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Kallah K'tanah

Classes

Kallah K’tanah 2022 Classes

We are thrilled to announce our lineup of two-day classes!

Get to know our class teachers by clicking on the “Faculty” tab above.

Each class will meet for two sessions—one on Thursday and one on Friday—each lasting 2.5 hours, for a total of 5 hours of class time.

You may select ONE morning class and ONE afternoon class, and by selecting a class, you commit to attending both sessions of that class. Class hopping is not permitted.

After you register for Kallah K’tanah, you’ll receive a link and instructions to download the Whova app, where you will select your morning and afternoon class. Each class has a strict maximum number of participants, and once that class is full, you will no longer be able to select that class.

If you have any questions about classes, please reach out to us at kallah@aleph.org.

Morning Classes

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AM101: Jewish Resources for Relating: Co-Creating Belonging with Dialogue & Embodied Practice

Kohenet Kelly-Chava Banker, Joshua Blaine, Caroline Mazel-Carlton, and Yitzchak Carlton

The practice of Renewal Judaism is an on-going conversation, engaging in personal dialogue with our ancestors, our sacred texts and the Divine. Our tradition demonstrates the power of words and presence to bring entire worlds into being. This class will explore dialogic & embodied techniques to build transformative & liberatory connections in our spiritual communities.

In the first session, Caroline & Yitzhak will teach practices to validate and witness the Divine Sparks in each encounter, including those when big emotions are present. In the second session, Joshua & Kelly-Chava will introduce more experiential, body-based practices for cultivating resilience in the wake of rupture. In both, we will connect with the Jewish value of curiosity and hold radical openness and hospitality for ourselves and one another as we renew our commitments to presence.

Best for folks who are: new to ALEPH and Jewish Renewal; looking to spark conversation (edgy topics); looking for embodied experiences; no experience required

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AM102: The Way of Love: An Interspiritual Convergence

Rabbi Shefa Gold and Sára Rain

Our class will explore the Way of Love as it weaves itself through the mystical heart of Judaism and Sufism, engaging practices and core elements of vision from each tradition. Approached interspiritually, our dialogue between traditions will be engaged primarily at the level of embodied practice rather than abstract theology.

Part 1: Seeking, longing, yearning, arousal, aiming, opening, Becoming receptive, calling, hearing the call.

Part 2: The Work of Love – meeting the obstacles, facing resistance, healing wounds of the past, opening, deepening commitment.

Part 3: Finding, celebration, appreciation, enjoyment, acknowledging beauty, consummation.

Best for folks who are: looking for a deep dive into the topic; looking for embodied experiences

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AM103: Shmita Hives: Transform Rest and Embody Action

Alexander Grace and Asher Edes

Our bodies are the actors of the Renewal movement. With one foot in tradition and one foot in the world to come, what we do and dream in our lifetimes ripples through our lineages. Drawing on both ancestral resources and our roles as future ancestors, this class will explore how a modern practice of Shmita can support long-term transformation in our personal and communal lives.

During our first session, we will craft a communal definition of what embodied Shmita means in 5782. How do we take the historical foundations of Shmita and update them for current movements? What are the modern day corollaries to fallow land, released slaves, and released debt? What can we do now to bring much-needed change to our world? We will approach the question of how Shmita can be practiced today from a framework of liberatory political values. During our second session, we will go deeper into these invitations through the Shmita Hives model–an accessible, monthly curriculum authored by Asher and Alexander. Through study, spirit and heart work, reflection, play, and creation, we will explore Shmita through the themes of the Hebrew month of Tammuz.

Best for folks who are: new to ALEPH and Jewish Renewal; looking to spark conversation (edgy topics); looking for embodied experiences; no experience required

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AM104: Matriarch Magic

Elan Loeb and Wendie Bernstein Lash

Engage spiritually with the women and non-binary people of the Torah in this art exploration program. We will study ancient and modern Feminist midrash and use the Jewish Studio Process* to engage our innate creativity and divinity. The goal of this program is to develop personal relationship with a matriarch and ownership of the stories of the biblical matriarchs. No art experience is required – your inherent creativity is already there. Join us as we co-create with our sacred stories.

Matriarch Magic is a book and oracle deck project aimed at reconnecting us to the stories of the Matriarchs through creativity and ritual.

*The Jewish Studio Process is a unique methodology developed by Rabbi Adina Allen that melts the Beit Midrash (house of learning) and the art studio and uplifts art making as a path toward understanding.

