Meet your 1-Day Workshop Teachers

Maggid David Arfa

  • Produced two Parents Choice award winning CD's, 'The Birth of Love' and 'The Life and Times of Herschel of Ostropol' and a full length storytelling performance, The Jar of Tears: A Memorial for the Warsaw Ghetto Rebbe
  • Chaplain at Providence Behavioral Health Hospital
Class title: The Way of the Aggadista

Rabbi Elyssa Austerklein

  • Senior rabbi of Beth El Congregation in Akron, OH 
  • Named one of America’s 33 most inspiring rabbis of 2015 by The Forward 
Class title: (co-presenter) Everyday Holiness: Wisdom from the Occupations of Ancient and Modern Rabbis and Cantors

Hazzan Matthew Austerklein

  • Cantor of Beth El Congregation in Akron, OH
  • Co-founder of Ilu Finu, a nationwide contest for Jewish a cappella groups to write synagogue music 

Class title: (co-presenter) Everyday Holiness: Wisdom from the Occupations of Ancient and Modern Rabbis and Cantors

Daniel Berlin

  • Licensed psychologist specializing in the integration of spirituality and psychotherapy 
  • Director of LEV SHOMEA/Listening Heart, 2001-2003 
Class title: Sacred Listening: An Exploration of the SH'MA YISRAEL Six-Word Text

Rabbi Anne Brener

  • Professor of Ritual and Human Development at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California 
  • Author of Mourning & Mitzvah: A Guided Journal for Walking the Mourner's Path through Grief to Healing 
Class title: Navigating the Wilderness of Loss: Reframing the Spiritual Journey of Grief

Rabbi Ellen Bernstein

  • Author of many books on Judaism and Ecology including The Splendor of Creation, A Biblical Ecology 
  • Her forthcoming book, The Promise of the Land Haggadah will be published by Behrman House in 2019
Class title: Why Beauty Matters: The Song of Songs’ Ecological Vision

Maggid Jim Brule

  • Received s’micha as a maggid from Reb Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum, in the line of Reb Shlomo Carlebach zt”l and Reb Zalman Shachter-Sholomi zt”l 
  • Engaged in intensive multi-faith dialogues, including a multi-year partnership with a Baptist minister and a Muslim scholar 
Class title: Transformational Storytelling and Neuroplasticity

Nachshon Carmi

  • Lifetime educator 
  • Teaches Jewish studies to the: always online/ digital native/ smartphone loving/ Snapchat Instagram generation at Donna Klein Jewish Academy community day school in Boca Raton, FL 
Class title: Digital Torah – Text and Tech Skills for the 21st Century

Rabbi David Curiel

  • Founder and spiritual director of Asiyah Jewish Community in Somerville, MA 
  • Holds rabbinic and hashpa'a smicha from ALEPH 
Class title: (co-presenter) Dance Your Dreams, Pray Your Body

Peggy Davis

  • Has worked as a calligrapher and Jewish educator since the 1970s; her work includes ketubot and invitations, original and printed art and cards 
  • Plays flute in the Wholesale Klezmer Band 
Class title: The Beauty of Hebrew Lettering

Rabbi Lev Friedman

  • Founded the B’nai Or Religious Fellowship of Boston 
  • Was the spiritual leader of B’nai Or from 1982-1996 
Class title: Shabbos Candles, Hidden Light

Dr. Andrew Gaines

  • At Romemu in NYC, he facilitates Yom Kippur workshops, conducts Bibliodramas and writes/directs Purim spiels
  • Directed The Disputation in Spain with Olami and created Kindergarten Truck, an award-winning therapeutic theatre project that toured the USA 
Class title: Embodied Teshuva at the Gates of Neilah

Terry Gips

  • CEO of Sustainability Associates 
  • Author of Breaking the Pesticide Habit and the Humane Consumer and Producer Guide 
Class title: Jewish Sustainability Teachings and the Natural Step Framework: Save Money, Time, Health and the Earth While Greening Your Home, Workplace, Synagogue and Community

Rabbi Ilan Glazer

  • A freelance speaker, Maggid and transformation coach based in Silver Spring, MD
  • Hosts the Torah of Life podcast 
Class title: Everyone Needs Recovery – Only Some Are Brave Enough to Admit It

