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Kallah 2023 Faculty

We are excited to announce our full lineup of four-day teachers at Kallah! Each of these incredible leaders will be leading or co-leading a four-day class during the program. To read all about their class offerings, click on the “Classes” tab above.

Get to know our teachers below!

Trisha Arlin

Trisha Arlin

The Kaddish: Writing Four Worlds in One Prayer

Trisha Arlin (she/her) is a liturgist in Brooklyn, NY. With a BA in Theater (Antioch), MFA in Film (Columbia), Trisha was also a part-time rabbinic student at AJR 2012-17, concentrating on liturgy. She was in Cohort 6 of ALEPH’s DLTI and was a Drisha Arts Fellow. She also took classes at HUC Kollel, JTS, Pardes summer session. She wrote her first prayer in 2009 for Birkat HaChammah, and is now a liturgist who shares her work in readings and in services and teaches prayer writing around the country. The Liturgist in Residence in at the NHC Summer Institute 2014, Trisha is also the author of Place Yourself: Words of Words and Intention (Dimus Parrhesia Press), and has a second collection in the works. Trisha is a member of Bayit’s Liturgical Arts group. Her work is in the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, The City Shul Siddur – Toronto, Forms of Prayer: Prayers for the High Holydays (Movement for Reform Judaism), B’chol Levavecha (CCAR Press), Beside Still Waters (Ben Yehuda Press), A Poet’s Siddur (Ain’t Got No Press), Studies in Judaism and Pluralism (Ben Yehuda Press) and at TrishaArlin.com, Ritualwell.org, opensiddur.org and her blog, Trisha Arlin: Words of Prayer and Intention, https://triganza.blogspot.com.

Rabbi Phyllis Ocean Berman

Rabbi Phyllis Ocean Berman

The Seven Sefirot: Humans Created B'tzelem Elohim (In the Image of G!D)

Rabbi Phyllis Ocean Berman (she/her) is a mashpia/spiritual director in the AOP (and beyond) and an ALEPH musmach in a class of 5 women ordained in 2004. She is mother/in-law to 8 and savta/grandma to 5. Previously chair of the Pnai Or Board and chair of the Kitchen Cabinet of The Shalom Center, she is infamous in Philadelphia for her (just) desserts. As a meditator, chanter, swimmer, group facilitator and Torah-lover, she was the program director of Elat Chayyim for ten years. In 1979 she founded and remained director of the Riverside Language Program, an English-language Ulpan for new adult immigrants & refugees to NYC, until 2014. She has co-authored, with partner Arthur Waskow, a number of books and created new life-cycle rituals for herself and others. Currently, she’s most proud of being her youngest grandchild’s Bat Mitzvah “tutor” for the big event in August 2023.

Rabbi Ellen Bernstein

Rabbi Ellen Bernstein

The Hidden Ecological Culture at the Heart of Torah

Rabbi Ellen Bernstein (she/her) is a pioneer in the field of religion and ecology. An eco-theologian, spiritual leader, writer and creative, she founded Shomrei Adamah, Keepers of the Earth, the first national Jewish environmental organization in 1988. Ellen’s books include Let the Earth Teach You Torah, Ecology and the Jewish Spirit, and The Splendor of Creation. Ellen also created the first ecologically-centered Tu B’Sh’vat (Jewish New Year of the Trees) seder in 1988 and popularized Tu B’Sh’vat as a community-wide inter-spiritual ecological arts celebration for all peoples. Ellen’s most recent book, The Promise of the Land, A Passover Haggadah is the first comprehensive, ecological haggadah for Passover (Behrman House, 2020). Ellen’s newest work, Toward a Holy Ecology: A Meditation on the Song of Songs (Monkfish Press), will be released in January 2024. Ellen is a sought-after teacher and advisor and she continues to write and develop creative work on the ecology of the Hebrew Bible. She serves on the advisory board of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, the steering committee of Third Act/Faith, and the advisory board of the Green Sabbath project. To learn more please visit, www.ellenbernstein.org and www.thepromiseoftheland.com.

Renée Brachfeld

Renée Brachfeld

We Are The Stories We Tell

Renée Brachfeld (she/her) and Rabbi Mark Novak (he/him) are master storytellers. This husband/wife duo has been presented as scholars in residence at over 160 synagogues across the US and Canada, leading services, presenting workshops, and performing for both adult and family audiences. They have been featured presenters at LimmudFest in England, The Vancouver Theological Seminary, and the Kennedy Center. They are co-founders of the MultiFaith Storytelling Institute, and Rabbi Mark is founder and spiritual leader of MOSh: Minyan Oneg Shabbat, the world’s only known Zoomagogue.

Maggid Jim Brulé

Maggid Jim Brulé

Maggidut: Becoming an Inspirational Storyteller

Maggid Uriel David / Jim Brulé (he/him) is an ordained spiritual storyteller and teacher in the Jewish tradition with a very diverse background: he has been a clinical psychologist, a computer scientist, and a regulatory expert in healthcare reform. His school—Transformational Storytelling, in its seventh year—trains spiritual storytellers from multiple traditions and has been accredited by the National Storytelling Network; his “Stories for Healing” series saw over 75 stories told by over 50 storytellers worldwide.

An end-of-life doula, his ongoing series “Journey through Dying and Living” accompanies storytellers, caregivers, hospice workers, and others through this journey with stories, songs, music, dialogue, and other creative activities. His faculty and partners in these endeavors come from Hungary, Mexico, Spain, and the People of the Longhouse. Jim also works with organizations and communities to promote dialogue across perceived boundaries of faith, ethnicity, privilege, and class using stories.

