Four-Week Workshop Series | March 20 – April 10, 2024

What do the arts have to teach us about what it means to be human beings, created b’tzelem elohim – in the image of our creator? How might awakening our creative spirit enliven, enrich, and help to guide us on our spiritual paths?

Join us for a series of four innovative workshops with working Jewish artists, each making a mark in their respective fields. Each workshop runs for 75 minutes — the first half of each session is devoted to a conversation between our host and the guest artist about their creative process and the role that Jewish spirituality plays in their work. During the second part of the workshop, the guest artist will lead participants in a short artistic exercise — a chance for you to make your own creation — independently and with others.

Come for one workshop or all four. Join us as we learn and create together through dance, music, poetry, and the visual arts!

The series is open to all participants, regardless of your Jewish or artistic background.

The four workshops will be hosted by Rebecca Schisler, IJS Core Faculty, joined each week by a guest artist.

These include:

Chana Raskin
Healing into Hasidic Niggun
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Session 1: March 20
Theme: Music

Sink into the world of traditional Hasidic niggun and explore the healing potential of this sacred music while learning practical tools for cultivating a personal healing practice. Chana will offer space for the individual and collective to release into niggun as a channel for connection, healing, renewal, and most of all, being with what is.

Miriam Peretz
“The Art of Bowing”
Embodying Humility: A Sacred Dance Journey

Session 2: March 27
Theme: Dance

Humility is one of the most important of the middot hanefesh (soul traits) in the Jewish tradition, and in almost all spiritual practices. One of the ways humility is embodied in the Jewish tradition is through the bowing of the head during prayer. Another powerful embodiment practice that connects us with our humility is the practice of prostration, which was once more central to Jewish prayer and is now done mainly on Yom Kippur. In this workshop we will explore different ways of shifting our state of consciousness to embrace and embody humility.

Maya Kosover
our words, our bodies, our hands
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Session 3: April 3
Theme: Visual Art

In this workshop, we will explore our interconnected creativity through visual and embodied arts practices. Using text as inspiration, we’ll create a simple choreography, a newfound collaborative poem, and an artist trading card with the possibility of mailing them to one another. No experience with any of the above mentioned necessary! Suggested materials: paper for collage, glue, scissors.

Devon Spier
Jewish Soul Bake
AKA One Practice You Can Do Right Now
to Get Un-Stuck in Your Stiff-Necked Jewish Soul

Session 4: April 10
Theme: Poetry

In a world that is loud and livid: Why turn to prayer? And how? In this thirty-minute interactive session, digital theologian and prayer unenthusiast, Devon Spier, will draw your awareness to the exiled parts of yourself that, though scattered, are still present, desperately speaking and seeking. We will allow for the gentle movement of how things are to call forth different worlds of what ought to be. Combining somatic experiencing nervous system practice with metaphoric but real Jewish baking, Devon invites you to engage your senses and come as you aren’t in order to unlock a Jewish ritual life that soothes your distracted soul, by embracing the fullness of who you really are.

Live Sessions

Live Zoom sessions meet from 8:00 – 9:15 PM ET on the following Wednesdays:

  • Wednesday, March 20 – Chana Raskin
  • Wednesday, March 27 – Miriam Peretz
  • Wednesday, April 3 – Maya Kosover
  • Wednesday, April 10 – Devon Spier

Participants receive an email reminder with Zoom info the morning of each live session.
Open registration — please register at any time to join one of these workshops!

Meet your host: Rebecca Schisler

An IJS Core Faculty member, Rebecca is a meditation teacher, artist, and Jewish educator. A devoted contemplative practitioner, she has led groups and taught classes and retreats with Or HaLev, Awakened Heart Project, Orot, Wilderness Torah, Pardes, and Stanford School of Medicine. 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. A student rabbi at ALEPH, Rebecca is passionate about integrating ancestral wisdom traditions with innovative approaches to personal and collective healing and liberation. She teaches Jewish spirituality as an embodied, holistic, and accessible path, with relevant and timely wisdom for all. Learn more at rebeccaschisler.com and check out Rebecca’s paintings at imaginalstudio.art.

Maya Kosover

Maya Kosover (she/they) is a white jewish queer artist and educator based in Chicago. They are devoted to spirituality and the arts as our bridge back to ourselves and each other through accessing expression, truth, and connection. Maya mostly works with paper as a mixed-media collage artist and offers healing arts workshops for adults, teens, and youth. She loves to immerse herself in all things related to communal singing, beauty & vibrancy, zines, dreamwork, silliness & play, movement, improv, awe, reclaiming public space, flowers, and Theatre of the Oppressed. Maya is a Studio Pathways facilitator, a Jewish Studio Project fellow, and an Avodah Justice fellow. To learn more, visit mayakosover.com

Miriam Peretz

Miriam Peretz weaves movement and ritual together to create safe, communal spaces for healing and empowered embodiment. She is a life-long dancer who has immersed herself in the study of dance forms and sacred movement practices from around the world, focusing on Central Asian dance, and the mystical practices of Sufi whirling and ritual. Miriam sees dance as a uniquely powerful means of expressing deep emotion and spiritual yearning, and therefore the perfect embodiment of prayer. Miriam is the creator of Nava Dance, and Integral Dance, both modalities for holistic dance practice that weave traditional dance forms with somatic inquiry, embodied intention, and breath awareness. Miriam offers workshops and retreats worldwide. miriamdance.com

Chana Raskin

Chana Raskin, the founder and facilitator of RAZA, is an untrained vocalist who grew up entrenched in the world of Chabad Hasidut and its stirringly complex melodies. These niggunim have carried her at every point on her journey. Her debut album KAPELYA was released by Rising Song Records in February 2023, followed by sold-out concerts in NYC and Jerusalem. Chana leads RAZA circles—meditative niggun deep dives—for diverse communities around the world. Both in her music and song circles, and especially in her one-on-one sessions, Chana strives to hold a space with others recovering from illness or traumatic injury, or simply seeking Home. She revels in the healing powers of quiet, laughter, humming, singing and movement, and lives in the mountains of the Upper Galilee in Israel. razamusic.org

Devon Spier

Devon Spier (she/they) is a poet and digital design theologian, who writes and teaches others to write their own theology through poems, prose and digital images. Believing that Jewish life can be an elevated expression of democracy, she transmits a religion of heartened skepticism in which all people and their questions are embraced exactly as they are. Devon is a former Liturgist-in-Residence with the National Havurah Committee and Student Rabbi with the Museum of the City of New York. They were selected as the first Canadian rabbinic student to participate in The T’ruah Rabbinic and Cantorial Summer Fellowship in Human Rights and have been published and consulted by Reconstructing Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Liberal Judaism and the London School for Jewish Studies. Devon is the author of two books, both bestsellers, “Heart Map and the Song of Our Ancestors” (2018) and “Whatever it is, gently: Quiet Meditations for the Noise of the Pandemic” (2020). devon-spier.com

Igniting Your Creative Spark

Suggested Pricing

You may sign up for 1, 2, 3, or all 4 sessions. The suggested donation is $18 per session with savings if you sign up for all 4 sessions! If the cost is prohibitive, please pay what you can (or nothing at all.) Above all, we want these sessions to be available to as many people as possible!