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

A Five Week Online Program | Open to All

Do you wish you could listen better to other people, especially those you care about?

In our busy, noisy world, it can be hard to do–and even more so in these times of so much tumult, chaos, and polarization. But it doesn’t need to be this way.

Shema: The Practice of Sacred Listening is a five-week program designed to help you be more fully present and less reactive in conversation, especially when challenging emotions, differing values, or judgments arise. Shema, meaning “hear” in Hebrew, will help you listen deeply, with sacred awareness to both yourself and others. You can strengthen your ability to listen for the interconnection you share with all beings, a unity which often lies quietly beneath the louder voices of separation, judgment, and fear.

Here’s What Shema Participants Have to Say
About The Impact of This Course on Their Practice

“Thank you for this course. The way it was taught, and the integration of Jewish teachings, layers of mindfulness practice, and listening brought me deeper into the process of listening from my heart/mind… I look forward to studying further with IJS.”
“(This course) has already made a significant difference in some of my relationships.”
“The Shema class has a powerful emotional and brain sizzling effect on me that continues to glow and grow after each class ends.”

Shema will help you listen with a more receptive heart and open mind. Through a simple and powerful three-step process, you will improve your ability to skillfully engage the practices of sacred listening and wise response–to yourself, others, and the Divine. You will do this work in the context of a safe and supportive community of other participants. These foundational skills enable you to listen with clarity and compassion, stay present with your own experience, and support others to feel truly seen, heard, and held.

This course is led by Rabbi Myriam Klotz, Rebecca Schisler, and Rabbi Josh Feigelson. Myriam is a pioneer and leader in the field of Spiritual Direction, a practice of listening mindfully to another as you support them in their sacred journey. Rebecca brings her experience as the co-author of Pardes Institute’s Mahloket Matters schools curriculum which integrates Social-Emotional Intelligence, skills for constructive conflict, and Jewish wisdom. Josh is a veteran teacher of listening and facilitation, most notably as founder of the award-winning Ask Big Questions initiative of Hillel International. We are thrilled to offer the IJS community this offering.

Learning and practice is sustained and deepened through:

        • Materials for each live session
        • Guided practice instructions
        • Weekly reflection questions to support you in processing and integrating key learnings and insights
        • The option of working with a practice partner

Shema: The Practice of Sacred Listening

Meet your instructors:

Rabbi Myriam Klotz

Rabbi Myriam Klotz (she/they)

Myriam is IJS Senior Core Faculty, where she has taught since 2003. Myriam is Program Director for the IJS Kol Dodi Jewish Spiritual Director Training program, now in its first cohort. She was the director of the Spirituality Initiative/Spiritual Direction program at HUC-JIR from 2010-2020, where they directed the Bekhol Levavkha Jewish Spiritual Director Training. Myriam is also a spiritual director and supervisor in private practice. A graduate of Brown University, New York University/International Center of Photography and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Myriam is a certified yoga instructor, yoga therapist and body worker. Myriam and her family live in Philadelphia, PA.

Rebecca Schisler (she/her)

Rebecca is a meditation teacher, artist, and Jewish educator. She has sat intensive retreats in the US and abroad for over a decade, and has trained with Mindful Schools and the Engaged Mindfulness Institute. She has led groups and retreats with Or HaLev, Awakened Heart Project, Orot, Wilderness Torah, Pardes, and Mindful Life Project. She was previously the Director of Student Health & Well-being at Stanford University’s Hillel, and co-authored the Mahloket Matters Schools Curriculum with the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators. She is a student rabbi at ALEPH and recently joined IJS as a Core Faculty member.

Rabbi Josh Feigelson (he/him)

Rabbi Josh Feigelson, PhD has served as President & CEO of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality since February 2020. He received ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in 2005, and served for six years as the Hillel Rabbi at Northwestern University, where he also earned a doctorate in Religious Studies. In 2011, Josh helped found and served as Executive Director of Ask Big Questions, an initiative of Hillel International, which won the inaugural Lippman-Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom. Most recently he served as Dean of Students at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He is the author of Eternal Questions: Reflections, Conversations, and Jewish Mindfulness Practices for the Weekly Torah Portion (Ben Yehuda Press, 2022) and the host of “Soulful Jewish Living: Mindful Practices for Every Day,” a podcast co-produced by Unpacked and IJS. Josh lives with his wife Natalie and their three sons in Skokie, IL.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

IJS bases its work upon seven core values. These include:

 

 

      • Diversity and Integrity (Shivim Panim): We recognize that all Jews, within their particular identities, inherit and contribute to a shared, living Torah. We respect the integrity of diverse spiritual traditions and seek to deepen our Jewish practice by learning from their wisdom.

      • Inclusion and Equity (Tzedek u’Mishpat): Our practice helps us grow in awareness of our biases, limitations, and intersecting identities and privileges. We aspire to support every person in nurturing their expression of spiritual life.

As we work to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, we invite feedback/suggestions you may have regarding ways that we can make participation in the program more accessible, welcoming, and affirming of your humanity. Please email us at [email protected].

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.