The Institute for Jewish Spirituality presents Awareness in Action
The Institute for Jewish Spirituality presents Awareness in Action
The Institute for Jewish Spirituality presents Awareness in Action

Many of us struggle with “God language” – finding words, images, and practices to help us articulate our deepest spiritual experiences, yearnings, and inner life. The very word “God” and the popular concept of the Divine as a “Big Powerful Person” can impede rather than support our spiritual growth and understanding.

Are you looking for new ways and Jewish language which can more authentically express your own spirituality? Join Rabbi Toba Spitzer and the Institute for Jewish Spirituality for a powerful exploration of non-human metaphors for the Divine in Jewish tradition. Teachings will be taken from Rabbi Spitzer’s ground-breaking book God is Here: Reimagining the Divine, which explores in-depth the concept of God and new paths for welcoming the sacred into our lives. We recommend purchasing a copy of Toba’s books to accompany your learning.

This brand-new program is designed for non-believers, God believers, and all those in between. It includes seven live, weekly sessions, each one exploring a traditional Jewish metaphor for the Divine, such as Water, Voice, Fire, Rock, Cloud, and Becoming.

Rabbi Spitzer will discuss how traditional religion too often leaves those seeking spiritual sustenance craving more. In each weekly session, she will unpack a single metaphor, immersing participants in mindfulness practices designed to help you access these pathways to the sacred in your own life.

Together, we will ask:

      • How do traditional ideas of the deity serve as obstacles to this goal?
      • How can ancient metaphors for the Divine in the earliest sources of Judaism and Christianity allow us to experience the divine in our daily lives and face difficult times with grace?

This program will be held during the Omer, the period between Passover and Shavuot, which is traditionally a time dedicated to spiritual exploration and growth – an especially powerful time in the Jewish calendar to cultivate our spiritual lives.

God is Here:
Reimagining the Divine

Meet your instructor:

Rabbi Toba Spitzer

Rabbi Toba Spitzer has been the spiritual leader of Congregation Dorshei Tzedek in West Newton, MA since graduating from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1997. She has long been active in peace and justice work in the U.S. and in Israel/Palestine, served as a past president of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, and currently serves as the co-chair of the New England region of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. Her ground-breaking book God Is Here: Reimagining the Divine (St. Martin’s Press, 2022) is taught in synagogues and churches around the country.

Rabbi Spitzer served as the President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association from 2007-2009, the first openly LGBTQ rabbi to head a national rabbinic organization. She has received the honor of being included in Newsweek’s Top 50 Rabbis in America 2008 list as well as the 2010 Forward list of 50 Female Rabbis Who Are Making A Difference. She has a life goal of bowling in all 50 states (32 down so far!).

Guest instructor:

Koach Baruch (KB) Frazier, Au.D.

Live Session Guest Teacher on Thursday, May 9

Koach Baruch (KB) Frazier, Au.D. is a transformer, heartbeat of movements, healer, musician, founder of the Black Trans Torah Club and co-founder of the Tzedek Lab, a network of practitioners working at the intersection of dismantling racism, antisemitism and white supremacy. A collaborative leader, rooted in tradition, curiosity and love, Koach strives to dismantle racism, actualize liberation and transform lives both sonically and spiritually. He will be ordained as a rabbi by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in the spring of 2024.

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.