“One of the life messages I took from the retreat was to notice, instead of being judgmental, during meditation – and during life as well.”

— Lay retreat participant, Winter 2012

Text Study 5777

Join in the expanding circle of those who share in the profound and spiritually uplifting world of Torah study with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Enrich yourself, deepen your experience of Torah study and expand the sources from which you teach by participating in the Institute’s text study program. Join us in mining these sources for useful and powerful teachings, informed by a contemplative, mindfulness-based approach.

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We are excited to be offering two text study options; sign up for text study this year with Rabbi Sam Feinsmith, Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg, or both!

Torah Study for the Soul: $240
Connecting Inner and Outer Worlds: $240 $190
Two-Subscription Package: $450 $400


Given the increase in activism in recent months, the Institute is reducing the price of ‘Connecting Inner and Outer Worlds: Mindfulness and Social Justice. 
For a limited time, subscribe to this mindful text study course at a reduced rate of $190 for a full year of deeply spiritual, resilient learning.

Student Rate: $50 for either program, $75 for both.

If you are a student, please email marab@jewishspirituality.org for information on how to register at the student rate.

Click here to register now!

Click here for more information on previous text studies!


Torah Study for the Soul: Degel Machaneh Efraim
Hasidic Text Study with Rabbi Sam Feinsmith

Rabbi Sam Feinsmith will offer lessons from Degel Machaneh Efraim, the teachings of R. Moshe Chaim Efraim of Sudilkov (1748-1800), grandson of the Ba’al Shem Tov. As a disciple of the Ba’al Shem Tov and his close circle from a tender age, R. Moshe Chaim Efraim saw himself as a transmitter of the foundational wisdom of Hasidism as taught by his grandfather. In addition to citing teachings he heard directly from the Ba’al Shem Tov, R. Moshe Chaim Efraim quotes seminal Hasidic teachings he heard from R. Yaakov Yosef of Polnoye and R. Nachman of Horodenka, close disciples of the Ba’al Shem Tov. In spite of his close adherence to the mystical traditions he received from his forebears, R. Moshe Chayim Efraim saw himself as an embodiment of an ongoing process of divine revelation. He found that mindful Torah study is a devotional practice that can yield fresh insights into the mysteries of the inner life. As such, his teachings provide a framework for studying Torah in a manner that clarifies and cultivates the inner terrain to discover the divine spark within and draw clarity and insight from the divine inner well. 

Each week Sam will provide a translation of one of the teachings on the weekly parasha (Torah portion), with reflection questions for personal application, commentary, and a practice to bring the lessons of the text into everyday life. As always, his commentary will be based in mindfulness practice and Jewish spirituality.

Rabbi Sam Feinsmith has been immersed in the world of Jewish contemplative living, learning, and teaching for over fifteen years. Serving as a consultant on a number of cutting-edge projects related to prayer, spirituality, and education, he has conducted Jewish meditation workshops and retreats for young children, teens, and Jewish educators and community leaders. After fourteen years of teaching Jewish mindfulness to teens and educators in NY and Illinois, Rabbi Feinsmith currently directs the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s national Educating for a Jewish Spiritual Life pilot for Jewish day schools and summer camps.


Connecting Inner and Outer Worlds:
Torah, Mindfulness, and Social Justice with Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg

“Interbeing and Co-Responsibility:” We look at our tendencies to separate “us” and “them,” and “inner” and “outer.” We see in ourselves the same structures of greed, hatred and delusion that we seek to change. We realize that there is ultimately no “other” to fight against, although some bear greater responsibility for suffering.

– Donald Rothberg and Diana Winston

One of the things we learn through mindfulness practice that ultimately, there is no separation between inner and outer worlds, and that inner work inevitably becomes outer work.

Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg will share a teaching on the weekly Torah portion to make the connection between our inner spiritual practice and the work that our practice leads us to do in the world. Each teaching will include instructions for mindfulness practice, guiding participants to gain awareness of those inner habits of mind and heart that mirror the patterns in the world that we seek to transform. Instructions and teachings will also draw out the Torah’s wisdom when it comes to discovering the heart’s boundless capacity for compassion.

Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg is the founder of Malkhut, a new progressive Jewish community in Western Queens, New York. She currently teaches mindfulness in the Kivvun program of IJS and is the former spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, in Chester, CT. Rachel was ordained from HUC-JIR in New York in 2003, and served as Assistant/Associate Rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, TX with a primary focus on social justice. Rabbi Goldenberg is a former co-chair of T’ruah: the Rabbinic call for Human Rights. She resides in Forest Hills, NY with her husband Jim and their two children Amina and Ziv.