Although we offer membership, even that is unconventional. Why should a family of 5 pay the same dues as a family of 1? in our congregation, you build a membership that reflects your family. And as a popular alternative, we offer pay-as-you-go, fee for services. Gone are the days when Jews would willingly pay 3% of their income for synagogue dues even when they only attended High Holiday services. Today’s Jews ask, “What am I getting for my money?” and only wish to pay for what they use.
At Adventure Judaism, you become part of our community just by showing up.
We do not offer weekly Shabbat Services. Our constituency doesn’t want to go to weekly services. (Do you? Lots of synagogues offer them so we can recommend one to you.)
Adventure Rabbi people are busy with full lives and on weekends we ski, hike, party, hang out, go dancing and relax. When the weekend arrives, we don’t want to get dressed up to come to synagogue to count pages and have the rabbi preach at us and tell us how we should be more Jewish.
We have found that when an event is offered weekly, potential participants tend to say, “Oh I’ll just go next week,” and never actually go. Less frequent offerings increase and concentrate attendance.
We offer one Friday night a month in the summer months, which has become a beloved Boulder classic event. Our services are brief and joyful. (We have no interest in long, boring, sad services.)
Participant Involvement & Power to Create
Many of our most popular programs were created at the suggestion of our participants. For example, Passover in Moab was dreamed up by Kara and Steve Mertz.
Unlike large synagogues, with institutional traditions, chains of commands and committee charts, we are a nimble and flexible program. We have few committees and fewer meetings. New program ideas, or at least ones that can support themselves financially, can easily and quickly be brought to fruition.
We do not believe that prayer changes the will of a divine being. Therefore, we feel liberated to expand and contract our liturgical choices to create a service that is meaningful. We do believe that communal prayers offers an opportunity to connect with others in our community, our families and the Jewish people all over the world as well as to look within ourselves.
Origins of the Program
If you really want the inside scoop on how this program was started, read the forward of Rabbi Korngold’s book God in the Wilderness: Rediscovering the Spirituality of the Great Outdoors with the Adventure Rabbi. (Doubleday, 2008)
But the official pitch goes like this. Adventure Judaism was envisioned by Rabbi Jamie Korngold, who has experienced her most vibrant Jewish experiences in the outdoors. From scaling mountains to running ultra-marathons, she has found that the spirituality of the wilderness awakens Judaism.
Surrounded by the raw wonder of creation, Rabbi Korngold helps people experience an inner peace and an abiding connection to That Which is Greater Than Ourselves. In the wilderness, she believes, it is possible to distance ourselves from politics and protocol and allow the awareness of the connectedness of all things to permeate our souls.
When we were founded in 2001 the program was called “Adventure Rabbi.” But 16 years later, our staff had grown to include 3 rabbis and 3 educators as well as a vibrant congregation. In 2017 we adopted the more inclusive name of Adventure Judaism.
Come join us; let the wilderness awaken your Judaism.
The Adventure Judaism Headquarters are located in Boulder Colorado and is managed by Rabbi Jamie Korngold. We have a large office building in which we teach classes, lead smaller services, and hold meetings and conferences. For larger services, we rent space. Our religious school meets in the local elementary school.
Rabbi Jamie Korngold serves as the spiritual leader of Adventure Judaism. Rabbi Korngold received her ordination from Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion, the academic, spiritual and professional development center for Reform Judaism. Her undergraduate degree (B.S. Forestry) is from Cornell University, Ithaca NY.
The Adventure Judaism is philosophically and theologically aligned with Progressive Judaism in general and the Reform Movement more specifically. We are dedicated to creating opportunities to enhance our participants’ relationship with self, community, and Judaism. We provide a Jewish backdrop and context for their lives and through positive, communal Jewish experiences improve our participants sense of Jewish identity
Our rabbis are ordained by the Reform Movement’s seminaries and are expected to teach and preach in ways that are consistent with the mores of Progressive Judaism.
As liberal Jews, we look to our tradition to provide wisdom, insight, and guidance. We then couple our ancient teachings with modern interpretations, in order to find appropriate forms of contemporary religious expression.
We are committed to equality of women in all forms of practice and worship, the inclusion of people of all sexual orientations, and outreach to interfaith families and couples.
Adventure Judaism offers life-cycle events for all stages of Jewish life. We have a small chapel, but these events are usually held in private homes, rented facilities, or wilderness venues.
Brit Milah and Brit Bat are the beginning of life ceremonies in which the Jewish infant is entered into the covenant with God. The parents commit themselves to raise their child with 1) the study of Torah, 2) the practice of mitzvot (Jewish ritual/ethics) and 3) to prepare their child to have a Jewish home of his or her own someday.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah: Rabbis from Adventure Judaism officiate at Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies for candidates who have completed the requirements of our B’nai Mitzvah program. We have also created a Bar and Bat Yisrael program for students who wish to focus less on Hebrew and more on “mensch” training.
Weddings: Rabbis from Adventure Judaism officiate at weddings in all sorts of venues including synagogues, back-yards, hotels, homes, parks, and mountaintops.
Funerals: Rabbis from Adventure Judaism officiate at funerals
Adventure Judaism specializes in the experiential teaching of eco Judaism as well as Jewish ritual, practice, and theology. Our outdoor programs are infused with teaching moments. From the Rabbi’s sermons on the Torah portion of the week to discussions of contemporary theologians such as Martin Buber and Abraham Joshua Heschel, every event is filled with learning opportunities.
Rabbi Korngold is an expert in the field of Rabbinic texts dealing with Jewish attitudes about nature and teaches from Talmud, Midrash, and other sacred texts. Rabbi Korngold also has a strong background in Jewish ethics and frequently teaches on the subject of Jewish ethics for everyday living.
Children and Teen’s Programs
Adventure Rabbi Kids, our alternative religious school for kids in grades 1-6, is very camp like. Filled with activities, crafts, songs and games we make learning fun. We also run an engaging, fun-filled teen program in Boulder Colorado, as well as opportunities for teens to intern in our religious school.