on Jewish Meditation
Sunday 2 April 2023
Online via Zoom
This is a unique event.
Teachers from around the world, with a variety of outlooks on Judaism, will come together online to discuss their shared love of Jewish meditation. There will be news, views, texts, techniques, and many opportunities for practice and reflection.
Scroll down for more information and registration. You are warmly invited, regardless of your previous experiences of Judaism and meditation.
Daniel Raphael Silverstein
Daniel is founder and director of Applied Jewish Spirituality, an online portal which makes the transformative spiritual wisdom of our tradition accessible to all who seek it. He also teaches at the Conservative Yeshiva and the Romemu Yeshiva. Daniel is a spiritual seeker and artist whose journey has brought him to Buddhist retreat centers, Chi Kung courses and Orthodox yeshivot (rabbinical seminaries). Daniel is also an MC and spoken word artist who channels his experiences and teachings into poetry and music.
Sheila Peltz Weinberg
Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg served as a congregational rabbi for seventeen years. She graduated the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1986. She has published widely on such topics as feminism, spiritual direction, parenting, social justice and mindfulness from a Jewish perspective including three books: Surprisingly Happy, God Loves the Stranger and Let Us All Breathe Together. Rabbi Weinberg has taught mindfulness meditation and yoga to rabbis, Jewish professionals and lay people in the context of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. She created and taught the Jewish Mindfulness Teacher Training Program. She serves as a spiritual director to clergy and others including students and faculty at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Hebrew Union College.
Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels Ph.D. is the founder and executive director of Or HaLev: Center for Jewish Spirituality and Meditation (http://orhalev.org/). He has been studying and teaching meditation and Jewish spirituality for more than twenty five years. He received his Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from the University of Chicago and rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Daniel Landes, the Rosh Yeshivah of Pardes. He was the founding Rosh Yeshiva of Romemu Yeshiva and has taught and innovated programs in Jewish thought, mysticism, spiritual practices and meditation at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Haifa University, Yeshivat Hadar and in a variety of settings around the world. He strives to integrate his study and practice and to help teach and live Judaism as a spiritual discipline. Ordained while learning in a yeshiva through a traditional course of study, Rav James does not identify with any particular movement but is delighted by the diversity of Jewish expression.
Nathan Fisher is a PhD candidate at the University of California, Santa Barbara in Religious Studies and Cognitive Science. Before graduate school, he managed the Varieties of Contemplative Experience (VCE) study at the Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at Brown University and was a visiting scholar at the Mind and Life Institute. His dissertation investigates the dark nights of the soul in Abrahamic meditative traditions and proposes a person-centered cultural psychological framework that can be used by clinicians and teachers to provide better care for those suffering from these experiences.
For nearly two decades, Rav Doniel Katz’s open and compassionate teachings on consciousness, mysticism and global transformation, have been a catalyst for change in the lives of thousands around the world. Born and raised in Australia, Rav Doniel had an award-winning film and theater career until a year of intensive spiritual awakening in his mid-twenties led him in a radically new path. Exploring many wisdom paths and traditions in search of deeper clarity to explain his experiences, he was finally guided to Jerusalem in 2000, where he has since been immersed in the world of Torah and Kabbalistic teachings, learning from some of the city’s great rabbis and tzaddikim (spiritual masters). Rav Doniel is the Founder/Director of The Elevation Project, dedicated to bringing the Torah and Kabbalah’s ancient systems of meditation and personal development back to the forefront of the generation’s spiritual culture. Highlights of his international speaking engagements include: presenting at the symposium on “Contemplative Techniques of Abrahamic Traditions,” hosted by the Dalai Lama’s Mind & Life Institute; lecturing at the Sinai Indaba conference in South Africa, where over 5,000 attended his workshops; and his 2016 appearance at “the world’s premiere mindfulness-in-business conference,” Wisdom 2.0 in Tel Aviv.
Yael Shy is the Founder and CEO of Mindfulness Consulting, LLC, where she supports individuals and collectives uncover their inherent worth and capacity for deep joy. She is the author of the award-winning book, What Now? Meditation for Your Twenties and Beyond (Parallax, 2017), and the founder of Mindful NYU. Yael is an Adjunct Faculty Member at the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and the Institute for Jewish Spirituality.
Mira Neshama Weil
Rabbah Dr. Mira Neshama Weil is a Scholar and Teacher of Jewish Spirituality. The founder of miraneshama.com, a school for applied Jewish wisdom, and the Cofounder of the first Jewish Meditation App, Neshima.co, she received her Ph.D in Sociology of Religion at the EHESS in Paris, and Orthodox Smikha from Prof. Rabbi Daniel Sperber at Beit Midrash Har’El in Jerusalem. A certified Jewish Experiential Educator (Pardes), Jewish Mindfulness Teacher (IJS), Mindfulness Instructor (MTI) and Yoga Teacher (Sira RYT 200), Mira has taught for Or HaLev, Applied Jewish Spirituality, the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, Pardes, the Romemu Yeshiva, Moishe House Europe, Junction, Yesod, Dorot, HaMakom, Uri L’Tsedek, and other institutions internationally. Mira is passionate about making Jewish texts and practices accessible to all, and helping students turn their insights into concrete ethical transformation.
