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Josh Lake’s Bio

In 2004 Josh founded Outdoor Jewish Adventures (OJA), a company specializing in outdoor experiences, education and adventures for Jews. Josh’s education includes a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary, completion of the Informal Jewish Education seminar at Brandies University, Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Certification from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), completion of the M2 Senior Educators Cohort of the Institute for Experiential Jewish Education, and many years of hiking and outdoor experiences. Josh also completed the Guides Track in Leadership Seminar, a 4-week seminar in Jewish Wilderness Spirituality.

From canoeing the Allagash (Maine) and Colorado (Utah) Rivers to hiking the 17,700-foot Throng La Pass (Nepal), Josh has learned as much on the trail as in his formal education.


Josh has spent 20 years leading outdoor excursions for Jewish clientele across the United States, Canada, Israel, England and even the wilds of New York City and Los Angeles. Josh’s passions are outdoor education and connecting people to spiritual and soulful experiences through outdoor adventures. 

josh in the woods.jpg

Two farmers were arguing over a piece of land.  Each claimed ownership and bolstered their ownership with proof.  To resolve their dispute, they agreed to put their case before the rabbi.  The rabbi listened but could not come to a decision because both seemed to be right.  Finally he said, ‘Since I cannot decide to whom this land belongs, let us ask the land.’  He knelt down to the ground and whispered the question, ‘To whom do you belong?’  He then put his ear to the ground, and, after a moment, stood up.  ‘Gentlemen, the land says that it belongs to neither of you-but that you belong to it.”                                        -Jewish Folk Tale

Please check out my JTS "Learn to Lead" profile:

Some of Josh’s outdoor experiences include:

  • ​​Hiked the John Muir Trail (JMT), 240 miles, California

  • Hiked the Annapurna Trail, Nepal

  • Ascent of the Throng La Pass (17,700’), Nepal

  • Ascent to Tilicho Lake (4,949 m), Nepal

  • Numerous ski trips in Quebec, Canada​

  • Canoeing 50 mile stretch of the Allagash River, Maine

  • Canoeing 70 mile section of the Colorado River in Utah

  • Ascent of Mt. Kenya (16,355’), Kenya

  • Hiked the Kalalau Valley (Kauai), Hawaii

  • Ascent of Mt. Adams (12,276'), Washington

  • Section hiked the Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier, Washington

  • Hiked the Juan De Fuca Trail, Victoria Island, Canada

  • Ascent of South Sister (10,358’), Oregon

  • Ascent of Mt. Whitney (14,440’), California

  • Sea to Sea (Yam L’Yam) hike, Israel

  • Numerous backpacking trips throughout Israel, Jordan and Egypt

  • Ascent of Har Tzabach (Mt. Tzabach), Egypt​

  • Ascent of 3 Munros (peaks over 3,000'), Scotland​

  • Ascent of Mt. St. Helens (8,366'), Washington

Some of the organizations Josh has worked with include:

  • ​​Ramah Camps

  • JCC Camps

  • Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC)

  • Soloman Schecter Day Schools

  • URJ Camps

  • Jewish Community Centers Association

  • Agnon Day School

  • Portland Jewish Academy

  • Milken Community High School

  • NewCaje

  • New Jewish Community High School

  • Pressman Hebrew Academy

  • Community Scholars Program

  • United Synagogue Youth

  • B'nai B'rith Youth Organization

  • Jewish Federation of Portland (Oregon)

  • Jewish Federation of Columbus (Ohio)

  • Camp Soloman Schechter

  • Limmud

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