An Elul Intensive

A Free Four-Week Online Program from IJS and its Partner Organizations
August 8 – September 6, 2021

As we enter the high holidays this year, society around us is easing into a post-pandemic reality and beginning to re-open. Even as we yearn for normalcy, many of us sense a desire deep within us to do better than just return to things as they were. Perhaps there is a better way to live, one that builds upon the lessons learned this past year and embodies greater compassion and justice. The challenges and opportunities of this moment are many. How can we deepen our awareness and clarify our purpose as we enter this new year?

The Shofar Project 5781 is a free program open to people of all backgrounds who want to make this a year of continued transformation. IJS will provide Jewish teachings and daily practices including Torah study, Jewish mindfulness meditation, and Jewish yoga, to address the longing within our hearts to lead lives of sacred purpose, in right relationship with the land and each other. It takes place during the Hebrew month of Elul, the month preceding the Jewish High Holy Days, a traditional period for intensive spiritual reflection, introspection, and moral accounting (August 8 – September 6, 2021).

How it works:

Once you sign-up, you will receive emails with teachings and a variety of live online events that explore the week’s theme, as described below:

    • Each Sunday for the four weeks of Elul, an email to ground each week’s mindfulness practice theme

    • A live 30-minute daily (Monday-Friday) Jewish mindfulness meditation sit that includes a teaching and guided meditation led by IJS staff and outstanding guest instructors from various Jewish denominations

    • A live 30-minute “Torah Study to Sustain The Soul” focused on a classic Jewish text with Rabbi Jonathan Slater each Tuesday

    • A live 45-minute Jewish yoga session each Monday with Cantor Elizabeth Shammash

Participate in as many program elements as you’d like, as often as you can.

You can also participate in four weekly, one-hour, live faculty-led mindfulness practice groups for $99. The groups will include additional teachings, meditation, reflection, and Q&A as time allows. Please choose Thursdays at 8:00 PM ET or Fridays at 11:00 AM ET.

Practice Themes for Elul: Shemitah

In the Jewish calendar, the coming year is also a special year within a seven year cycle: a sabbatical year called Shemitah (Hebrew for “release”). Shemitah provides a vision of society and the role each of us plays in shaping it that can inform and inspire our next steps at this sensitive and pivotal time.

Through a diverse set of specific practices, Shemitah calls upon us to release our control of our planet and other human beings, as well as habits of mind and behavior that create an unjust society. It invites us to imagine a better world, and counters our propensity to objectify others and to take the world as our possession, rather than God’s treasure to be protected. Join us in preparing for this special year through study and spiritual practice throughout the month of Elul.