Rabbi Jeff Roth, D.Min., M.S.W. is the founder and Director of The Awakened Heart Project for Contemplative Judaism. He has led over 230 meditation retreats over the last 25 years. He was the co-founder of Elat Chayyim, the Jewish Spiritual Retreat Center, where he served as Executive Director and Spiritual Director for 13 years. He is the author of Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life and Me, Myself and God.. He was ordained by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi as well as by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Rabbi Roth served for eight tears as the Executive Director of B’nai Or which became P’nai Or before its transformation into Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. He lives with his partner Rabbi Joanna Katz in the Hudson River Valley.
Daniel Gigi MA is a Sephardic Rabbi, a specialist and author on the ecstatic Kabbalah, and an exponent of the Hasidic lineages of Peshischa, with particular interest in the school of Izhbitsa-Radzyn. He has trained in yoga, mindfulness and zazen under a variety of teachers, and is a mindfulness and meditation coach who runs workshops and retreats. His mission is to advance a renewed contemplative culture within mainstream Judaism as a foundation of Jewish practice and belief, which he facilitates through his organisation Maayan Hatum.
Roland Brandman is the author-editor of Sapphire Mind, a new synoptic philosophy and vast sourcebook of Jewish meditation. He is the Chairman of HaMakom, a chazan, a property lawyer, a past exhibitioner of Oxford University, and a member of the Athenaeum Club.
Zac is a Faculty Member of HaMakom. He teaches Jewish meditation in a variety of contexts, for HaMakom and Or HaLev. He also teaches mindfulness to adults and young people. He trained with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University. Prior to this he studied Theology at the University of Cambridge, and then spent a fellowship at Yale University. Zac has spent extensive time on retreat.
To view the programme for the symposium, select a time zone:
|Mira Neshama Weil||Jewish Mindfulness. How did it happen and where is it going?||Having started with a fringe counter-culture experimentation with Eastern practices in the 60s, how has Mindfulness made its way to synagogues and orthodox day schools in America and beyond?||16:00|
|Yael Shy||Longing as Freedom||“The opposite of anxiety is not calmness – it is desire.” – Dr. Mark Epstein. We are going to dive deeply into desire and longing as an antidote to anxiety and loneliness, and explore the Jewish practices and sources that help us make space for our longing.||16:30|
|Doniel Katz and Nathan Fisher||Elevating the Spark of Indigenous Jewish Meditation: An Interview with Rav Doniel Katz||In this session, meditation researcher Nathan Fisher will interview Rabbi Doniel Katz about his experience and approach to teaching Jewish meditation, the relationship between Jewish and other forms of contemplative practice, preliminary vs. advanced techniques, and what he envisions for future evolutions and iterations of the Jewish spiritual tradition.||17:00|
|Marc Margolius||Off the Cushion: Practicing Awareness in Action||This session will explore the relationship between Jewish mindfulness meditation and the practice of tikkun middot, integrating mindfulness with close attention to our middot — core, innate spiritual and ethical traits. We will address the theoretical basis of a mindfulness, compassion-based approach to middot practice, and the ways in which it may contrast with the practice of Mussar, and engage in practice together to explore how this approach supports applying our meditation practice throughout the day, when we are “off the cushion.”||17:30|
|Daniel Raphael Silverstein||A Passover Guided Meditation||The Passover Seder is not intended to be a merely intellectual exercise, but a deeply felt experience. Together we will re-live the story of the enslavement and liberation of our spiritual ancestors, so that we will merit to truly see ourselves as if we ourselves are leaving Mitzrayim.||18:00|
|Sheila Peltz-Weinberg||Jewish Prayer through the eyes of mindfulness practice||I will share some readings from my latest book, Let Us All breathe Together, that are interpretations of classic Jewish prayers from the perspective of one immersed in mindfulness practice. I will both read the prayers and allow an opportunity to integrate as an instruction for one’s practice.||18:30|
|James Jacobson-Maisels||Being Sacred Awareness||Awareness is a powerful tool that can bring clarity and insight. Yet awareness as witness can continue to create separation between the perceiver and the perceived. What happens if we follow Hasidic teachings to become sacred awareness and embody our divine nature? In this session we will briefly touch a text as a place of inspiration and then enter into a becoming awareness practice to play with the possibility of being divinity in the world.||19:00|
|Roland Brandman and Dan Gigi||The Sapphire Mind: An Underpinning for Thinking, Living and Practising||The heads of Britain’s two leading Jewish-meditation organisations will engage in an explorative dialogue on such topics as: the philosophy of mind, reality and life presented by Roland’s new anthology Sapphire Mind; the limitations of doing just mindfulness; the way of actor-less action; the future of Jewish meditation in the UK.||19:30|
|Rebecca Schisler||Jewish Meditation & Creative Liberation||Creativity is essential to who we are as human beings, made in the image of our Creator – b’tzelem Elohim. This session will explore Jewish perspectives on how mindfulness supports the emergence of creative expression and the necessity of cultivating our creative faculties in order to respond wisely to the challenges of our ever-changing world.||20:00|
|Jeff Roth||Jewish Contemplative Practice As a Path Towards Divine Realization||One way of approaching the practice of Jewish Mindfulness Meditation is to appreciate its potential as a theological practice of applied mysticism. Awakened attention to the present moment of Being might be described as devekut or direct experience of Divine manifestation when appreciating that the Divine name or tetragrammaton is nothing other than the verb “to be”.||20:30|