Best for folks who are: new to ALEPH and Jewish Renewal; looking for a deep dive into the topic; looking for embodied experiences; no experience required

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AM105: We Are The Stories We Tell

Rabbi Mark Novak and Renée Brachfeld

Israeli evolutionary historian Yuval Harari teaches that what separates human beings from all other species is the ability to tell stories. Through stories we transmit heritage, share values, and introduce ourselves to each other and the world.

Join Renée and Rabbi Mark for this fun, thought provoking, and community building exploration of personal storytelling. Renée & Mark create a fun and safe environment where stories arise naturally. We will focus on personal stories told without notes. Through games, exercises, and guided practice, there will be opportunity for participants to identify, craft, and share their own stories.

Whether you are new to personal storytelling or an experienced teller, this class is designed for you.

Warning: This class is a lot of fun!

Best for folks who are: new to ALEPH and Jewish Renewal; looking for a deep dive into the topic; no experience required

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AM106: Me, Myself, and God

Rabbi Jeff Roth, D.Min.

In this introductory class in contemporary Jewish meditation practices, we will explore how paying careful, awakened, loving attention moment by moment to present sensory experience can be the stepping-stone to directly discovering a different way to perceive life, the world and our place in it. Rabbi Jeff Roth has found this to be the simplest, clearest way to directly and personally realizing the truth behind the concept that everything is God and nothing but God, which is the Baal Shem Tov’s core teaching and the theological basis of Hassidism. The class will consist of some didactic material and time to practice in silence. These practices help open the heart leading to wisdom and compassion and ultimately result in manifesting kindness in day to day life. For those interested, Rabbi Roth will be leading contemplative prayer practice before breakfast that will augment the teachings in the classes.

Best for folks who are: looking for a deep dive into the topic; no experience required

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AM107: The Stars Spoke and the Mountains Ran: Exploring Jewish Animism & Astrology

Ami Weintraub and Katy Ibur, MSW

The Earth & Sky are not passive stages upon which our Torah stories and contemporary lives take place. Instead, they are active partners in creating the events of our texts and our lives. This course will explore concepts of animism and archetypes in Jewish texts and practices. The first class, led by Ami Weintraub, will engage practices that can help us restore our ability to listen to the Earth and form a balanced relationship with the living world around us. We will learn stories from a variety of Jewish sources that return agency and autonomy to the land.

Day two, led by Katy Ibur, will take us from the land to the sky, bringing the practice of mussar into conversation with the stars and planets of astrology. Through lecture, group discussions, guided meditations and other embodied practice, we’ll bring the consciousness of the planets and related astrology signs into our individual psyche for awareness, insight, and illumination.

Best for folks who are: looking to spark conversation (edgy topics); looking for embodied experiences; no experience required

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Afternoon Classes

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PM201: Personalizing the Seven S’firot Through Understanding and Integration

Rabbi Phyllis Berman

The 7 S’firot (chesed, gevura, tiferet, netzach, hod, yesod, malchut) are those aspects of G!Dness that are in all human beings. Through meditative lap swimming, Rabbi Phyllis Berman has come to her own understanding of these seven and, with that, is attempting to make them real in her life. None of these aspects are “bad”—though they can make trouble if we have too much (or too little) of them; and if they’re not in alignment with the ever-changing moment.

Through real-life descriptions, participants will have the opportunity in internal reflection and chevruta sharing to examine where each of us in this understanding of ourselves in terms of our alignment, our integration, and our ongoing work of corrective action toward emotional maturity and loving and responsible presence toward ourselves and others.

Come and start the work of Elul early; it will change your life!

Best for folks who are: looking for a deep dive into the topic; no experience required

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PM202: Eternal G!d, Open My Lips: Finding Your Authentic Voice in Prayer

Kohenet Elana Brody

In this class, Kohenet Elana Brody will guide you into connection with the magnificent instruments of your voice and your body, the gateways to your truest prayers. Through musical, metaphysical, and physical explorations, you will gain access to your most personal sound and songs, discover hidden parts of yourself, and deepen your prayer in the process.

This class is helpful for both experienced singers/composers AND for the totally untrained, but curious to be more confident, musical prayer-leaders. You do not need to be a “singer” or a composer to take this class. In this class, “kol haneshama tehallelyah.” Every soul is a singer, praising Yah! We will sing together, we will chant, we will create, we will strengthen our vessel, we will learn about our instrument, and we will find deeper meanings in our traditional and personal tefilah.

This class will require some physical breathwork, so if you have any medical condition that may prevent you from exercising your breath, please let Kohenet Elana know beforehand.

