Elder Wisdom Holders 



“Elderhood is a time of unparalleled inner growth having evolutionary significance in this era of worldwide cultural transformation. It is a call from the future, a journey for the health and survival of our ailing planet Earth.” –Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi


group of youth, guides and elders in ceremony


Role Description

Young people need Elder mentors, role models, and supporters. Gaia Passages is committed to intergenerational learning and understands the vital roles that Elders hold in community. Some of these roles include Storyteller, Mentor, Mediators, Resolver of Conflicts, Deep listener, Sacred Clown, Earth Connector, and Ceremony Leader.

You do not have to have any special knowledge other than the wisdom you carry as an Elder and the ability to listen and help hold space for the *girls and their caregivers.  As an Elder, you will collaborate with program Guides to find the ways you can best contribute and bring your particular gifts to the group. 

The commitment from Gaia Passages’ Elder Wisdom Holders is to adopt a circle and attend gatherings a few times per year.  Elders are also asked to act as a support for the Guide(s) and caregivers of their chosen group. 

The vision is that Elders would meet with their group 2-3 times a year at our weekend daylong gatherings as well as help facilitate family days when applicable.  Elder anchors are of course welcome and encouraged to engage with your groups more frequently where possible.

As we are growing our Elder presence within and throughout Gaia Passages we hope that those who are anchoring groups (and possibly others) will also be a part of our Elder Council.  

This council meets several times per year to connect, share, and co-create ways to advise Gaia Passages ongoingly. The Elders Council members offer support to the Guides and the Parents.

Elders are invited to attend Guide trainings and Guide Councils as this is a wonderful way to build the community and to share Elder wisdom. We will be sure to honor you at all Gaia Passages Gatherings. 


*“Girls” refers to gender expansive youth (cis girls, trans girls, non-binary youth, gender non-conforming youth, gender queer youth and any girl-identified youth)

Elder Engagement

Here are some links with more information about Elder Engagement in Community:

  • Spiritual Eldering   Rabbi Zalman Schachter   (8 min)
  • Quotes and Poems – On elderhood and gratitude
  • Tasks of Elderhood -tasks of elders were collected and compiled by Allan Chinen In The Ever After: Fairy Tales and the Second Half of Life, adapted by Charles Nicholas.
  • Traditional Roles of Elders   -The traditional Roles of Elders in Indigenous Cultures from Aging to Saging – by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

To Apply

We are currently seeking a Bilingual (Spanish-English) speaking Elder Anchor for our newly forming Richmond Rites of Passage Program, which comes with a stipend to honor your time.

If you are interested in serving as an Elder Anchor, please contact Gaia Passages at support@gaiapassages.org. Please include “Elder Anchor” in the Subject Line of your email, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We also welcome inquiries from Elders who would like to participate on our Elder Council or who would like to contribute in other ways.


Gaia Passages is committed to being a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace collective, where all employees and volunteers, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, economic status, sexual orientation or identity, education or ability, feel valued and respected.  

We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach to hiring and workplace culture. We provide equal opportunity for employment and advancement in all of our departments, programs, and worksites. We welcome diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure all voices are heard and supported. We strive to offer belonging and sanctuary where difference, authenticity, personal and shared power are encouraged. We practice transparency, consent, and shared decision making throughout our organization. We encourage applications from African heritage people, Latinx people, Indigenous heritage people, Immigrants, LGBTQIA folx, Elders, and Young Adults. Non-traditional work and learning histories are welcomed with no formal academic requirements.

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