Finally, he is actively engaged in intensive multi-faith dialogues, including a multi-year partnership with a Baptist minister and a Muslim scholar. Jim believes that the right story told in the right way with an open heart can heal wounds and change lives.

Rabbi Laura Duhan-Kaplan

Rabbi Laura Duhan-Kaplan

Reading Torah's Animals in a Time of Climate Crisis

Rabbi Laura Duhan-Kaplan (she/her), an award-winning teacher of philosophy and religion, is Director of Inter-Religious Studies and Professor of Jewish Studies at the Vancouver School of Theology, and Rabbi Emerita of Or Shalom Synagogue. She is author of Mouth of the Donkey: Re-imagining Biblical Animals (2021) and a faculty member in ALEPH’s Earth-Based Judaism program. Laura lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and musical partner Charles, their young adult children, and a changing array of companion animals.

Julie Emden

Julie Emden

Embodied Jewish Wisdom: Humility, Compassion, Equanimity and Trust

Julie Emden, E-RYT-500, Halprin Practitioner (she/her), is the Founding Director of Embodied Jewish Learning in the San Francisco Bay Area. She founded the Embodied Jewish Wisdom Network, a global collaborative of leaders and seekers of movement practices infused with Jewish wisdom. She is passionate about awakening the body as a gateway to inner knowing and guides others in somatic explorations of Jewish wisdom teachings as a resource for living in balance and wholeness. A graduate of five fellowship and teaching certification programs related to her work as a dancer, Jewish educator, Iyengar-based Yoga instructor and movement/expressive artist, Julie has over two decades of experience guiding students of all ages in exploring Jewish wisdom, text and practices via the body in a variety of settings.

Embodied Jewish Learning elevates the wisdom of the body to promote wholeness and well-being in Jewish life by offering podcasts, webinars, classes, workshops, retreats, teacher trainings, and individual coaching. Julie also co-created Shalem, A Jewish Wellness Initiative at the Peninsula Jewish Community Center and has served on faculty with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s online Jewish Yoga Studio, public retreats and the Educating for a Jewish Spiritual Life Project. More info at www.embodiedjewishlearning.org.

Merissa Nathan Gerson

Merissa Nathan Gerson

Race and Judaism 101

Merissa Nathan Gerson (she/her) is a writer, speaker, and spiritual consultant. The author of Forget Prayers, Bring Cake: A Single Woman’s Guide to Grieving, her work focuses on grief and grieving, inherited trauma, sex and intimacy, and how these themes relate to religion, disability, and identity.

Merissa was the intergenerational trauma consultant to Amazon’s hit show, “Transparent,” and has writing featured in The New York Times, Playboy Magazine, The Atlantic, Elle.com, Tablet Magazine, Lilith Magazine, and beyond. After releasing a 2018 ELI Talk on consent and Talmud, she founded www.KenMeansYes.org to address the need for consent education in Jewish spaces. Merissa lives, writes and works in New Orleans, Louisiana where she is Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication at Tulane University.

Gayanne Geurin

Gayanne Geurin

haKōl: The Voice is Everything (Using Sound and Voice to Connect Heart, Mind, Body and Spirit with the Allness of Life)

​​Gayanne Geurin (she/her) assists people on their vocal journey, both individuals and communities. As a vocal coach, she combines her background as a psychotherapist with her functional approach to guide folks in experiencing release in their voices and finding their unique expression through singing. Gayanne builds community through song by creating organic musical spaces that help participants experience music in new ways and deepen their connections to each other.

Gayanne served as music director at Atlanta’s Congregation Bet Haverim (CBH) for 18 years, directing a unique program that is rich in innovation, collaboration, and ruach (spirit). She also consults with synagogues on how to integrate creative musical approaches into their spiritual practice.

Gayanne holds a master’s degree in religious studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School and a master’s in clinical social work. Gayanne is trained in Somatic Voicework, The Lovetri Method, and Rhiannon’s improvisational singing mastery program, All the Way In. She was in the first fellowship cohort of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute founded by Joey Weisenberg and is a Hambidge Center Fellow. Her first solo album, “by the god tree,” is available to stream or download on Bandcamp. For more information: www.gayannegeurin.com

Rabbi Dr. Elliot Ginsburg

Rabbi Dr. Elliot Ginsburg

Shema-nic Journeys: On the Mystical Interpretation and Embodied Practice of the Shema

Rabbi Dr. Elliot K. Ginsburg (he/him) is a long-time teacher in Jewish Renewal: a professor of Jewish Mysticism at the University of Michigan, founding rabbi of the Pardes Hannah minyan and member of the ALEPH Smicha Program Va’ad. He is the author of studies on Jewish mysticism, the kabbalistic Shabbat, and spiritual practice. He is committed the deep interchange between generations, knowing that we can and must learn with and from each other. Reb Elliot seeks to combine intellectual engagement with a devotional stance, and lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, Linda Jo Doctor, and two spiritually frisky cats.

Rabbi Shefa Gold

Rabbi Shefa Gold

The Call of Love: Reimagining Religion with Love at the Center

Rabbi Shefa Gold (she/her) is the Director of CDEEP, Center for Devotional, Energy and Ecstatic Practice. She has published 4 books and teaches retreats worldwide. Shefa is an innovator of Spiritual Practice, is on the faculty of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, and has taught at every ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal Kallah.

