The Institute for Jewish Spirituality presents Awareness in Action

A 12-Week Online Program

January 8 – April 1, 2024

Registration is Now Closed

Jewish clergy, educators, and other Jewish communal professionals: you are invited to join author and master mindfulness teacher Yael Shy and Rabbi Miriam Margles of the IJS Senior Core Faculty for a special edition of Flourish, a transformative 12-week program in Jewish mindfulness.

*Certification issued by Mindfulness Consulting, LLC

As a Jewish communal professional, you are regularly asked to lead in contexts where others are facing grief and heartbreak, fear and pain. Your community turns to you to both guide and model the capacity to be clear and responsive, open-hearted, and present with the most difficult and most beautiful realities of life. And yet, we cannot lead wisely when we feel reactive, depleted, or burnt out.  We can only model what we ourselves embody – with skill, mindful awareness, and abiding sacred connection.
Flourish will offer you the space, tools, confidential community, and guidance to cultivate your own self-awareness, insight, and skill alongside the growth of your mindful Jewish leadership. Flourish is designed to renew and deepen your meditation practice, reduce suffering and stress, and support you to access a vast and stable source of resilience, awareness, and joy.
Flourish features ten live practice sessions, two mini-retreats, digestible, clear instructional videos, a rich array of Hasidic teachings and other Jewish sources, journaling prompts, guided meditations, chevruta/practice partners, and the opportunity to develop connections with other participants to support your Jewish spiritual growth and leadership.

At the conclusion of the experience, you will receive a certification in Jewish Mindful Practices from Mindfulness Consulting, LLC.

You will walk away from this experience able to:

      • Remain steady and grounded, using the tools of mindfulness and Jewish spiritual practice to find your center when the conditions around you are challenging

      • Find clarity and vitality in your body, relationships, and life

      • Draw upon Jewish teachings and practices as resources for ongoing insight and support

      • Connect to a community of supportive, like-minded Jewish communal professionals and/or fellow clergy, encouraging your growth

      • Work with inner critics and reactive habits with increasing friendliness, wisdom, and choice

      • Lead your community in guided meditation, mindfulness, and Jewish spiritual practices

Are you ready to begin?

Over 12 weeks, we’ll move at a pace that allows you to sink deeply into the material and apply it to your life. You will have step-by-step guidance and support from Yael, Rabbi Miriam, and your team of fellow Jewish communal professionals, co-travelers, and friends.

Flourish is not about passively receiving information. It is a transformative experience that allows you to apply ancient Jewish wisdom and Buddhist mindfulness practices to your life, as it is happening. It is paced to allow all the teachings to sink in deeply in a wrap-around experience of care and community.


The curriculum for this course weaves together Buddhist and Jewish teachings and practices. Buddhism is distinct in offering clear instruction and focused insight on how we learn to cultivate loving, non-judgmental, and clear awareness. At the same time, Judaism is our grounding orientation and framework, our soul’s home, and the language of our actions. The teachings of Hasidut offer clear and vivid focus in cultivating d’vekut, nurturing intimacy with divine Presence in every moment, and in becoming increasingly present with our inherent divine nature. This mindful, soulful way of engaging animates both the traditional practices of the mitzvot as well as guiding us to practice with our direct experience – body, heart, mind, and soul.

Week 1 – 4

Drop In

Step out of the stream of reactivity, overwhelm, over-analyzing, re-living the past or anxiously concocting an imaginary future and drop into the still waters of the present moment. This includes a three-part process of: 1) setting a kavanah, a clear intention to anchor yourself;  2) lasim lev – paying attention with an awakened heart and mind, and feeling your feelings; and 3) teshuva – the process of noticing when the mind is absorbed elsewhere and coming home, with clarity and compassion, to your anchoring kavanah.

Week 5 – 7

Move Closer

Get curious about the stories and beliefs you hold about yourself, the narratives that live inside your mind, and unravel that which is not serving you. This includes a three-part process of cultivating curiosity, questioning our narratives, and making space for all parts of ourselves. We will strengthen our ability to clearly see what is, within us and outside of us, holding emet, truth with chesed, deep compassion.

Week 8 – 10

Open Up

Claim the divine wholeness and experience the fullness of life that is always already within you. We will be grounded in Hasidic teachings of nonduality, as we practice opening our awareness to the Oneness of all Being, accessible through deepened intimacy with our inner lives, moving deeply into ourselves as the path to transcend our small, separate selves. This includes a three-part process of radical acceptance, cultivating qualities of the heart, and opening into freedom.

Week 11 – 12

Leading Others in Meditation

Learn the best practices of how to craft and guide simple meditation practices for your community. You will have the opportunity to practice leading others and gain helpful feedback to refine your skills.

