“I have been able to find a stronger center in myself to which I can return so that I am not shaken by the daily ups and downs of congregational life.”

— Rabbi Rona Shapiro

Reshet: Jewish Meditation Group Network Webinar Series

Reshet: Jewish Meditation Group Network Webinar Series


Reshet: Jewish Meditation Group Network (formerly V’asu Li Mikdash) is an initiative of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality that supports all those who teach, lead or organize Jewish mindfulness and meditation groups– as well as for those who hope to begin groups.

Our monthly webinars are designed to be a resource and inspiration for those who are involved with teaching Jewish mindfulness and meditation.  Each month we will have a webinar with a guest teacher or presenter who will address key topics within this field.  Some of the webinars will explore practical issues, like ways of structuring meditation groups or fundraising.  Others will address key sociological trends that impact our work, best practices from the secular mindfulness and Buddhist worlds, as well as teachings that draw from the wealth of Jewish wisdom.

We will not be having a March webinar due to our in-person conference!
We encourage you to attend the Reshet: The Jewish Meditation Group Network Retreat and Conference!

(Click the banner above to register or learn more!)

Webinar 1:
Intimacy and Revelation: The Piasetzer Rebbe on the Practice of Receiving Revelation
with Rabbi Dr. James Jacobson Maisels
Sunday, May 22, 2016

How do we hear our own Torah and our own revelation? How do we become spiritual warriors of the heart? In an extraordinarily beautiful teaching from the Warsaw Ghetto the Piaseczner Rebbe teaches us how to do just that. Together we will explore the implications of his profound teachings for our lives and practice.

Rabbi Dr. James Jacobson-Maisels is the founder of Or HaLev: A Center for Jewish Spirituality and Meditation, and has been studying and teaching meditation and Jewish spirituality for over fifteen years. He teaches Jewish thought, mysticism, spiritual practices and meditation at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Haifa University and 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.

The source sheet for this webinar can be downloaded here.

Click here to view Webinar 1: James Jacobson-Maisels

Webinar 2:
The Way of Mindful Education

with David Rechtschaffen
Thursday, June 30, 2016

This webinar focused on key principles for bringing mindfulness into our classrooms and informal educational settings–including a discussion on differentiation.

Daniel Rechtschaffen, Marriage and Family Therapist, is the author of The Way of Mindful Education and The Mindful Education Workbook. He organizes the annual Mindfulness in Education Conference and Teacher Training at the Omega Institute. Daniel offers keynote speeches and mindfulness trainings at conferences, schools, communities, and businesses, such as University of Wisconsin Madison, Google, Esalen Institute, and schools around the globe. Daniel teaches mindfulness through music, sports, storytelling, games and other creative and engaging ways. He is inspired to utilize mindfulness to help us become more conscious, compassionate, and committed to taking care of this miraculous world we live in. He is the founding director of Mindful Education, a mindfulness and social emotional learning platform for educators.

Click here to view Webinar 2: Daniel Rechtschaffen

Webinar 3:
Mindfulness as a Theological Practice
with Rabbi Jeff Roth
Thursday, July 28, 2016

This webinar focused on concepts from Jeff’s new book, Me, Myself, and God, a text on the theology of mindfulness.

Rabbi Jeff Roth is the founder and Director of The Awakened Heart Project for Contemplative Judaism. Jeff was the co-founder of Elat Chayyim where he served as Executive Director and Spiritual Director for 13 years. He has facilitated over 190 Jewish meditation retreats. Jeff is the author of Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life (2009), and Me, Myself, and God (2016).
The source sheets for this webinar can be downloaded here and here.

Click here to view Webinar 3: Rabbi Jeff Roth

Webinar 4:
Jews, Buddhism, and Jewish Buddhists:
Knowing What We are Doing in Order to be (Even More) Mindful Teachers
with Mira Niculescu
Sunday, August 21, 2016

The brilliance of Jewish thought is perhaps due to the fact that Jews have always borrowed from other cultures in order to better reappraise their own. Along this line, the encounter of Jews with Buddhism in the 20th century may be the most impactful one for late modern Judaism. We all, Jewish meditation teachers, are indebted to this encounter- even perhaps when we teach solely traditional Jewish Meditation. How so? How is Buddhism inspiring us and influencing our rediscovery of Jewish spirituality? What Buddhism inspires us? What to take, what to leave, and where to draw the line?