Shelley Barchanowitz Goldberg

  • Graduate of Shefa Gold's Chant Leadership Training Kol Zimra, Ageing to Sageing, and Wisdom School Certified in Applied Positive Psychology as well as Flourishing Skills Group Facilitator, Resilience Training Facilitator
  • Positivity Coach and certified SoulCollage® Facilitator 
Class title: Pirke Avot, Positive Psychology and SoulCollage

Yehudit Goldfarb

  • Originator of Otiyot Hayyot (Living Letters) – an integrative form of moving meditation rooted in Kabbalah and designed to help people access the spiritual light and life force hidden within the Hebrew letters and vowels
  • Co-founder of the Aquarian Minyan and director of numerous Joys of Jewishing encampments 
Class title: Discovering the Divine Sparks Within the Story of Pinchas

Morenu, Maggid and Rabbinic Deputy Reuven Goldfarb

  • Writer, teacher and rabbinic deputy, he co-founded and edited AGADA, the illustrated Jewish literary magazine (1981-88) 
  • Co-founded Bayt Maor HaLev Center for Movement, Healing and Language Arts 
Class title: How to Prepare and Deliver a D'var Torah

Barbara Diamond Goldin

  • Author of many picture books and story collections, including Meet Me at the Well: The Girls and Women of the Bible written with Jane Yolen 
  • Received the prestigious Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Award in 1997 
Class title: (co-presenter) Read It Again: The Art of Writing Children's Books

Rishe Groner

  • Founder of, a non-denominational approach to spirituality and self-transformation based on feminine and Jewish mysticism 
  • Writer, strategist and teacher, her work has appeared in Tablet, Lilith and The Wisdom Daily 
Class title: Awakening The Shekhinah: A Kabbalistic Feminist Approach

Shayndel Kahn

  • Therapeutic musician bringing healing and joy to patients through the healing port of music
  • HeartMath certified trainer and coach 
Class title: HeartMath and Prayer

Kohenet-in-Training Rachel Kann

  • TEDx Poet who’s performed her poetry with leaders such as Marianne Williamson 
  • 2017 Outstanding Instructor of the Year at UCLA Extension Writers' Program 
Class title: Appointment for Anointment: Aromatherapy and Mystical Judaism

Yosef Kottler

  • Co-founder of Hebrew Chant Boston
  • Composed a modern musical presentation The Lord's Prayer Experience: An Interfaith Journey into Song and Spirit, making this sacred text relevant to today's world and to people of all faiths 
Class title: The Lord's Prayer Experience: An Interfaith Journey into Spirit and Song, Based on the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew

Ellen Krause-Grosman

  • Has taught Dance Midrash in Boston and Israel at venues including Limmud Boston, Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Pardes institute of Jewish Studies 
  • Her dance midrash process draws on the work of Andrea Hodos and Liz Lehrman 
Course title: Dance Midrash Dancing with King David

Rabbi Suri Krieger

  • Spiritual leader of B'nai Or: Jewish Renewal of Greater Boston
  • Adjunct professor at Sacred Heart University, teaching courses in Bible and Judaism, serving as Rabbi on a Catholic Campus 
Class title: The Elijah Mystique

Dr. Julie Leavitt

  • Mashpia/Spiritual Director for the Hebrew College Rabbinical School and in private practice in Newton, MA 
  • Has taught Authentic Movement as a Sacred Practice at the Aleph Kallah, B'nai Or of Boston, and for three decades, at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA 
Class title: Bruchim Ha-Baim: Blessing Our Bodies as Home Through Authentic Movement

Matt Levitt

  • Has been chanting Torah (frequently off-key) in reform and conservative congregations for nearly 40 years 
  • Has been chanting in a style inspired by Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank z”l for the past 15 years 
Class title: Black Fire on White Fire: Chanting Torah by Reading Aloud Both the Black (Hebrew Letters) and the White (English "Translation")

Ana Levy-Lyons

  • Author of No Other Gods: The Politics of the Ten Commandments (forthcoming, Hachette, March 2018) 
  • Senior minister at First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn, a quickly growing urban congregation 
Class title: The Ten Commandments: A Radical Manifesto for the Twenty-First Century

Hal Miller-Jacobs

  • Co-founder of the Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston 
  • Engineering Psychologist who makes technology usable and people-friendly, puts that same kavanah (intent) into Torah, Tefilah and now Tahara (ritual washing of the deceased) 
Class title: Cremation: Jewish and Ecological Perspectives

