on Jewish Meditation
Sunday 14 April 2024
Online via Zoom
Following the huge success of last year’s Symposium, we are delighted again to host another incredible online conference about Jewish contemplative spirituality.
Teachers and academics from around the world, with a variety of different outlooks on Judaism, will come together online to discuss their shared interest in and love of Jewish meditation.
There will be news, views, texts, dialogue and more, with 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.
The event is free of charge to attend so that the Symposium can remain independent and open to the entire world community. Please donate generously to ensure that our presenters are shown due appreciation for providing their insights to the Symposium and are supported in their wider work.
Rabbi Miriam Margles is a member of the Senior Core Faculty at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. She previously served as a congregational rabbi for 15 years – at the Danforth Jewish Circle in Toronto and the Woodstock Jewish Congregation (NY). She was a founding faculty member at the Romemu Yeshiva and co-founded Encounter, an educational organization working toward informed, courageous and resilient American & Israeli Jewish communal leadership on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Miriam was a fellow with the Rising Song Institute and recorded an album of her original Jewish music with the Hadar Rising Song Ensemble.
Miriam teaches and leads by creating an atmosphere of attentive, brave, playful and open-hearted exploration of Jewish text, contemplative prayer and mindfulness practice, our inner landscapes, resilient connection with others, and relationship with the wider world, all working toward healing, wisdom and liberation. Her work integrates exploration through movement, voice and song and creative writing. She is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and the Jerusalem Fellows at the Mandel Leadership Institute. She earned an MTS from Harvard Divinity School and a BFA from York University.
Institute for Jewish Spirituality: https://www.jewishspirituality.org/
Miriam’s album, Zeh HaYom – this is the day, is available at: https://miriammargles.bandcamp.com/album/this-is-the-day-zeh-hayom
Mira Neshama Weil
Mira Neshama Weil is the founding Teacher of Neshima.co, the Jewish Meditation App and CEO at miraneshama.com. She received her Ph.D in Sociology of Religion at the EHESS in Paris, and her Orthodox Rabbinic 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 is adjunct Faculty at Or HaLev, Applied Jewish Spirituality, and the Institute for Jewish Spirituality.
The Author of numerous Academic Articles, book chapters and Press Articles on the ‘Jewish Buddhists’ Phenomenon, Jewish Mindfulness and Contemporary Jewish Spirituality, she has been teaching Hasidic Torah and Meditation online and internationally for over a decade, helping people cultivate embodied wisdom from the Jewish tradition.
Mira lives in Tel Aviv with her husband Matan and their dog Nissim, and when she isn’t learning or teaching Torah, she can be found painting illustrations, baking challah, or simply, meditating.
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.
Chasya Uriel Steinbauer
Rabbi Chasya, Founder & Director of The Institute for Holiness: Kehilat Mussar Mindfulness (https://www.kehilatmussar.com), integrates the teachings, wisdom, and practices of Mussar from Judaism and the Dharma from Theravada Buddhism, and is deeply informed by brain-based secular Buddhism and Mindfulness. The Institute is the only center in the world that unabashedly teaches Mussar Mindfulness as a unified path. A practitioner, teacher, and certified mindfulness meditation teacher for 28 years, Rabbi Chasya leads Mussar V’adim (groups), daily mindfulness meditation, and hosts the weekly podcast and blog Awakening: Torah Mussar Mindfulness.
Zvika Krieger is the Spiritual Leader of Chochmat HaLev, a progressive spiritual community in Berkeley, CA for embodied prayer and mindfulness, heart-centered connections, and mystical wisdom. He is co-founder of Shevet: Jewish Mindfulness Collective and has served in board and leadership positions for Sukkat Shalom/Milk+Honey camp at Burning Man, Jewish Studio Project, DC Minyan, and other organizations dedicated to nourishing the mind, body, and soul.
Zvika has previously served as Facebook/Meta’s first-ever Director of Responsible Innovation, co-founder of the World Economic Forum’s Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the US Department of State’s first-ever “Ambassador to Silicon Valley,” and Middle East Correspondent for Newsweek.
Learn more about Zvika at www.zvikakrieger.com and follow him on Instagram at @zkrieger.
Rav Jericho Vincent is the founder and spiritual leader of Temple of the Stranger and a teacher of Torah to tens of thousands on Instagram and as a guest of dozens of communities across the country. They hold a graduate degree in public policy from Harvard University and are ordained in the lineage of Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. Jericho serves as an advisor to the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Clergy Leadership Program and as a board member of The Shalom Center. Jericho has been named to the Jewish Week’s 36 Under 36 and Forward 50 for their work.
Julie Emden, E-RYT-500, Halprin Practitioner, is the Founding Director of Embodied Jewish Learning (EJL) and the Embodied Jewish Wisdom Network, a global collective of leaders and seekers of movement practices infused with Jewish wisdom. A graduate of five fellowship and teaching certification programs related to her work as a Iyengar-based Yoga instructor, dancer, Jewish educator, and movement/expressive artist, Julie has over two decades of experience guiding others in somatic explorations of Jewish wisdom teachings as a resource for living in balance and wholeness.
Julie has served on faculty for various organizations and EJL hosts an Advanced Teacher Training; a Global Directory and Class Calendar for leaders of embodiment in the Jewish world; podcasts, classes, workshops, coaching, mentorship and more. More info at www.embodiedjewishlearning.org.
Rabbi Myriam Klotz (she/they) is Senior Core Faculty at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Myriam has taught Jewish yoga and embodied practice with IJS and elsewhere for over 30 years, including co-creating and directing The Yoga and Jewish Spirituality Teacher Training at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. Currently Myriam directs Kol Dodi Jewish Spiritual Director Training at IJS.
