Yoshi Silverstein is a Chinese-Ashkenazi-American Jew and an educator, designer, speaker, husband, and father. Selected as a 2021 “Grist 50 Fixer” building a more just and equitable future, Yoshi’s work weaves tapestries of embodied spiritual practice, somatic antiracism, and nourishing the body and soul through meaning making, purposeful connection, and creative expression. Yoshi earned his Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture at University of Maryland with a thesis exploring Jewish landscape journey and experience, and holds certificates in spiritual entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, permaculture design, and environmental education. Yoshi sits on the Board of Directors for Repair the World as program committee chair, and is Cleveland community organizer for Edot: The Midwest Regional Jewish Diversity and Racial Justice Collaborative. An adjunct faculty instructor at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and program faculty at M² Institute for Experiential Jewish Education, Cornerstone Seminar (Foundation for Jewish Camp), Institute for Jewish Spirituality, and Avodah’s Institute for Social Change, Yoshi is also a Senior Schusterman Fellow, and a student of Resmaa Menakem in the areas of embodied antiracism and somatic abolitionism.
Prior to founding Mitsui Collective, Yoshi was Director of the JOFEE Fellowship at Hazon from its launch through its first four cohorts, through which he catalyzed the growth and leadership of over 60 emerging professionals working across the US and Canada in the realm of Jewish relationship to land, food, culture, climate, and community. He holds over two decades of experience in both Jewish and secular outdoor, food, farming, and environmental education — including time working at the Teva Center (CT), Kayam Farm at the Pearlstone Center (MD), Camp Wise (OH), and Camp Solomon Schechter (WA).
Yoshi is an alumnus of M² Institute for Experiential Jewish Education’s inaugural Jewish Pedagogies Circle, of the Selah Leadership Program (Cohort 14, Jewish Leaders of Color) through Bend the Arc and current member of the Selah Advisory Council, was a founding member of the Repair the World NYC Advisory Board; and has been a cast member of Kaleidoscope Project’s “What Does Jewish Look Like to You” monologue series, an ELI Talks speaker, and a Dorot Fellow. He holds a 2nd degree blackbelt in Lotus Kajukenbo, and is an avid aficionado of Chinese Roast Duck.
Yoshi’s written work has been published in ArchDaily, ASLA’s The Dirt, Haaretz, and Green Prophet, and featured in Planetizen, ArchNewsNow, and the American Planning Association.
A Pacific Northwest native, Yoshi has resided in roughly fourteen different places since his eighteenth birthday – including the Olympic Mountains, central and northern Idaho Rockies, Berkshire Mountains, the Arava Valley, and the Bushwick Plains of Northern Brooklyn. He now lives in the Cleveland area with his wife and daughter.
Fun Fact: Yoshi was a captain of the Brandeis Ski Team in college, a team which sometimes made it to regionals and tried not to land in last place.
“Yoshi is an amazing, thoughtful, passionate leader. His passion for the JOFEE field is so evident.” ~Cohort 1 JOFEE Fellow