What’s Included

  • 10 Short (5-20 minute) instructional videos moving you through the curriculum
  • Hasidic teachings and other Jewish sources to ground our learning and practice in indigenous Jewish wisdom
  • Guided Jewish spiritual practices including prayer, ritual, niggun, and embodied practice to integrate the teachings into our bodies and whole beings
  • 10 custom-made audio meditations to support your real-life practice, week-by-week
  • 12 weeks of tailored journaling prompts to help the material sink deeper
  • 1 Kick-off Mini Retreat (virtual): Monday January 8th, 2024 from 2:00 – 5:00 PM ET
  • 10 live weekly practice and discussion sessions  on Mondays at 3:00 – 4:15 PM ET. NOTE: The first regular session will take place on TUESDAY JANUARY 16th, 3:00 – 4:15 PM ET.  The final regular class will be on Monday March 18th, 3:00 – 4:15 PM ET.  All live sessions will be recorded.  
  • 1 Closing Celebration and Send-off Retreat (virtual): April 1, 2024 from 2:00 – 5:00 PM ET
  • An opportunity to move through the material with a Chevruta/Learning and Practice partner
  • 1 Certificate in Jewish Mindfulness Practices from Mindfulness Consulting, LLC to use on a resume, as professional development, or as a precursor for teacher training programs

How do I know if this program is for me?

This program is for Jewish communal professionals (clergy, educators, administrators, community leaders, etc) who…

  • Want to sink more deeply into a meditation practice, drawn from Jewish and Buddhist teachings and practices, in order to FLOURISH in their lives and leadership
  • Want support from experienced Jewish meditation teachers and a like-minded community as they apply evidence-based, ancient wisdom to their lives and leadership
  • Are excited to dive deeply, engage in the practices, and authentically and bravely show up in this experience
  • Want to integrate the tools of somatic practices into the development of mindfulness and healing
  • Want to eventually go on to lead and/or teach meditation to others

This program is not a good fit for those who…

  • Are brand new to meditation (i.e. no familiarity whatsoever)
  • Are seeking a teacher training program (although this is a great precursor to one!)
  • Are in an acute crisis without additional psychological support (i.e. therapist)

This certification program will open with an online retreat on January 8, 2024, from 2:00 – 5:00 PM ET

The program will close with an online retreat on April 1, 2024, from 2:00 – 5:00 PM ET.

The program also includes ten live sessions led by Yael Shy and Rabbi Miriam Margles.

These sessions will take place on Mondays or Tuesdays from 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM ET starting January 16, on these dates:

  • January 16, 22, 29
  • February 5, 12, 20, 26
  • March 4, 11, 18

Teaching portions of live sessions will be recorded and available for all participants.

Flourish: A Mindfulness Certification Program for Jewish Communal Professionals

Meet your instructors:

Rabbi Miriam Margles

Miriam has a long and rich association with IJS, having taught on various retreats and programs over the years. She joined the Institute as a Senior Core Faculty after over a decade as the rabbi of the Danforth Jewish Circle in Toronto. Her career has included service as a founding faculty member at the Romemu Yeshiva, serving as a fellow with the Rising Song Institute, co-founding the award-winning educational program engaging with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Encounter, and recording 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, prayer and practices, 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.

Yael Shy

Yael Shy is the CEO of Mindfulness Consulting, LLC, where she teaches and consults on mindfulness for universities, corporations, and private clients around the world. She is the author of the award-winning book, What Now? Meditation for Your Twenties and Beyond (Parallax, 2017), and the founder of Mindful NYU, the largest campus-based mindfulness initiative in the US.

Yael is a graduate of the IJS Jewish Mindfulness Teacher Training Certification and has over a decade of teaching and consulting experience and 20 years of meditation practice experience. She is adjunct faculty at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, Or HaLev, as well as at New York University. She has been featured on Good Morning America, CBS, Fox 5 News, and in Time Magazine and the Harvard Business Review.

About the Institute for Jewish Spirituality

Since 1999, IJS has been a leader in teaching traditional and contemporary Jewish spiritual practices that cultivate mindfulness so that each of us might act with enriched wisdom, clarity, and compassion. These practices, grounded in Jewish values and thought, enable participants to develop important skills while strengthening leadership capacities, deepening their inner lives, and connecting more meaningfully with others, Judaism, and the sacred.

About Mindfulness Consulting, LLC

Yael Shy offers transformative mindfulness coaching and consulting, rooted in thousands of years of ancient wisdom AND the latest scientific research, for more ease, healing, and joy. It is her life’s purpose to support individuals and collectives uncover their inherent worth and capacity for deep joy.

Yael has been using the transformative power of mindfulness, rooted in her 20+ years of study in Judaism and Zen Buddhism, to support herself and others through the pressures of life.

Co-sponsored by: