An Elul Intensive

A Free Four-Week Online Program from IJS and its Partner Organizations

The upcoming High Holidays will be unlike any most of us have known. We have woken up to our deep interconnection to all people and our own fragility. We have seen more clearly the deep injustice of systems and power structures in our country. We have heard voices pleading for life. Perhaps we are awake in a way we have not been before. How can we maintain and even deepen this awareness as we enter a new year?

The Shofar Project is a free program open to people of all backgrounds who want to make this a year of continued awakening, responsiveness, renewal, and transformation. 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 21 – September 18, 2020).


How it works:

Each week of The Shofar Project will focus on a different aspect of awakening and renewal. Once you sign-up, you will receive emails with the links to video 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, a short video teaching 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 – check out our lineup of amazing guest instructors!

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

  • Live 45-minute Jewish yoga sessions each Monday and Thursday.

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 $100. The groups will include additional teachings, meditation, reflection, and Q&A as time allows.

Please choose Thursdays at 8 PM ET with Rabbi Jonathan Slater or Fridays at 11 AM ET with Rabbi Sam Feinsmith below.

Sign Up Now

Please select one of the following three options:






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The Sounds of the Shofar: Themes for Elul

Traditionally sounded each day of the month of  Elul, the shofar is rich with symbolic power. Through Jewish mindfulness meditation, Torah study, and yoga, participants in The Shofar Project will be able to prepare for the New Year by immersing in four major themes of the shofar, one for each week:


Week 1: Opening the Heart

The sound of the shofar is a “spiritual alarm” intended to awaken us from denial and delusion, softening our defenses and opening our minds and hearts to what is real. Our practice this week will be devoted to opening more fully to the incredible opportunity to live our fullest and most meaningful life right now, as well as to hard, painful truths about ourselves and our world, developing our capacity to maintain an open heart.

Week 2: Hearing the Pain of the World

The sound of the shofar expresses the pain and grief of all beings and our planet, commanding our attention. Our practice this week will focus on attending to that which calls out for healing and repair, within ourselves and our personal relationships, as well as our implication in the suffering of others and our capacity to respond.

Week 3: Returning to Compassion

The sound of the shofar is an invitation to move from judgment to compassion. It represents the “still small voice” of God inviting us to accept Divine love, and allow it to heal ourselves, each other, and the world. This week, we will devote ourselves to attuning to the inner voice of compassion, and cultivating our capacity to be instruments of love.

Week 4: Transforming into an Instrument of Justice

The sound of the shofar is a rallying cry, urging us to lift our own voices to cry out and mobilize on behalf of the vulnerable among us. This week, we will devote ourselves to transforming ourselves into shofars, becoming instruments through which the healing and restorative power of the Divine might flow.