Myriam’s upcoming IJS 4 week course, From My Flesh I See God: Embodying the Amidah, runs February 11-March 8, 2024.
Jenna Zadaka has creatively infused Jewish mystic teachings from the cyclical Hebrew calendar into wellness practices for over 10 years. Jenna’s passion is teaching embodiment practices that help women anchor to Jewish time in a healing and connective way. As a celebrated teacher of Jewish Mysticism, Yoga, and Mindfulness, Jenna humbly draws forth great wisdom from her root-teachers and ancestors.
Jenna founded the Jewish Yoga Course , a yoga journey through the 12 months of the Hebrew Calendar and the Sefirot Embodiment Course via breathandsoul.net. Jenna authored and created mystic meditation cards, a deck with 90 meditations sourced in Jewish ancient wisdom. Jenna is currently the Jewish Education Director of At The Well, a project to uplift Rosh Chodesh and wellness practices for women.
You can explore her online flows, meditations, and wisdom at www.breathandsoul.net or connect to her via Instagram at @breathandsoul_Jenna
Alan Brill is the Cooperman/Ross Endowed Chair in the Jewish-Christian Studies Graduate Program in the Department of Religion at Seton Hall University. He specializes in interfaith theology, mysticism, and comparative theology. Brill is the author of several books including Judaism and Other Relgions; Judaism and World Religions; and Rabbi on the Ganges: A Jewish-Hindu Encounter based on his time as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. He is currently working on a book on a Jewish view of religious diversity and was a keynote speaker at the recent R20 summit in Bali.
Brill has taught Kabbalistic meditation on and off for 30 years in many settings. He has presented on Jewish meditation in Indian centers including the Tantra Institute in New Delhi, in Varanasi, and in Haridwar. He has spoken to experts in these locations about similarities and differences between the practices. Eventually, these explorations will form a book on Jewish visualization meditations.
To view the programme for the symposium, select a time zone:
|Mira Neshama Weil
|Jewish Mindfulness and Jewish Meditation: what is what?
|“Jewish Meditation” has become popular in Jewish Western culture over the past few decades. The recent upsurge of Meditative practice in synagogues, JCCs and Jewish Schools, is still surprising for many who grew up without a hint of contemplative practice, and they would be right: while Jewish meditation has been at the heart of the Jewish Mystical culture for millennia, it was not accessible to the larger audience up until the end of the twentieth century. Yet a lot of what is taught as Jewish Meditation today is really Jewish Mindfulness: mindfulness in a Jewish Frame. What is what, what does each mean, and why does making the difference matter?
In this academic lecture, Mira Weil will offer an overview and insights on the contemporary field of Jewish Mindfulness and Meditation.
|Ramak’s View of Marital Sex as A Meditative Redemptive Experience
|How to kiss and hug in a meditative way? Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, the influential 16th century Safed kabbalist, frames conjugal intimacy as a unique opportunity to arouse physical bodily passions for the spiritual purpose of connecting to the feminine sefira (divine emanation) of Malkhut / Shekhinah (Kingdom / Presence) and thus bring redemption (geulah) to our lives.
|Living Aligned: The Bliss of Uniting the Masculine and the Feminine Dimensions of Mind
|Lean an ancient practice to radically increase your capacity for concentration, motivation, creativity, inner alignment and spiritual awareness.
|Jericho Vincent &
|Why hasn’t Jewish meditation gone mainstream (yet)?
|Buddhism and Hinduism have sparked spiritual movements that have resonated with audiences far beyond the people who identify with those religions. Judaism has the potential to do the same, but has not. In this session we’ll explore whether this is a desirable goal, and if so, what would be needed to launch a mass-appeal Jewish spiritual movement centered around mindfulness, healing, and deep inner work?
|Kabbalah of the Months: An Invitation to Embodied Practice
|During this session, we will delve into the cyclical Hebrew Calendar as a guide into Jewish meditation and embodied practice. By exploring the month of Nissan, the lunar starting point of the year, we can re-attune ourselves to the intricate lunar tapestry of sacred time, and see how it can be a guide to explore our own inner-seasons.
|Chasya Uriel Steinbauer & Josh Feigelson
|Mussar: Mundane Holiness
|This unique dialogue between two leaders in the world of contemplative Jewish practice, mindfulness meditation and practice will highlight Mussar as a Jewish mindfulness psycho-religio-ethical-moral daily discipline and life path. Many still do not know about Mussar as a way and vision, so Rav Josh & Rabba Chasya will bring attention to their respective organization’s approach to Mussar, each emphasizing points of departure, while also highlighting the distinct thriving practice and learning of Mussar going on in their institutions.
|Alan Brill with Roland Brandman
|Rabbi on the Ganges: Tantra, Meditation, and Kavvanot
|Professor Rabbi Alan Brill will be in conversation about his life and work, touching on such areas as Hindu-Jewish parallels, his interfaith work, mysticism Chasidic, non-Chasidic and general Kabbalah, types of visualization practice, contemporary trends, and his travels.
|Myriam Klotz &
|Mindfulness Through the Body: Sacred Movements in Conversation
|Join Myriam and Julie in a conversation about the role of the body and embodied practice as it relates to Jewish mindfulness and meditation. Hear about their personal journeys with Yoga, mindfulness and embodiment; their interweaving and unique paths of practicing, developing, teaching, and sharing their work.
|Guest presenter TBC
|Talk or dialogue about the role of meditation in Judaism past and present. Details to follow.
|END OF SYMPOSIUM