A Jewish Movement Leadership Training
Designed and Taught by Rabbi Diane Elliot and Guest Faculty
- Is movement your first language?
- Does your soul express itself most deeply and joyfully through dance and movement?
Join Embodying Spirit, En~spiriting Body – a training program in embodied Judaism and embodied Jewish leadership.
In a deeply nurturing residential retreat setting, Rabbi Diane Elliot and her co-teachers will gently and joyfully guide you from the depths of your own body’s cells to the farthest reaches of the cosmos. You'll discover new freedom to dance your soul’s yearning and to move sacred text off the page. Together we open our bodies as channels for drawing Divine shefa (flow) into the world through movement meditations, hands-on exercises, and ecstatic dancing and we will support one another in connecting to G~d with our whole beings.
Awakening and expanding the experience of Divinity within your own physicality, this in-depth, innovative program will also provide you with skills to become an “embodiment facilitator” in your home community, enriching your work as a healer, therapist, spiritual leader, or teacher. Among our tools will be Authentic Movement, ecstatic dance, Body-Mind Centering®, qi gong, and sacred circle dance, as we practice moving prayer, Torah, and kabbalistic wisdom. Each retreat week culminates in an unforgettable embodied Shabbat (Sabbath) experience that celebrates and integrates the gifts of our time together.
COHORT 3 & PROGRAM FORMAT
The retreats take place among the pine, oak, and manzanita forest in the hills north of Napa Valley, California, at Four Springs Retreat Center. The comprehensive training will include these four, six-day modules:
• Retreat I — Embodying Prayer: October 31–November 6, 2016 closed
• Retreat II — Embodying Torah: May 15–21, 2017 Register now
• Retreat III — Embodying Kabbalah: November 16–12, 2017
• Retreat IV — The Sacred Dance: May 7–13, 2018
Information about Applying and Registration, Location and Lodging, Fees and Financial Aid, and the Faculty follow:
Application and Registration Information
Step 1: Apply
Please send an email to Rabbi Diane Elliot at to be accepted into the program. Rabbi Diane Elliot can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please copy email@example.com on your email.
In your email, please answer the following questions:
- Describe your spiritual life. What nourishes you? How and with whom do you practice?
- What is your background/level of experience in embodiment practices—dance, movement, martial arts, body-based therapies and meditative work, somatic (body awareness) practices, etc.?
- What draws you to this program at this time? What interests, curiosities, desires, and passions do you bring?
- What do you hope to gain through your participation in Embodying Spirit, En-spiriting Body?
- How do you imagine applying this work in your life? profession? home community?
- Are you currently in medical treatment for any conditions affecting body, mind, or emotions? Are you aware of any health conditions or other circumstances that might affect your ability to fully participate in the program? If so, please explain.
- Please tell us your birthday, and please tell us what else would you like us to know about you?
Step 2: Register for Cohort 3, Retreat I
Four Springs Retreat Center:
14598 Sheveland Road
Middletown, CA 95461
All four retreats will take place in the serenity of southern Lake County in Northern California, at the beautiful Four Springs in Middletown, CA. Four Springs has three levels of lodging: there are five Founders’ Cabins with private baths, four Hoodoo Creek Cabins with semi-private baths, and five Hoodoo Creek Cabins that share the bath house. Nearly all cabins are available as single or double occupancy. To see images of the retreat site and cabins, click here.
All meals will be prepared by Chastain’s Fire and Feast, a local catering company with over 40 years experience in the area. They will provide healthy vegetarian meals from local and organic sources. Fish will be included in the week’s menus, and special dietary needs/restrictions will be considered as well (gluten-free, dairy-free, allergies, etc.). Group participants will share in setting the space for meals and clean-up, as part of the spiritual practice of the week.
Please plan to arrive between 3 pm and 5 pm on the first day of the retreat. The program will begin with dinner, followed by an evening group session. The retreat will end on Sunday late morning.
If you are flying into the area, the nearest airport is Oakland Int’l Airport (OAK). We will help to facilitate shared rides/rental cars for the 2–hour drive to the retreat center.
Fees and Financial Aid
Costs include program tuition plus retreat fees:
The tuition for the two-year program, which includes all instruction, materials and practice/guidance between retreats, is $2200, payable as follows:
$200 deposit with when application letter is accepted.
