“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

Spiritual Practices on Retreat

Yoga on Retreat

Our yoga classes are led by certified instructors with years of experience and expertise. Yoga equipment is provided, and you are always welcome to bring your own if you would like to. We encourage you to ask questions and communicate directly with your yoga instructor.  Questions about our yoga practices should be directed to Myriam Klotz myriam@jewishspirituality.org

About yoga safety: On our registration form you will also see that you are required to sign a Yoga Release Form. We do this to ensure that you both understand the inherent risks in engaging in yoga, and that you will also take whatever precautionary steps necessary to not step beyond what is healthy or safe for your body. At every retreat, please let the teacher know if you have any prior injuries or accessibility needs that might affect your yoga practice–this will allow her to properly instruct you and help prevent any form of injury. Be aware that the Institute may not be held liable for any injury sustained in a yoga session on retreat.

Meditation on Retreat

Our meditation sessions are all guided or with prompts, with the exception of early-morning meditation, which is optional and individual. If you have difficulty sitting for long periods of time (30 minutes to an hour) we invite you to bring a chair-pad, cushion, or to stand as necessary during meditation sessions. Your safety and comfort is our primary concern, and we encourage you to take the steps necessary to have a healthy mediation experience.

Prayer on Retreat

Our prayer practice typically incorporates mindfulness meditation, Hebrew prayers and chants. Hebrew texts will always have transliteration and translations available. If you have a siddur or prayer book that you like to use, we welcome you to bring it (we provide siddurs as well). You are also welcome to bring ritual items such as tallit, kippah, or tefillin – we are not able to provide these.

Silence on Retreat

Institute retreats, even ones that are not specifically “silent” retreats, incorporate intentional silence throughout the program. We offer periods of intentional silence in the form of mindfulness meditation each day, and incorporate periods of quiet during prayer and study. We believe that when we step back from the impulse to speak, we offer our souls the space in which they can more fully manifest. In no way is this silence meant to stifle expression – rather, it is intended to expand the opportunities for greater self-knowledge and more intentional, compassionate expression and action.

Silent Retreat Participants:

Practicing silence can be a profound experience – leading to increased mindfulness and awareness on- and off-retreat. We encourage you to read more about silence before attending your first silent retreat with the Institute. If you are coming with a friend, family member or partner, you may want to consider registering for a single room instead of a double room, as it can sometimes be difficult to maintain silence while staying in a room with another person, especially someone close to you.

Questions?

Please contact Esther Smigel, Retreat and Programs Manager at esther@jewishspirituality.org with any logistical questions, and contact the program directors for any retreat format or content questions (please see the below list).

2011-2012 Program Directors

Cohort Programs:

Kivvun Program: Nancy Flam (nancy@jewishspirituality.org)
Hevraya (Professional Alumni/ae) Program: Marc Margolius (marc@jewishspirituality.org)
Jewish Meditation Teacher Training: Sheila Weinberg (sheila@jewishspirituality.org)
Torah Yoga Teacher Training: Myriam Klotz (myriam@jewishspirituality.org)
Rabbinic Program: Jonathan Slater (jonathan@jewishspirituality.org)

Open Enrollment Programs:

Lay/Open Retreats: Myriam Klotz (myriam@jewishspirituality.org)
Silent Retreats: Jordan Bendat-Appell (jordan@jewishspirituality.org)