maimonides