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 New IJS Program | Open to All | Begins Sunday, November 13

Do you wish you were better able to listen deeply to others, especially those you care about?

So often our past experiences and busy minds make this difficult. Our ability to be fully present to another person is often clouded by our assumptions, pre-conditioned responses, or reactivity. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

We invite you to join us for Shema, a new program designed to help you be more fully present in conversation, especially when emotions, differing values, or judgments may arise. Shema, meaning “hear” in Hebrew, will help you cultivate your capacity to listen with sacred awareness to yourself and to others. You can learn to listen for the underlying connectedness you share with all beings, a unity which lies often quietly beneath the louder voices that speak of separation, judgment, and fear.

You will build your capacity to listen with a receptive heart and open mind through an in-depth exploration of the four worlds or dimensions through which you “hear” — the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. 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, and support others to feel truly seen, heard, and held.

This course is led by Rabbi Myriam Klotz and Rebecca Schisler. 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. We are thrilled to offer the IJS community this new offering.

Learning and practice is sustained and deepened through:

        • Readings to prepare 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

The course includes five, live, weekly practice sessions led by Rabbi Myriam Klotz and Rebecca Schisler. Teaching portions of live sessions will be recorded and available for all participants. These sessions will run from 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM ET on the following dates:


      • Mondays, November 14, 21, 28, and December 12
      • Wednesday, December 7

Shema: The Practice of Sacred Listening

Meet your instructors:

Rabbi Myriam Klotz

Myriam directs somatics programming and has been on the faculty of clergy, educator, and lay cohorts as well as JMMTT since 2003. She created a Middot Yoga Teacher Training for Westchester county, NY, a Yoga and Jewish Spirituality Teacher Training at Isabella Freedman, and was the director of the Spirituality Initiative/Spiritual Direction program at HUC-JIR from 2010-2020. Myriam directed Bekhol Levavkha Jewish Spiritual Director training at HUC-JIR and is 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 spouse Margot Stein (R3) live in Philadelphia. Together they are the parents of Raffi, Samm and Aryeh z”l.

Rebecca Schisler

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.

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.