Rabbi Dan Goldblatt

Rabbi Dan Goldblatt

Unity, Separation & Transcendence: Psychedelics in Contemporary Jewish Life

Rabbi Dan Goldblatt (he/him) is grateful to have received ordination from Reb Zalman z”l through the ALEPH Ordination Program. Rabbi Dan has been the spiritual leader of Beth Chaim Congregation in Danville, CA, for nearly three decades. He served on the Board of ALEPH for many years and he is a Past President of OHALAH: the Association of Rabbis and Cantors for Jewish Renewal. Dan served as Chair of the Rabbinic Association’s Ethics Committee for ten years, and was the lead author of its Ethics Policy. He has done a significant amount of psychedelic integration work with individuals, couples, and groups in deepening intimacy, healing family trauma and preparing for end of life. Dan helped create a Jewish Psychedelic Chaplaincy Cohort in the Bay Area. He is also the co-founder of AriYael Jewish Healing Center focused on a rooted Jewish approach to embodied healing, grief, end-of-life work and other sacred transitions.

Zoë Goldblatt

Zoë Goldblatt

Unity, Separation & Transcendence: Psychedelics in Contemporary Jewish Life

Zoë Francesca Goldblatt (she/her) is an intuitive, arts and nature-based Activity Therapist and End of Life Doula with a focus on spiritual and soul connection. She completed Relationship, Sex, and Intimacy Coach training through the Somatica Institute in 2022. Zoe is a co-founder of the East Bay End of Life Doula Network, a trained Mikveh Guide with the Rising Tide Open Waters Mikveh Network and a board member of the AriYael Jewish Healing Center. With great respect for the power of psychedelic experiences, Zoë has helped create a Jewish Psychedelic Chaplaincy cohort and is actively seeking to support the potential use of psychedelics for End-of-Life emotional and spiritual healing.

Rebekka Goldsmith

Rebekka Goldsmith

haKōl: The Voice is Everything (Using Sound and Voice to Connect Heart, Mind, Body and Spirit with the Allness of Life)

Rebekka Goldsmith (she/her) has been channeling her passion for voice, justice and community as a facilitator, song leader, vocal coach and ritualist for over a decade. She believes in the sacredness and liberatory power of the collective voice and regularly bears witness to the transformation that happens when people sing together. Rebekka is happiest and most fully alive when she is singing in a group and has made it her life’s work to reconnect people to their own voices. Rebekka leads prayer and Jewish song, directs community choirs, facilitates vocal improvisation based retreats and runs a voice coaching studio. She has worked with people of all ages in Jewish congregations, schools, camps, retreats, workshops and assisted living communities. Rebekka was the vocal arts consultant for the Rising Song Institute and is an alumni of their music residency program. She recently completed her first album, Seeding the Tree, which explores themes of nature, mysticism, ancestry and the feminine in Judaism. For more information: www.rebekkagoldsmith.com

Kohenet Ruach D’vorah Grenn, Ph.D.

Kohenet Ruach D’vorah Grenn, Ph.D.

Women as Guardians of Culture: Sacred Water, Sacred Blood | An Embodied, Experiential Exploration of Menarche, Menopause, and Mikvah Rituals in an Intergenerational Red Tent

Kohenet D’vorah J. Grenn, Ph.D. (she/her), is the Founding Director of The Lilith Institute (1997), Co-Directed the Women’s Spirituality MA Program at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology/Sofia University, founded Mishkan Shekhinah, a movable sanctuary honoring the Sacred Feminine, and served on the Founding Advisory Board of the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute. D’vorah directs The Lilith Institute’s Women’s Intuitive Leadership Program and recently taught “Amulets, Incantations & The Evil Eye” and “The Sacred Feminine in Judaism” for Hebrew College.

She serves as a mashpi’ah/spiritual guide and academic mentor, and co-hosted the 50-episode “Tending Lilith’s Fire” (originally “Priestessing the Priestesses”) broadcast with Kohenet Annie Matan. Her Talking to Goddess anthology includes sacred writings of 72 women from 25 spiritual traditions. Her dissertation, “For She Is a Tree of Life: Shared Roots Connecting Women to Deity” studied Jewish women’s beliefs/rituals among South African Lemba and U.S. women. Other publications include “Lilith’s Fire: Examining Original Sources of Power, Re-defining Sacred Texts as Transformative Theological Practice” in Feminist Theology Journal; “The Kohanot: Keepers of the Flame” in Stepping into Ourselves: An Anthology of Writing on Priestesses; Jewish priestess and Lilith entries, Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions, and Lilith’s Fire: Reclaiming our Sacred Lifeforce.

Rabbi Andrew Hahn, Ph.D. (Kirtan Rabbi)

Rabbi Andrew Hahn, Ph.D. (Kirtan Rabbi)

Kirtan Chant as Connective Prayer

Rabbi Andrew Hahn, Ph.D. (affectionately: Reb Drew) (he/him), is known as both the Kirtan Rabbi and—depending upon which phone booth he exits—also as the Tai Chi Rabbi. He has pioneered Kirtan in the Jewish world, criss-crossing the globe to offer communal call-and-response chant concerts and meditation seminars. He has been teaching tai chi and related arts for decades. In his workshops, he seamlessly combines chant, movement, meditation and text study into a positive, holistic experience. Reb Drew holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary as well as rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute for Religion, both in New York. He is resident faculty at Clal: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership in New York, where he has founded the not-for-profit Kirtan Rabbi Prayer Initiative. He also served as visiting rabbi for Metivta: a center for contemplative Judaism in Los Angeles. Rabbi Hahn has three musical CDs: Kirtan Rabbi: Live!, Achat Sha’alti, Nondual and a beloved single, Shiviti. A new single, Healing Chant, will be available soon. As well as an EP: Hallel. Reb Drew, in partnership with ALEPH, has founded the Hebrew Kirtan Prayer Initiative. For more information: KirtanRabbi.com

Kohenet Keshira haLev Fife

Kohenet Keshira haLev Fife

Embodying Jewish Liberation — Spiritual Jewish Embodiment & Cultural Somatics for Countering Oppression

Keshira haLev Fife (she/they) is a Kohenet (Hebrew Priestess) and a bi-racial, queer Jewish person who delights in serving as davennatrix (shlichat tzibbur), lifespiral ceremony/ritual creatrix, teacher, facilitator, liturgist and songstress. She serves as Oreget Kehilah (Executive Director) of the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, Founding Kohenet of Kesher Pittsburgh, Program Director for Beloved Builders, and Program Co-Director of the ALEPH Kesher Fellowship. She is the inaugural Faculty Fellow with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and also enjoys working with Keshet and Jewish Learning Collaborative, and serving on the board of Kavod v’Nichum. After many years of traveling and living in Australia, she and her beloved once again make their home on Osage and Haudenosaunee land, also called Pittsburgh, PA. www.keshirahalev.com

Rabbi Jill Hammer, Ph.D.

Rabbi Jill Hammer, Ph.D.

The Architecture of Being: Sefer Yetzirah and the Mysticism of the Here and Now

Rabbi Jill Hammer, Ph.D. (she/her), author, scholar, ritualist, poet, dreamworker and midrashist, is the Director of Spiritual Education at the Academy for Jewish Religion (ajrsem.org), and co-founder of the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute (kohenet.org). She is the author of Return to the Place: The Magic, Meditation, and Mystery of Sefer Yetzirah, Undertorah: An Earth-Based Kabbalah of Dreams, The Jewish Book of Days: A Companion for All Seasons, The Hebrew Priestess: Ancient and New Visions of Jewish Women’s Spiritual Leadership (with Taya Shere), Sisters at Sinai: New Tales of Biblical Women, and The Book of Earth and Other Mysteries, among other titles. She is also the author of academic articles published in Religion and Literature, Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies and Gender Studies, The Journal of Applied Social Psychology, and The Journal of Lesbian Studies, as well as anthologies including Best Jewish Writing 2002 and the Encyclopedia of Women and World Religions. She is the translator of The Romemu Siddur and of Siddur haKohanot: A Hebrew Priestess Prayerbook. She has written a children’s book, The Garden of Time. She teaches for the Earth-Based Judaism track of the AOP. She lives in Manhattan with her family.

Sage-ing Vatik Dr. Oran Hesterman

Sage-ing Vatik Dr. Oran Hesterman

Age-ing to Sage-ing: Wisdom of the Heart – A Vision for Inner and Outer Healing

Sage-ing Vatik Oran Hesterman Ph.D. (he/him), President and CEO of Fair Food Network, is committed to weaving together his professional work in sustainable food systems and his dedication to caring for others and the earth in keeping with the traditions and ethics of justice rooted in his Jewish heritage. He is a certified Sage-ing Mentor and leads workshops nationally and internationally with his wife Lucinda Kurtz, that help people discover their inner elder while gaining new perspectives on what it means to grow older in today’s culture.

He has been an active member of the Jewish community from his early days in North Pacific Coast Young Judea and Temple Beth El in Berkeley, CA to his present participation in Pardes Hannah in Ann Arbor, MI and his co-founding of Or Tzafon, the Jewish Retreat Center in Northern Michigan. He also facilitated the support of the Sacred Foods Project to ALEPH and co-led a Conflict Resolution Seminar to Egypt and Israel as part of his Kellogg Fellowship.

After more than 35 years of experience as a scientist, farmer, philanthropist, businessman, educator, and passionate advocate, Oran B. Hesterman is grateful to turn his attention to helping others harvest the fruits of their life’s wisdom.

Shoshana Jedwab

Shoshana Jedwab

Kirtan Chant as Connective Prayer

As a child, Shoshana Jedwab (she/her) would drum on parked cars, plates, tables, books and other people’s bodies. Shoshana Jedwab is a percussionist, singer-songwriter, worship leader, drum circle facilitator, prize-winning Jewish educator and the Jewish Life Coordinator at the A.J. Heschel Middle School. As a Jewish educator, Shoshana has more than 30 years of experience bringing sacred Jewish texts to life for a wide variety of audiences. Shoshana Jedwab serves as a founding faculty member at Kohenet where she drums, leads worship, and guides the exploration of ancestral texts, practices, history and humor. Shoshana Jedwab’s original, hip-shaking, prayer music grounds body and spirit, and brings the ancestral past into joyous contemporary practice. The original songs of Shoshana’s 2016 debut album, “I Remember,” and her 2018 zipper song single, “Where You Go,” emerged from ceremonies Shoshana was leading, and are now being sung, and danced to, in churches, synagogues, weddings and protest marches around the world. Shoshana Jedwab released her popular prayer songs, “Openings” in 2020, and “Torah Orah” in 2022. Shoshana Jedwab was included in Jewish Rock Radio’s Jewish Women Who Rock the Worship World. www.shoshanajedwab.com

Hazzan Jack Kessler

Hazzan Jack Kessler

B'Chol Nafshecha - B'Chol M'odecha/With All Your Breath - With All You Have In You: A Master Class in Jewish Spiritual Singing

Hazzan Jack Kessler (he/him), Director of the Cantorial Program of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, was ordained at JTS and has a Master’s Degree in voice from Boston Conservatory with advanced studies in composition at Brandeis. He is a master vocal coach who offers an inspiring, supportive, and accessible approach to the using the body as a channel for spiritual singing.

