Love at the Center: Revolutionary Optimism Shabbaton
June 28 – 29, 2024
Silver Spring, Maryland

Registration is now OPEN!

With Rabbi Shefa Gold and Dr. Paul (Pesach-Lev) Zeitz

Shabbat is a Mishkan (a sanctuary) in time. A Mishkan is a dwelling place for Divine Presence. And it is the nexus point between the finite world and the Infinite. On Shabbat we have the opportunity to open the doors between worlds, receive the gifts of our souls and return renewed, refreshed, re-created. Shabbat is a joyful time that is dedicated to Love. We take time away from our busy lives to focus our attention on the heart and to open up the places of silence and spaciousness within us. In this Shabbat Retreat we will enter into the Mysteries of Love through the practices of chant, meditation, sacred conversation and the sanctification of pleasure. 


About the Retreat


We’ll gather together in Silver Spring, Maryland, at The Chapel, home of Mindi and Pesach-Lev.
Please note that The Chapel is ADA accessible, and a ramp is available.


We’ll share in the following meals together: an arrival snack, Shabbat dinner, Shabbat lunch, Shabbat afternoon snack, and Saturday evening dinner. All meals are included with the cost of your registration, with the exception of Saturday morning breakfast (which will be on your own.)
Please be sure to inform us of any dietary restrictions during your registration.


4 – 6 pm: Arrival (snack available)
6 – 7:30 pm: Kabbalat Shabbat Service
7:30 – 9 pm: Shabbat Dinner
9 – 9:30 pm: Depart

Before 9 am: Breakfast on your own
9 – 10 am: Arrival
10 am – 12:30 pm: Shabbat Morning Service
12:30 – 1:30 pm: Shabbat Lunch
1:30 – 3 pm: Break (snack available)
3 – 5:30 pm: Afternoon Workshop with Rabbi Shefa
5:30 – 6 pm: Break
6 – 7 pm: Dinner
7 – 9 pm: Havdalah and Book Launch of Pesach-Lev’s new book: “Revolutionary Optimism: 7 Steps for Living as a Love-Centered Activist”
9 – 9:30 pm: Depart


Have more questions? Not a problem! Feel free to reach out to Events and Retreats Manager, Stephanie, at with any other questions.

Program Instructor

Program Instructor

Rabbi Shefa Gold

Rabbi Shefa Gold is a leader in ALEPH: the Alliance for Jewish Renewal and received her ordination both from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (z”l). She is the director of C-DEEP, The Center for Devotional, Energy and Ecstatic Practice in Jemez Springs, New Mexico. She teaches workshops and retreats on the theory and art of Chanting, Devotional Healing, Spiritual Community-Building and Meditation.

C-DEEP: The Center for Devotional, Energy and Ecstatic Practice launched a new project called SOULIFT, with individually themed regional retreats in the summer of 2018.

America's Most Inspiring Rabbis

Program Instructor

Program Instructor

Dr. Paul (Pesach-Lev) Zeitz

Dr. Paul Zeitz (aka Pesach-Lev) is a physician, epidemiologist and tenacious award-winning advocate for global justice and human rights with over 35 years of advocacy, campaigning, and movement-building experience.  To respond to the challenging times we are living through, Dr. Paul Zeitz launched a podcast (and forthcoming book) called Revolutionary Optimism, an infectious, contagious, self-created way of thinking and living on the path of love where you unleash your personal power. Zeitz is the initiator of a new movement building platform called #unify, that aims to catalyze a transformation to new social, economic, and political systems with “love at the center” for our collective repair, justice, and peace. During 2020-23, Zeitz co-founded the Brave Movement and Keep Kids Safe, movements committed to ending childhood sexual violence, driven by his lived-experience as a survivor of familial childhood sexual violence at the hands of his father. Dr. Zeitz serves as a co-convener of the U.S. National Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Movement. Zeitz worked for the Foundation for Climate Restoration during 2019-20 where he contributed to the initial visioning of the Global Carbon Removal Partnership.  Zeitz worked for the Obama and the Trump Administrations from 2014-2017 as the Director, Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, in the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in the U.S. Department of State, where he worked with global leaders and helped catalyze the launch of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) and the Accelerating Childrens Treatment (ACT) initiative. Previously, he founded and served as the Executive Director of the Global AIDS Alliance from 2000-2011 that helped generate the political will to launch and sustain the PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.  Dr. Zeitz is the author of two books: Waging Justice (2018) and Waging Optimism (2020). Zeitz serves on the Board of Directors of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal and he is living a path of love under the banner of “Love at the Center,” led by Rabbi Shefa Gold.  Married for over 31 years, Paul and his wife Mindi are the proud parents and grandparents of 5 sons, 2 daughters-in-law, and 2 grandchildren.