David Arfa, Storyteller and Environmental Educator 



David Arfa

87 Mechanic Street
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370
(413) 625-2164




David Arfa is a dynamic storyteller and environmental educator dedicated to celebrating Judaism’s vibrant storytelling heritage and ancient environmental wisdom. He performs fantastic tales of rain makers and sea monsters, heroic rabbis and dark angels, proud beggars and just plain ordinary folk. David breathes life into stories from the past four millennium, thrilling audiences of all ages in schoolrooms and synagogues, fields and forests. His recent performance, The Life and Times of Herschel of Ostropol: The Greatest Prankster Ever to Live, was developed for the National Yiddish Book Center. Email for more information about performances, workshops, and residencies.


David Arfa is a dynamic environmental educator and storyteller with over fifteen years of experience teaching for environmental centers, museums and schools. He has a decade of involvement with the Jewish environmental movement beginning with his work for Shomrei Adamah, the first Jewish environmental organization. David’s interest in Judaism and ecology began while in Jerusalem for a post-collegiate year of traditional text study. His interest continued to grow while completing his Master of Science Degree in Environmental Education with Lesley College’s Audubon Expedition Institute.

David has developed and taught Jewish environmental programs for synagogue family groups, JCC summer camps, and college students. He co-created, directed and facilitated the Eco-Shalom Corps, a residential summer program for college students exploring the connection between Judaism and the environment. For the past two years, David has been the Program Director for the UMass-Amherst Hillel. His responsibilities included administering over a dozen student groups and teaching two university courses, Jewish Ecological Values, and Jewish Stories and Storytelling, for the Judaic Studies department.

David is also a professional storyteller and has performed for a variety of venues including the National Yiddish Book Center, and the Pioneer Valley Folklore Society. He is a member of Boston’s Jewish Storytelling Coalition, League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling, and the National Storytelling Association. David lives along the Deerfield River, in the foothills of the Berkshires, with his wife and son.

Jewish Storytelling Performances

These story presentations can be enjoyed around an outdoor campfire or in your auditorium. Most performances are suitable for all ages. Interactive storytelling workshops are also available.

Presentations available include

  • Rain Makers and Sea Monsters: Jewish Stories of the Natural World
  • The Life and Times of Herschel of Ostropol (The Greatest Prankster ever to Live!)
  • Crows Feet and Raven Feathers: Demon Tales from the Old World
  • Dark Angels, Saints, and Plain, Ordinary Folk: The Almost Lost Stories of the Connecticut River Valley

Jewish Environmental Education Programs

David offers a variety of programs which utilize a combination of environmental activities, text study, storytelling and group challenges. His classes are held in fields, forests and classrooms, and share a taste of Judaism’s ancient environmental wisdom.

Education Programs

  • Psalm/Pslam: Discovering the Beauty of the Natural World
  • Eighteen Billion Years and Six Days: Walking the Creation of Life on Earth
  • Singing with the Flowers: Exploring the Natural World with Pre-schoolers
  • The Sword of Moses: An Adventure-Quest for Youth

The Sword of Moses allows Children (first grade and up) to travel the hero’s journey as they step into this traditional folk tale. The children must solve group challenges to save the day. Psalm/Pslam, and Eighteen Billion Years and Six Days are designed for 3rd grade and up. Singing with the Flowers is designed for Pre-k through 2nd. Tu B’Shvat seders, interactive workshops, classes, and sermons are also available.

For booking or more information contact:

David Arfa
87 Mechanic St.
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

tel. (413) 625-2164
email: erslev_arfa@verizon.net