Rabbi Malkah Binah Klein

Rabbi Malkah Binah Klein

Qi Torah: Embodied Practices for Thriving in These Times

Rabbi Malkah Binah Klein (she/they) is a merkavah lashechinah, a chariot for the loving presence of the Divine. Whether leading joyous dancing at “Street Seder: Protest for the Climate,” chanting to the bereaved, or silently tending to the dead, Malkah Binah brings grace and beauty to wherever she is called. She lives a life deeply rooted in Torah and Jewish tradition. As a rabbinic leader and a teacher of qigong, she weaves communities of nurture, strength, and authenticity and creates opportunities for others to shine their light. As an Ashkenazi queer Jewish woman living in the United States, she is devoted to the ongoing work of dismantling racism, sexism, anti-semitism, classism, and other systems of oppression, both within her own being and in the communities where she has influence. She prioritizes deep friendships and her relationship with the natural world.

Sage-ing Vatika Lucinda Kurtz

Sage-ing Vatika Lucinda Kurtz

Age-ing to Sage-ing: Wisdom of the Heart – A Vision for Inner and Outer Healing

Sage-ing Vatika Lucinda Kurtz, M.A. (she/her) is a Brennan Healing Science Practitioner and Sage-ing Mentor, who focuses her practice and teachings on helping people achieve full manifestation of their potential. Her powerful energetic practices help embed our relationship with Spirit in our bodies, lifting us up to our highest connection to the One.

As an Energy Healer, Lucinda combines hands-on energy healing and shamanic practices with kabbalistic spiritual understanding to create a unique healing modality to help each individual create a healthy and joyful life. In her ongoing Kabbalah classes and retreats, Lucinda uses this mystical path of deep relationship between self and the Divine as a powerful avenue to help students gain greater self- awareness and personal transformation.

Lucinda and her husband, Oran Hesterman, both certified Sage-ing Mentors, lead Sage-ing classes nationally and internationally that help people discover their life’s wisdom and explore their soul’s journey. In addition, they teach an on-line Sage-ing class that brings the potential for healing and harvesting our life experience to a wide multi-denominational group of people of all ages. In her Pardes Hannah Renewal community in Ann Arbor, MI, she leads monthly Rosh Chodesh groups, and yearly Omer journeys to help seekers open to revelation.

Arthur Kurzweil

Arthur Kurzweil

21 Ideas From Kabbalah I Made Sure to Teach My Children

Arthur Kurzweil (he/him) is a teacher, writer, and magician. He is the author of Kabbalah for Dummies and The Torah for Dummies (both part of the well-known “For Dummies” series,) as well as On the Road with Rabbi Steinsaltz, a memoir about his relationship with his mentor, the late Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. A member of the Society of American Magicians, Arthur frequently performs his one-man show, “Searching for God in a Magic Shop.” His latest book is The Persistence of Memory, My Father’s Ukrainian Shtetl—A Holocaust Reckoning. He is also the author of the best selling book From Generation to Generation: How To Trace Your Jewish Genealogy. He and his wife, Bobby, share 12 grandchildren.

Dr. Julie Leavitt

Dr. Julie Leavitt

G-d, Beloved, HaShem, I Don’t Know: An Embodied Exploration of Our Relationship to the Divine

Julie Leavitt, D.Min. (she/her), is a body-centered psychotherapist and spiritual companion. She has taught for 30 years at Lesley University and practices spiritual direction at Hebrew College and Hebrew Union College of Cincinnatti. She has a Doctor of Ministry from the Graduate Theological Foundation, earning the Samuel Cohen prize for her dissertation project, “G!d Danced the Day You Were Born.” Choreography of Prayer was published in the book, Seeking Redemption in an Unredeemed World, edited by Rabbi Avruhm Addison. Julie teaches Dance and Authentic Movement as a Spiritual Practice in workshops across the US, including Elat Hayyim and Isabella Freedman Retreat Center. She is choreographer of “Passage: The Space between Exile and Arrival” and “Imagining Talmud.” Julie dances with Selmadanse, 4:30 Collective and Back Pocket Dancers.

Hazzan Abbe Lyons

Hazzan Abbe Lyons

SpeakChorus Torah Community Midrash

Hazzan Abbe Lyons (she/her) began her SpeakChorus Torah experience preparing for her 2010 smicha ceremony at the ALEPH Ordination Program, where she is now on faculty. Since then, she has facilitated SpeakChorus Torah at Ruach HaAretz retreat, the ALEPH Kallah, and in congregational settings with adults and teens. SpeakChorus Torah is one of the ways she expresses her dedication to making Jewish music, learning and practice both accessible and inspiring. Hazzan Abbe is the Jewish Chaplain for Hillel at Ithaca College. With her multifaith band, Resonate, she released the album, Listen! which enlivens Jewish texts in English (including Rabbis Arthur Waskow and Rachel Barenblat) by infusing Middle Eastern and cantorial music into folk, rock, blues & jazz sounds. Other recording credits include Behold! (Vocolot, 1997), Roots and Wings (Vocolot, 1992) and Household Chores (Abbe Lyons, 1990). Her songs Jewish Lesbian and Mah Tovu with Four Mothers are included in Adding our Voices. She is also a writer and innovative liturgist whose published work includes poetry and alternative social justice haftarot, and most recently, Jewish Liturgy: A Guide for Everyone, available from Hamotzi Press.

