Educating for Spirituality

Educating for Spirituality is a Program of

ALEPH:  Alliance for Jewish Renewal

Our mission is to enhance authentic spirituality in religious education and communal life by creating and providing resources and training to educators and clergy of all faith traditions.  EfS includes summer, week-long intensive learning experiences for educators; online, semester-long courses; and will have an online curriculum resource center and a listserv for participants.

Join Rabbi Lori D. Shaller and Rabbi Rain Zohav
at the 2017 Ruach Ha-Aretz

July 10-16, 2017
at Stony Point Center, Stony Point, NY

How do we as educators imbue our teaching with spirituality?  Teaching sacred text is about storytelling, right? It’s also about morality and ethics, yes? And it’s about the mitzvot, the things we do to connect with God. It’s even about a call to social justice work. Can it also be about spirituality?  Join Educating for Spirituality’s Co-Directors, Rabbis Lori Shaller and Rain Zohav, as we dive into Torah and other sacred texts physically, emotionally, through expanded consciousness and with spirit. Learn techniques to bring en-spirited Torah to your students:

  • Improvisational theater

  • Chant and song

  • Visual art

  • Guided imagery

  • Alternative forms of text study

  • ​Social justice action

This intensive is for clergy, educators and seminarians.

This course is open to all Ruach Ha'Aretz participants, AND can be taken for credit in the ALEPH Ordinations Program. Follow up sessions will be required and scheduled for one unit of credit to be earned in Kli Kodesh. The full syllabus and dates for follow up sessions will be sent to those registering for this option. Additional tuition ($450) applies.

To learn more about the 2017 Ruach Ha-Aretz Classes and to register click here.

EfS was one of the winners of the CAJE7 competition to present a day-long leaNewCAJErning during the pre-conference, as well as three workshops during the conference.  If you missed us at the conference, check out our two lessons included in NewCAJE7's Tishrei Resources for Teachers in NewCAJE's online journal Jewish Educator.

ALEPH’s EfS Program teaches how to light up the souls of your students. We’re combining ALEPH’s joyful approach to prayer with multi-modal and discovery-based learning practices to engage and enliven students’ bodies, hearts, minds and spirits. Participants learn how to access and express their own spirituality, so they can deepen the spiritual content they teach. EfS is for clergy, seminarians, educational directors and educators of all faith traditions.

EfS offers a week-long summer institute in residence; semester-long online courses, and consulting tailored to clients' needs.   Coming soon:  an online curriculum resource center.

Our innovative teaching is experiential, so educators leave our classes with concrete pedagogical grounding in spirituality education. 

Join like-minded peers seeking to reach the souls of their students. Leave with ready-to-use lesson ideas and a renewed sense of the holiness of your work.

New Resource Available to Download:  Autism Spectrum Handbook:  A Not Comprehensive But Quite Handy Resource by Rabbi Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser, B.S. M.A. D.Min.


Social Action Education
As Spiritual Practice


Taught by Rabbi Rain Zohav With guest teachers Alden Solovy and Rabbi Lori Shaller

Thursday evenings: 7:00p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23, March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, April 6 An online, real-time teleconference class for clergy, seminarians and educators of all faiths.

Learn how to connect the sacred teaching of your faith with your social action education and activities. Deepen your students’ understanding and connection to the Divine. Share lesson plans and ideas. Receive coaching.

We will explore these questions:

  • What nourishes our souls and the souls of students as we engage in social change work?
  • What role can the sacred texts of our traditions play in social action?
  • What calls to our students? How can we encourage them to listen to the
  • Divine and to heal in relation to our broken world?
  • How can we empower our students to take action?
  • How can we assist them (and ourselves) to overcome discouragement, despair and hopelessness?

$200 (plus $6 Trumah surcharge), but if you're one of the first 15 to register, you receive a 50% discount ($100 plus $3 surcharge).


“The essence of Judaism is being integrated into my being and thus my teaching.”

"I discovered/reaffirm that I learn best when the teaching progresses from theory, to examples as exercises, and, ideally, into immediate application in my own work (as my colleagues from [synagogue] and I did each morning this week). I highly recommend colleagues from Jewish organizations to attend the Educating for Spirituality Institute together, and to bring curricula or projects they are working on, in order immediately to apply the new skills and approaches to their work."

“To teach spirituality, one needs to model…so if I want to teach about accessing the spiritual part of students, then I am obligated to know that for myself.”

"It is critical that teachers have the chance to be in holy community to inspire, question, and improve their craft."

“It has opened me up to the many different definitions of prayer, and the different ways to access prayer.  ‘Prayer as a conversation with God’, looks different from “Prayer as a connection to one’s emotions’, which is different from ‘Prayer as a connection to the unknown.’”

"Rabbis Rain and Lori do a great job of realizing that not all of us learn the same way or respond the same way to thoughts/questions/expressions.  They do a good job of modeling and accepting divergent viewpoints.  [Their classroom is] a very accepting, safe environment."

EfS Includes:

  • Summer, week-long Institute for religious educators. Leave with ready-to-use lesson ideas and a renewed sense of the holiness of your work. Sessions include Using the Arts to Access Spirituality, A Mystical Approach to Teaching Sacred Language, Praying from the Heart and more.
  • Semester-long, online courses: Teaching Prayer with Spirit; Watering the Roots of Social Action Education.
  • Online Resource Center to access ready-to-use spiritual education curricular materials.

Questions? Contact us at:

About Educating for Spirituality's Lead Teacher: Rabbi Rain Zohav

Rabbi Rain is an ordained Jewish Renewal Rabbi with twenty years of experience engaging students in meaningful and lasting educational experiences.

Rain-ZohavRabbi Rain has twenty years of experience directing a variety of religious schools, creating curriculum and programming, and teaching teachers on such topics as “Heschel’s Challenge to Jewish Educators” and “Using Understanding by Design in Teaching Tefilah,” plus ten additional years of experience teaching in religious schools. Rabbi Rain earned a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies from Gratz College, where she earned awards in Biblical and Jewish Studies. Rabbi Rain worked with the Washington, D.C. area Board of Jewish Education to develop a regional curriculum on Israel.


Teaching Prayer with Spirit: Learning to Teach Prayer for All Your Students

How to Reach the Soul of Your Students:  Renewing the Transmission of Spirituality

Social Action Education as Spiritual Practice