Martin Potrop

  • Past executive director of San Francisco State University, Shomer Aquarian Minyan 
  • Expert in panoplay of Jewish History, Culture and Customs 
Class title: All of Jewish History in One Session

Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael

  • Ordained at the Reconstructionist seminary and is also Kohenet and Eshet Chazon
  • Released a CD on Jewish music for the end of life 
Class title: New Jewish Music for the End of Life Journey

Scott Reiter

  • Editor of the just-published second edition of Shavat va-Yinafash, the siddur of congregation Bet Mishpachah in Washington, DC 
  • Member of Minyan Oneg Shabbat, led by Rabbi Mark Novak in Washington, DC of our Shaarei Kodesh, a Conservative kehilla in Boca Raton, FL 
Class title: Making Liturgy Gay, Making Prayer Happy

Dr. Penny Rosenwasser

  • Author of Hope into Practice, Jewish Women Choosing Justice Despite Our Fears 
  • Co-teaches an anti-Semitism/anti-Arabism class at City College of San Francisco 
Class title: When I Dare to Be Powerful

Maggidah Cassandra Sagan

  • An ordained Maggid and Jewish educator, InterPlay leader, poet, artist and ukulele-toting devotee of the Holy Clown 
  • Faculty member of the Jewish Spiritual Education Maggid-Educator training program 
Class title: (co-presenter) Playing for the Sake of Heaven

Reb Brian Yosef Schachter-Brooks

  • A spiritual teacher, musician and founder of Torah of Awakening 
  • Sacred Music and Ritual Director at Chochmat HaLev in Berkeley for 17 years 
Class title: Spiritual Awakening Through Integral Jewish Meditation

Rabbi Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser

  • The Jewish Student Advisor at Smith College
  • Author of the novel, A Place of Light 
Class title: Sparks of Love: The Jewish Magical Tradition

Rabbi Jeremy Sher

  • An experienced nonprofit leader and political activist 
  • Ordained in 2016 by a bet din chaired by his longtime mentor Rabbi Natan Margalit 
Class title: Four Children, Four Worlds

Dr. Heidi Shira

  • Co-creator of Lights of Mussar™ Cards
  • Current art media include: collage, acrylic multi media, quilting, photography, and constructing environmental labyrinths
Class title: (co-presenter) Ethical Brilliance: Lights of Mussar™ Cards for Creating a Balanced Life

Devi Stern

  • An advanced Eden Energy medicine practitioner and longtime student of Kabbalah and kabbalistic healing 
  • Author of Energy Healing with the Kabbalah, Integrating Ancient Jewish Mysticism with Modern Energetic Practices, to be publish May 2018 
Class title: Connecting Heaven and Earth: Enhancing Prayer with a Fusion of Kabbalah and Energy Practices

Yoel Sykes

  • Studied music at the Center for Eastern Music in Jerusalem and flamenco guitar in the Fundacion de Christina Heeren school of Flamenco Arts in Spain 
  • Is a main prayer leader in the Nava Tehila Jewish Renewal community in Jerusalem 
Class title: (co-presenter) Dance Your Dreams, Pray Your Body

Reb Baruch Thaler

  • After studying for Semichah at Lubavitch headquarters (“770”) and traveling globally as a Chabad shaliach and teacher, Baruch evolved into academia (Columbia: B.A., M.F.A.)
  • Founding member of “Footsteps,” “Chulent" and “Nitzotzot” 
Class title: The Mikvah Immersive Experience (M.I.E.): In the Sea of So(ul)matic Surrender

Akiva Wharton "Akiva the Believer"

  • Received smicha from Reb Zalman Shachter-Shalomi as Commander of the Drum 
  • Released a double CD, "The Rhythm of G!d," in 2014 
Class title: Holy Drumming: Playing While People Are Praying

Barbra Wiener

  • Has been involved with Interplay for 20 years and leads classes and "playgroups" in the Twin Cities
  • Is on the Board of Directors of the International Interplay organization and the Shalom Center
Class title: Playing for the Sake of Heaven

Ms. Nancy Weiss

  • Co-creator of Lights of Mussar™ Cards
  • Coordinator of Manchim, the Facilitator Training Program for The Mussar Institute 
Class title: (co-presenter) Ethical Brilliance: Lights of Mussar™ Cards for Creating a Balanced Life