Best for folks who are: new to ALEPH and Jewish Renewal; looking for a deep dive into the topic; looking for embodied experiences

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PM203: Mystical Mandala Making

Judith Dack, MA

The Mandala—sacred circle, symbol of healing and wholeness—has been used from ancient times to present in spiritual traditions around the world. Judith Dack will facilitate an afternoon of meditative art making where we will have the opportunity to incorporate personal themes, images, symbols, sacred geometry, etc into our own Mandala plaque. Using a multitude of mixed media art supplies upon a 10″ circular plywood disc, each participant will leave with a personal inspirational Mandala to take home. This afternoon’s activity is accessible to all, both artists and those denying their creative ability, along with everyone in between. If you have an image or any other materials you want to work with please bring them.

NOTE that this class includes an Artist Materials Fee of $20.00 to be paid in advance via credit card or in cash directly to the teacher at the event.

Best for folks who are: new to ALEPH and Jewish Renewal; looking for embodied experiences; no experience required

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PM204: The Ancient Art of Jewish Alchemy: Healing Intergenerational Trauma & Restoring the Chain of Blessing

Rabbi Dr. Tirzah Firestone

This course is an experiential journey into the art of ancestral healing. You will be guided in meditation and partake in a family constellation. The material is strong, can be emotional, and therefore, it is highly recommended that all participants read Rabbi Tirzah’s book, “Wounds into Wisdom” before coming to class. Please bring a journal, ancestral articles, and photographs of beloved ancestors. We will create an ancestral altar together. All items will be returned after class.

Best for folks who are: looking for a deep dive into the topic; looking for embodied experiences

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PM205: Yoga and Mindfulness: Spiritual Prayers and Practices for Healing and Strength

Rabbinic Pastor/Cantor Lisa Levine

We will begin each session with sacred chant, followed by a full body scan and pranayama breath practice, bringing the awareness to the breath and connecting to the SOURCE. Each class will include a gentle yoga prayer embodiment themed in the balance of healing and strength. The second hour will include dharma talks to explore the intersection between Chakras and Sefirot, Mantra and Sacred Chant, Prana Vayu energy pathways and mudra healing hand gestures. All of these will be incorporated into a practice and combined with the themes of prayer and healing. We will create personal daily practice guides and spend time writing. Each class will also include feedback, sharing and end with a healing circle. No prior Yoga or meditation experience is required and advanced practitioners are welcomed. The class may be done seated and comfortable clothing is recommended.

Best for folks who are: looking for a deep dive into the topic; looking for embodied experiences; no experience required

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PM206: Tikkun Daat: Mind/Body Split and Jewish Re-Integration

Reuven Betzalel McCullough

One of the longest and most-pervasive myths of Western history is the Mind/Body Split. Invented at the beginning of philosophy by the Ancient Greeks, this idea of separating our bodies into the “mental” and the “physical” has persisted and now affects almost every human living.

How has Judaism reacted to this myth? How have we fought it? Embraced it? Ignored? How can we understand this split through our own Jewish texts, philosophies, theologies, and histories?

Explore the history of this long standing lie we’ve told ourselves for millennia and discuss how we re-integrate our Selfs Jewishly.

Best for folks who are: looking for embodied experiences; no experience required

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PM207: Land Teshuvah: A Shmitah Ritual of Return

Ian Schiffer and David Bronstein

In prayer, song and conversation with the land, we’ll explore the spiritual and practical elements of returning land to its original inhabitants, and how to be a good ger wherever we inhabit. We’ll share learnings from the first land return to indigenous people in Tovaangar/Los Angeles, and find our own place in the Land Back movement. We will cultivate relationship with the land holding us in ceremony, with offerings, and exploration of Jewish indigeneity and exile.

Best for folks who are: looking to spark conversation (edgy topics); looking for embodied experiences; no experience required

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PM208: Transformative Philanthropy: Grounding in Jewish Tradition to Give for the Long Haul

Molly Schulman

This class will explore our personal stake as Jews in giving to social justice causes. We will not just unpack how mainstream philanthropy currently works, but learn about some of the visionary projects and practices that are transforming philanthropy and reimagining our economy. We will toggle between the personal and the structural, telling stories of how the concepts we learn apply to our own lives. Along the way, we will continually ground our learning in Jewish text, time, and experiences. This class is for you no matter your experience level with social justice philanthropy.

In class, we will specifically tell our stories related to our Jewish identities and money, spend some time unpacking unhelpful anti-Semitic tropes around Jews and money, and learn about some frameworks grounded in relationship, trust, and accountability that we can embody in our giving and fundraising.

Best for folks who are: looking for a deep dive into the topic; looking to spark conversation (edgy topics); no experience required

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Grounding in Gratitude