Kohenet Annie Matan

Kohenet Annie Matan

Women as Guardians of Culture: Sacred Water, Sacred Blood | An Embodied, Experiential Exploration of Menarche, Menopause, and Mikvah Rituals in an Intergenerational Red Tent

Kohenet Annie Matan (she/her) is an ordained Hebrew Priestess, with a thriving business that offers Spiritual Guidance, Super-Power Mentorship, and Facilitation of Life-cycle rituals and Sacred Spaces. A Jewish, Queer, Polyam single Mama, Annie is passionate about supporting people of all genders to feel seen, heard, and held as their whole selves in all spaces in their lives. Her bespoke weddings, baby welcomings, funerals and other life cycle transition rituals honour the realities of Interfaith, Queer and Polyam folks by weaving together their families’ and ancestral traditions with their authentic, contemporary, feminist values. In her Spiritual Guidance sessions and online Red Tent circles, Annie offers mentorship and facilitates supportive conversations on intuitive gifts, transitions, sex and our intimate relationships with our bodies, ourselves and our partners. You can find her teachings, musings podcast and writing on Substack at The Priestess is IN and find out more about her work at https://linktr.ee/anniematan.

Rabbi Mark Novak

Rabbi Mark Novak

We Are The Stories We Tell

Rabbi Mark Novak (he/him) and Renée Brachfeld (she/her) are master storytellers. This husband/wife duo has been presented as scholars in residence at over 160 synagogues across the US and Canada, leading services, presenting workshops, and performing for both adult and family audiences. They have been featured presenters at LimmudFest in England, The Vancouver Theological Seminary, and the Kennedy Center. They are co-founders of the MultiFaith Storytelling Institute, and Rabbi Mark is founder and spiritual leader of MOSh: Minyan Oneg Shabbat, the world’s only known Zoomagogue.

Diane Palley

Diane Palley

Hands-On Papercutting Workshop: Cultivating Connections Through Hiddur Mitzvah

Diane Palley (she/her) has always been an artist, working in many media—photography, graphics, illustration, ceramics, fabric—until she found Jewish papercutting, the medium she has worked in for over 30 years. As an artist, she as also held day jobs in a variety of Jewish and non-profit organizations. Diane first began papercutting in New Mexico, where she had learned how to cut stencils for silkscreen posters for social justice struggles. She knew about traditional Mexican and Chinese papercuts, and cut many layers of paper to mimic the multicolored posters she had been creating. When she moved from New Mexico to Boston to raise her son in a Jewish environment, she saw her first Jewish papercut at Kolbo, a unique Jewish art gallery. Since then, Diane has created hundreds of papercuts for both individual and communal projects (ketubot, mezuzot, mizrachim, gifts for scholars, family and friends, architectural installations, torah covers, parochet, ner tamid, illustrations for 6 books, etc.). She has taught countless classes, hands on workshops, and presentations on papercutting, visual midrash and Hiddur Mitzvah. Diane feels that it is imporant to her to pass on this precious Jewish art form that almost vanished in the Holocaust. Learn more on her website: www.dianepalley.com.

Rabbi Marcia Prager

Rabbi Marcia Prager

Davvenen' Through the Worlds: A Master Class in Making Prayer Come Alive

Rabbi Marcia Prager (she/her) is the emerita founding Dean of the ALEPH Ordination Program. Along with Rabbi Shawn Zevit she created, co-directs and teaches in the prize-winning Davvenen’ Leadership Training Institute which recently celebrated its 20th year and has trained over 500 clergy and lay leaders in the high art of making Jewish prayer come alive! A graduate of RRC, she also received personal smicha from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l and serves as rabbi of P’nai Or Philadelphia, PA, the innovative fellowship he founded. Rabbi Marcia is the author of The Path of Blessing, a deep-dive into the Jewish practice of blessing, and is also creator of the beloved P’nai Or Siddurim for Shabbat, and other innovative compilations of prayer and liturgy. www.rabbimarciaprager.com

Rabbinic Pastor Simcha Raphael, Ph.D.

Rabbinic Pastor Simcha Raphael, Ph.D.

From Ancient Ancestors to Spirit Guides and Reincarnating Souls: Jewish Afterlife Traditions Throughout the Ages

Rabbinic Pastor Simcha Raphael, Ph.D. (he/him) is originally from Montreal, where he first met Reb Zalman in 1976. He served as Executive Director of B’nai Or Religious Fellowship, 1980-1982, and was ordained as a Rabbinic Pastor by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l in 1990. He completed his doctorate in Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and is Founding Director of the DA’AT Institute for Death Awareness, Advocacy and Training. Simcha works as a psychotherapist and spiritual director in the Philadelphia area, has served as Adjunct Professor of Religion at LaSalle University and Temple University, and is on Faculty of the Art of Dying Institute of the New York Open Center.

A member of the Rabbis Without Borders Network, Simcha has done pioneering work as a Jewish death educator and is author of numerous publications on death and afterlife including the groundbreaking Jewish Views of the Afterlife. His emerging passion is developing a Jewish view of dealing with eco-anxiety and climate grief. His website is www.daatinstitute.net.

Rabbi Or Rose

Rabbi Or Rose

In Search of Renewal: Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi's Life & Work

Rabbi Or Rose (he/him) was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where his parents, Rabbi Neal and Mashpiah Carol Rose, helped create the first B’nai Or community (which would eventually grow into the Renewal Movement.) Or had the berakhah of celebrating several life passages with Reb Zalman, including being ushered unto the covenant as a new born baby in his sandak’s hands. Or also had the zekhut of studying with and being ordained by Reb Zalman, Rabbi Arthur Green, and Rabbi Neal Rose. For the past 20 years, Or has taught at Hebrew College in Newton, MA, where he is the founding director of the Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership. Or was a guest teacher for the ALEPH Ordination Program (AOP) in the summer of 2020. A prolific writer and editor, he is the co-editor of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi: Essential Teachings (Orbis) with Pir Netanel Miles-Yépez. Or is currently working on a monograph on Reb Zalman’s evolution as an interreligious practitioner and leader, along with other related writing projects.

Rabbi Jeff Roth, D.Min.

Rabbi Jeff Roth, D.Min.

Me, Myself, and God

Rabbi Jeff Roth, D.Min., M.S.W. (he/him) is the founder and Director of The Awakened Heart Project for Contemplative Judaism. He has led over 230 meditation retreats over the last 25 years. He was the co-founder of Elat Chayyim, the Jewish Spiritual Retreat Center, where he served as Executive Director and Spiritual Director for 13 years. He is the author of Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life and Me, Myself and God. He is currently facilitating a one-year online program called the Deepening Contemplative Practice Intensive. He was ordained by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l as well as by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Rabbi Roth served for eight years as the Executive Director of B’nai Or (which became P’nai Or) before its transformation into ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. He lives with his partner Rabbi Joanna Katz in the Hudson River Valley.

Rabbi Eva Sax-Bolder

Rabbi Eva Sax-Bolder

For the Love of Gaia: Expressive Arts, Play and Ritual Deepen Our Connection to Our Living Planet

Rabbi Eva Sax-Bolder (she/her) is a spiritual leader and artist who designs transformative learning and ritual opportunities to provide seekers with joyful and creative approaches to Judaism. She serves as Rosh Hashpa’ah, head of Spiritual Direction for the ALEPH Ordination Program, supporting the spiritual development of the seminary students and faculty. In addition to being a spiritual director, Rabbi Eva enjoys her roles as a creative life-cycles guide, pastoral counselor and ritualist.

She received rabbinic smicha though ALEPH and graduated from Lev Shomea as a spiritual director. An alumna of CLAL’s Rabbis Without Borders and the Institute for Jewish Spirituality Clergy Leadership Program, R’ Eva also graduated from R’ Shefa Gold’s Kol Zimra Hebrew Chant Leadership training and R’ Nadya Gross’s Wisdom School. She has completed training and teaches mindfulness meditation, Jewish yoga, wise aging, and Mussar drawing on her skills and passions as an artist and group facilitator integrating the expressive arts into her practice. R’Eva is currently a Fellow of the Jewish Studio Process Creative Facilitator Training. Recently retired as the Rabbi of The Shul of New York, she now lives in Boulder with her husband, Larry. They have two adult partnered daughters who keep them smiling.

Rebecca Schisler

Rebecca Schisler

Me, Myself, and God

Rebecca Schisler (she/her) is a meditation teacher, artist, and Jewish educator. A devoted contemplative practitioner, 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. A core faculty member at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, Rebecca has also led groups and taught classes 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. 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 www.rebeccaschisler.com.

Yoshi Silverstein

Yoshi Silverstein

Embodying Jewish Liberation — Spiritual Jewish Embodiment & Cultural Somatics for Countering Oppression

Yoshi Silverstein (he/him) is Founder and Executive Director of Mitsui Collective, which builds resilient community through embodied Jewish practice and somatic antiracism. A 2022 Pomegranate Prize winner and 2021 “Grist 50 Fixer” building a more just and equitable future, Yoshi’s work seeks to nourish body and soul through meaning making, purposeful connection, and creative expression. A Chinese Ashkenazi American Jew, Yoshi is also an active advocate and educator in the Jews of Color community. Formerly Director of the JOFEE Fellowship at Hazon, he is a Senior Schusterman Fellow, sits on the Board of Directors for Repair the World, and is an alumnus of Selah (Cohort 14, Jewish Leaders of Color), the Dorot Fellowship, and the Jewish Pedagogies Fellowship with M²: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education. Yoshi is an adjunct faculty member at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and holds a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture and certificates in spiritual entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, permaculture design, and environmental education; is a student of Resmaa Menakem in the areas of embodied antiracism and somatic abolitionism; and holds a second degree blackbelt in Lotus Kajukenbo. Yoshi lives in the Cleveland area in Shaker Heights, OH on Erie, Mississauga, and Haudenosaunee land with his wife and daughter.

Moon Smith

Moon Smith

Qi Torah: Embodied Practices for Thriving in These Times

Moon Smith (Miriam Chayim Emunah) (she/they) is an activist, a meditator, and a community herbalist. Professionally, she practiced as a nurse midwife for 25 years. She became a Jew by choice almost 40 years ago, entering into Judaism through the path of Jewish Renewal. Reb Zalman and Rabbi Sheila Weinberg were her first teachers of Judaism. Moon is a devoted student of Torah and Qigong and in recent years, has been integrating these two wisdom traditions in the weekly Torah-infused Qigong practice that she leads. She and Malkah Binah have been practicing qigong together in hevrutah for the past decade, seeking out qigong masters and teaching classes together. Her motto is, “As we bless the Source of Life, so we are blessed.”