Drawing both from Mira’s doctoral work on this topic as a sociologist of Religion, and from her own experience as a Jewish meditation teacher, she will try to map the contemporary encounter between Buddhism and Jews in order to help clarify what is it exactly we are doing, where it comes from, and where each of us want to go with it. Because knowledge and reflexivity are essential tools to make us mindful teachers.

Mira Niculescu is an alumna of the full time Beit midrash and Art Fellowship Program at the Drisha Institute of Jewish Education in New York, an alumni of the Section Normale des Etudes Juives (SNEJ) program of the Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU) à Paris, a member of the Nahum Goldman Fellowship and Gesher (JDC) community, and a Board Member of Limoud France.She is currently pursuing a Phd thesis on contemporary Jewish Spirituality and religious Globalization, in the field of Sociology of Religion, at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. She is the founder of Neshama (www.neshamameditation.com), a Jewish meditation and Jewish spirituality project. Read Mira’s full bio here.

The source sheet for this webinar can be downloaded here.

Click here to view Webinar 4: Mira Niculescu

Webinar 5:
The Practice of Teshuvah: Preparing for the High Holy Days
with Rabbi Sheila Weinberg
Thursday, September 15, 2016

In this webinar, Rabbi Shelia Peltz Weinberg explores the inner dynamics of teshuvah–returning/turning–from the perspective of mindfulness practice.

Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg is a rabbi, educator, poet and nationally recognized pioneer in the field of Jewish mindfulness practice. She was a co-founder of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, and and has taught mindfulness meditation, yoga, and Hasidic literature to hundreds of rabbis, cantors, and lay leaders. She is the author of Surprisingly Happy: An Atypical Religious Memoir.

Click here to view Webinar 5: Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg

Webinar 6:
Hassidut and Mindfulness
with Rabbi Sam Feinsmith
Thursday, October 27, 2016

How can we relate to the body as a source of Torah, divine wisdom and insight? How can we touch the divine itself in our very bodies? These questions figure prominently in the teachings of Rabbi Moshe Chayim Efrayim of Sudilkov, grandson of the Ba’al Shem Tov, and author of Degel Machaneh Efrayim, one of the seminal works of early Hassidism. We will study selections from the opening teaching of his book that provide a working non-dual theological framing and hints that support concrete points in practice. This webinar will also give us an opportunity to continue exploring some of the key differences between Jewish and Buddhist mindfulness practice.

The source sheet for this webinar can be downloaded here.

Click here to view Webinar 6: Rabbi Sam Feinsmith

Webinar 7:
How Should We Respond in Times of Adversity? The Wisdom of the Kedushat Levi for This Moment
with Rabbi Jonathan Slater
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Rabbi Jonathan Slater draws upon the wisdom of the Hassidic master, the Kedushat Levi, that offers wisdom for mindfully practicing in this unpredictable and challenging time.

The source sheet for this webinar can be downloaded here.

Click here to view Webinar 7: Rabbi Jonathan Slater

Webinar 8:
Connecting Inner and Outer Worlds: Torah, Mindfulness, and Social Justice
with Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg shares 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.

The source sheet for this webinar can be downloaded here.

Click here to view Webinar 8: Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg

Webinar 9:
The Mindfulness Practice of Birkat Kohanim
with Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell unpacks the six facets of the Priestly Blessing (Birkat Kohanim, Num. 6:23-27) in the spirit of Jewish mindfulness practice.  Afterwards, we engage in a guiding blessing practice that is designed to help us to not only think about these blessings, but to actively feel them and cultivate them.

The source sheet for this webinar can be downloaded here.

Click here to view Webinar 9: Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell

Webinar 10:
A Yogic/Kabbalistic Approach to Meditation and Spiritual Practice

with Rabbi Yoel Glick
Sunday, February 19, 2017

Judaism and Hinduism are two ancient religions with a rich storehouse of inner wisdom and spiritual practices. In this webinar, we will explore some of the meeting points between Hindu and Jewish mysticism and look at how insights from the Yogic and Vedantic approaches to meditation and the spiritual life can help us to vitalize and re-envision Jewish teaching and practice.

The source sheet for this webinar can be downloaded here.

Click here to view Webinar 10: Rabbi Yoel Glick