“For a vital, expressive, welcoming Jewish life to come into being, we must tend to our inner spiritual lives.” This statement describes the ardor and aim of programs offered through the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. The Institute serves the needs of rabbis, cantors, educators, congregants and community members through offering practice-based learning cohorts, retreats and leadership training that deepen contemplative Jewish spiritual life. Prayer, study of Hasidic texts, meditation, yoga and personal/communal growth form the core spiritual practices of the Institute. Rabbis, cantors and community leaders can participate in an 18 month learning cohort. In addition, the Institute offers the same leaders Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training, as well as Jewish Yoga Teacher Training. Lay leaders are invited to two yearly retreats focused on the Institute’s core spiritual practices. Occasional silent retreats are also offered, as well as an online Text Study course based on the work of Hasidic master teachers. All programs are designed to strengthen the spiritual lives of leaders and laity and some may be appropriate for congregational leadership teams and small groups. For those seeking to deepen their Jewish spirituality through embodied, contemplative practices, the Institute’s offerings are an exceptional resource to consider.
Reviewed by Beth Booram