Ariela Ronay-Jinich (she/her/ella) grew up in Mexico City, where her family is from. She has been serving Bay Area youth and families since 2005, focusing her work on innovative Jewish educational programs that center nature connection and community-building. Programs she has founded and directed include Urban Adamah’s youth and family programs, B’Hootz (Wilderness Torah), Edah (Berkeley), and garden programs at Camp Tawonga and Gan Shalom Preschool. She offers a signature professional development and consulting program, “Jewish Outside,” which has trained educators from over 15 preschools throughout the Bay Area in nature-based Jewish learning.
She most recently served as Program Manager for Project Shamash, a racial justice initiative of Bend the Arc focused on supporting Jews of Color leadership and racial equity work among Jewish organizations in the Bay. Her recent launch of “Olamim,” a family engagement program for Latinx Jewish families, uniquely blends her equity work with her extensive background in nature connection, early childhood education, and community-building.
Ariela holds a B.A in Education Policy and History from Brown University, and completed a Masters in Educational Leadership from Mills College in Oakland. Her current research focuses on heritage language learning and intersectional identity among Latinx Jewish families, and she has received a generous grant from the Jews of Color Initiative to continue her research while launching Olamim’s community programs. She is a Helen Diller Family Award recipient for Excellence in Jewish Education, a JECELI alumna, a Kevah Teaching Fellow, TorahTrek Guide, and a Selah and Rockwood Institute alumna. Ariela lives in the Bay Area, calls the Redwoods her family, and is enjoying raising her daughter, Alma (4), to delight in speaking Spanish and feel nourished by her Jewish, Mexican, and Persian cultural roots.