Rabbi Arthur Ocean Waskow, Ph.D.

Rabbi Arthur Ocean Waskow, Ph.D.

Bringing Our Own Lives Into Torah, Haftarah, and Festival

Rabbi Arthur Ocean Waskow, Ph.D. (he/him), is the founder (1983) and director of The Shalom Center (www.theshalomcenter.org). Since 1969, Rabbi Arthur has been a leader of the movement for Jewish Renewal. He is the author of many books—some that have reexamined American society—including The Limits of Defense, From Race Riot to Sit-in, and Running Riot. Rabbi Arthur is also the author of other publications that have renewed Jewish spiritual and political life, including the original Freedom Seder, Godwrestling and Godwrestling—Round 2, Seasons of Our Joy, Down-to-Earth Judaism, The Tent of Abraham (co-author), Freedom Journeys: The Tale of Exodus and Wilderness Across Millennia (co-author), A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven (co-author), Torah of the Earth: Exploring 4,000 Years of Ecology in Jewish Thought (editor), Dancing in God’s Earthquake, and Liberating Your Passover Seder (co-author and co-editor). Rabbi Arthur is the co-founder with Reb Zalman z”l of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, co-founder of the National Havurah Committee, and co-founder of Rabbis for Human Rights/North America (now T’ruah). Rabbi Arthur taught at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College from 1982-1989. He has also taught at Swarthmore College from 1982-1983, Vassar College, Drew University, and Temple University. Rabbi Arthur received his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University in 1954, his Ph.D. in US History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1963, a Doctorate of Humane Letters (honoris causa) from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2017, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from T’ruah in 2016.

Rabbi Melissa Starr Wenig

Rabbi Melissa Starr Wenig

SpeakChorus Torah Community Midrash

Rabbi Melissa Starr Wenig (she/her) is a roving rabbi, teacher, workshop presenter, Torah-teller, prayer leader, and ritualist guiding families through life cycle events. She was one of the ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal smicha class of 2010 which initiated the SpeakChorus Torah Project. She has served on the spiritual leader team at B’nai Or Boston and as interim rabbi in Newburyport, MA. Currently she is based in Sarasota, where she teaches and holds weekly outdoor Shabbat gatherings. Rabbi Melissa has facilitated SpeakChorus Torah at Ruach HaAretz retreat and the ALEPH Kallah.

Akiva Wharton (Akiva the Believer)

Akiva Wharton (Akiva the Believer)

Holy Drumming: Drumming While People are Praying

Akiva Wharton (Akiva the Believer) (he/him) has helped bring drumming back into Jewish services after a ban of 2000 years. He was ordained as the first “Temple Drummer” since the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Akiva has played with a who’s-who of secular and Jewish performers including: Noel Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul and Mary), Christine Lavin, Shlomo Carlebach, Alberto Mizrachi, Craig Taubman, Rabbi Shefa Gold, Debbie Friedman, z”l, Daniel Cainer and StorahTelling. Akiva released a double CD, “The Rhythm of G!d,” in 2014 and his book of original prayers and songs in 2022. In addition to leading full moon drum circles and playing at congregations throughout the tri-state area, Akiva leads monthly Sabbath morning services with his wife, Cantor Lisa Ann, at “P’nai Shore,” their synagogue/home on the beach of Huntington, Long Island.

Rabbinic Pastor/Mashpi’ah Ruchanit Sandra Wortzel

Rabbinic Pastor/Mashpi’ah Ruchanit Sandra Wortzel

For the Love of Gaia: Expressive Arts, Play and Ritual Deepen Our Connection to Our Living Planet

Rabbinic Pastor & Mashpi’ah Ruchanit Sandra Wortzel (she/her) enjoys integrating the things she knows and loves: Expressive Arts, Jewish Renewal, Spiritual Direction, and her own soul-evolving experiences through art-making. She encourages others to express their spirituality and yearnings through the arts in spiritual direction sessions, creative rituals, and through workshops/retreats that unite Jewish spirituality, the expressive arts and nature.

Sandra grew up in New York City, and was a desert dweller in Tucson, AZ from 1975-2018. She and her husband moved to the Mendocino coast in early 2019 and now dwell among the redwoods. ‘Reb Sandra’ has dual ordination from ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. She is administrator, core faculty and a supervisor for the ALEPH Hashpa’ah program and on the Mashpia faculty. She is a graduate of Kol Zimra Hebrew chant leadership training and Rabbi Nadya Gross’ “Wisdom School.” Sandra has a BFA in Dance, a MA in Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University, and a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies from the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland in Training, Research and Leadership in Expressive Arts Therapy. She and her husband Kenny have three children, four delightful grandchildren and a golden retriever named Zushya.

Rabbi Shawn Israel Zevit

Rabbi Shawn Israel Zevit

Davvenen' Through the Worlds: A Master Class in Making Prayer Come Alive

Rabbi Shawn Israel Zevit (he/him) serves as rabbi at Mishkan Shalom, in Philadelphia, PA. He is co-founder/director with Rabbi Marcia Prager of the Davennen Leader’s Training Institute and has been one of the leaders of ALEPH Hashpa’ah (Spiritual Direction) Training Program for a decade. Shawn is an active leader in faith and justice work, a liturgical recording and performing artist, one of the founders of www.menschwork.org; co-editor of Brother Keepers: New Perspectives in Jewish Masculinity, and author of Offerings of the Heart: Money and Values in Faith Community. www.rabbizevit.com

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