$1100 (2nd year’s tuition) by October 15, 2015.
If you are registering for one retreat only, the tuition is $650.
Payment plans can be arranged by mutual agreement.
The cost of each retreat, which includes room & board and all administrative costs is determined by your choice of lodging as follows:
• Single/pvt bath: $1250
• Double/pvt bath OR Single/semi-pvt bath: $1175
• Double/semi-pvt bath OR Single/bathhouse: $1100
• Double/bathhouse: $1050
• Camping: $1000
Limited Financial Aid is Available
In the spirit of T’rumah ("gift" or “offering,”), everyone who participates in an ALEPH program contributes to the T’rumah Financial Assistance fund via a 3% registration fee (3% of your total registration will be added to your program/retreat fee and will be acknowledged as a contribution to ALEPH). Not only is the T’rumah fee tax-deductible to you; it enables ALEPH to make programs financially accessible to as many participants as possible. In addition to your support, ALEPH is building the T’rumah Financial Aid fund by earmarking a dedicated portion of all membership/donations, a percentage of end of year surplus and by soliciting direct donations to the fund.
ALEPH is committed to making our programs financially accessible. In doing so, we try to balance our ability to meet individual requests with our ability to spread our resources among as many participants as possible. To learn more about financial aid please visit: Financial Aid Form.
Rabbi Diane Elliot, spiritual teacher, dancer and somatic therapist, inspires her students to become clearer channels for Divine Light through awareness and movement practices, chant, and nuanced interpretations of Jewish sacred text. Founder of Wholly Present, A Center for Embodied Spiritual Practice, she was ordained at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, in 2006, and before that worked for many years as an internationally known modern dance performer, choreographer, and a teacher of Body-Mind Centering®. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, she served as spiritual leader of the Aquarian Minyan from 2007-2009 and now teaches locally and nationally through ALEPH Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Ruach Ha-Aretz, and The Awakened Heart Project.
Rabbi Diane also maintains a body-based spiritual direction practice, leads Jewish meditation retreats, and is the author of numerous articles, essays, and poems. Her wise, loving presence creates a safe space for those who wish to explore spirituality individually and in community. For more information about Rabbi Diane, see www.whollypresent.org.
Guest faculty for Embodying Spirit, En-spiriting Body has included:
Simona Aronow has been in private practice for over 30 years as a Dance/Movement Therapist, body worker, movement educator and teacher. She integrates her traditional Jewish background with the direct experience of movement to foster personal connection and meaning. Simona has taught through the National Havurah Institute, Laban Institute of Movement, and Gesher Center for Spirituality Meditation and Healing on whose Board she has served. She has also supervised students through Goucher College and Antioch University, and currently practices in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her love for movement and somatic healing is inspiring.
Latifa Berry Kropf has been creating and leading sacred dance for 35 years. As a leader of her Renewal chavurah in Charlottesville, VA, Latifa enriches Shabbat and holy day services and celebrations with dance and weaves movement into life cycle events. She has published dance materials for both adults and children, has had the privilege of sharing sacred dance with many communities, and has been honored with the title of Eshet Hazon, Woman of Vision.
Rabbi Ori Har DiGennaro, founder and co-director of Center For Spiritual Friendship, received ordination as Spiritual Director and as Rabbi from ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. She provides spiritual direction for individuals, couples and groups, as well as leading Sage-ing® workshops. Rabbi Ori is a life-long student of yoga and dance as a spiritual path. As a co-leader of services at the Renewal Congregation, Pardes Levavot, in Boulder, Colorado, and at Rabbi Nadya Gross’s Wisdom School, she infuses Shabbat and Holy Day services with devotional dance using the entire body to access higher states of awareness. She is the author of God Speaks Here and Now: A Guide for Living. firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Leavitt practices body-centered psychotherapy and spiritual direction in Newton, MA. She has taught Sacred Movement classes at Elat Chayyim and the Aleph Kallah and serves on the core faculty of the Lev Shomea spiritual direction program. She has also taught Movement and Healing classes at Lesley University for the past 22 years. In 2004 Julie’s community, B’nai Or of Boston, honored her with the title Eshet Hazon (Woman of Vision) and Miyaledet Ruchanit (Spiritual Midwife).
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROGRAM?