Virtual Programs

About this Program

ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal’s virtual programming includes our Tikshoret Program and Renewing Our Collective Soul: A Virtual Program For Our Times, which was created in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teachers and leaders from all over the globe have hosted sessions on meditation, embodied movement, spiritual direction, and so much more – gently guiding us to spaces where we can connect with our deepest selves.

Most programs are pay-what-you-wish. Donations will directly support the work of ALEPH and Jewish Renewal programming (unless otherwise noted), and we are thankful for any amount you can donate. If you’re unable to make a donation at this time, that’s okay too. We welcome you.

New offerings will continue to be added, so be sure to check back here often.

Upcoming Programs

  • Festschrift for Eve Ilsen’s 75th Birthday
  • Desert Wind, live play reading
  • GPS for Your Inner Landscape: The Shore
  • Honoring the Life & Legacy of Reb Zalman

Continual Programs

  • Nechamah Minyan (daily)
  • Silence is Praise (weekly)

Session Descriptions

Virtual Program - Minyan

Festschrift for Eve Ilsen’s 75th Birthday

DATE: Sunday, June 2
TIME: 4pm ET / 3pm CT / 2pm MT / 1pm PT
LOCATION: Zoom (register below)

Eve Ilsen is a powerful person and mystic. She was Reb Zalman’s beloved and influenced Jewish Renewal behind the scenes.

Over the last year, Rich Heiberger and Gina Cooke, each of whom has known Eve for more than fifty years, have gathered pages of compelling stories, photos, and anecdotes from dozens of people about their extraordinary experiences with Eve.  This event is the Book Launch for the volume they have compiled from that material.

On June 2, Aleph Virtual Programs, hosted by Reb Geela Rayzel, will present a memorable portrait of Eve’s life, replete with memories, songs in her honor, songs by her, photographs, and videos.  Please join us!

Virtual Program - Minyan

"Desert Wind," a Live Play Reading from the American Jewish Theatre

DATE: Sunday, June 2
TIME: 7pm ET  / 4pm PT
LOCATION: Zoom (register below)

The American Jewish Theatre and ALEPH present a live reading of Desert Wind, a powerful new play by Stephanie Liss. Follow the journey of a family shattered by tragedy and persecution as they brave the harsh desert in search of safety and freedom.

When the patriarch of the family is brutally slain by the Houthis, accused of espionage, his wife, mother, and infant daughter are left with no choice but to flee. With danger lurking at every turn, they embark on a perilous trek across the desert, determined to reach the sanctuary of Eretz Yisrael.

Join us as we bear witness to the untold stories of those who risked everything for a chance at a better life.

Desert Wind is part of The Right of Return, a five part series of one act plays telling the deeply personal stories of Jews expelled from Arab countries. Each story is emotionally raw in its telling, reaching into the previous Jewish life in each country, and moving through the impact of the radical Islamist regimes on the lives of the Jews, and the changes that forced them to leave.

Virtual Program - Minyan

GPS for Your Inner Landscape: The Shore

DATE: Monday, June 24
TIME: 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT
LOCATION: Zoom

Join Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan to connect to your soul by connecting to the beauty of the natural world and Jewish wisdom about nature. Just as the earth has her seas, gardens, rivers, and mountains, inside each of us is our sea of the unconscious, our garden of toil and pleasure, our streams of flow, and our peak experiences. Our inner world is a reflection of the planet and of ancient teachings left for us by our ancestors.

In this interactive class, we will explore “the shore” in nature, Jewish wisdom, and your own life; from sea caves to sand, seashells, and life on the edge of mystery. We will experience media including stunning original nature photography, text discussion, ritual, guided meditation and mitzvah ideas. The practices we will learn may lead not only to a richer inner life and a heightened sense of awe, but to a deepened commitment to stewardship of the Earth and its inhabitants as the dwelling place of Shechinah.

This session will be led by Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan, learn more about her here.

Virtual Program - Minyan

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Reb Zalman

DATE: Sunday, July 14
TIME: 4pm ET / 1pm PT
LOCATION: Zoom

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l is the grandfather, visionary, and inspiration of the Jewish Renewal movement. For the past few years, we have gathered to honor his legacy and life by connecting with his stories, songs and teachings.
We’ll gather to mark his yahrzeit (day of his passing) and remember him together. Led by Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael, join as Reb Zalman’s friends, family, and students share their memories in tribute to this incredible soul.
Virtual Program - Minyan

Nechamah Minyan - FULL DETAILS

The Nechamah Minyan meets nightly at 9 pm Eastern (6 pm Pacific), every day except Friday, providing nechamah (comfort) beyond time and space. Serving to connect people across denominational lines; people who need a place to pray; to heal; to grieve; to experiment with different forms and modalities of prayer; the Nechamah Minyan is a container for the end of the day and to say kaddish. It has helped attendees relax into the night, soothe sleepless souls, and connect with one another. It is different every night—depending on who is leading—so come a few times to get an array of musical, liturgical, meditative, and poetic styles. 

 

The Nechamah Minyan was started in January 2021 by Reb Geela Rayzel Raphael as a place to say kaddish (Jewish prayer for the dead) for her mom, Natalie Robinson, (Nechama Leah bat Elke v’Chayim). 

For Jews in mourning, it is traditional to say daily Kaddish in a minyan, which is a group of 10 or more persons. All who mourn, who are honoring yahrzeits, or who wish to participate in the mitzvah of making a minyan, are invited to join this important program.

If you would like to register, please reach out to Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael at rrayzel@shechinah.com.

If you are looking to attend a minyan taking place that evening, please contact Rabbi Geela Rayzel by 6 pm EDT.

If you’d like to be on the last-minute text list (to be contacted to participate in the mitzvah of making a minyan, in the case not enough are gathered) please reach out to Rabbi Geela Rayzel at the email above.

If you’d like to lead one of the evenings (creative, traditional, and all types of services are welcome!) please reach out to Rabbi Geela Rayzel at the email above.

If you would like to express your gratitude for this type of program, please feel free to make a donation HERE.

If you would like to register, please reach out to Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael at rrayzel@shechinah.com.

Virtual Program - Minyan

Silence is Praise - FULL DETAILS

Date: Weekly on Wednesdays
Time: 11:30 am-12:30 pm ET (8:30-9:30 am PT) 
Cost: Pay-what-you-can 
Presenter: Rabbi Anne Brener

Description: Overwhelmed with stress from social distancing, quarantine, and COVID-19? Join Rabbi Anne Brener for a chanting and meditation service, using the structure of the morning service, to calm our bodies and connect our souls. There will be time for some check-in afterward. 

Our Session Leaders

We are thankful for so many incredible leaders who are stepping up to provide space for us to virtually connect. Our leaders are sure to excite, grow, and inspire you – learn more about them below!

FAQ

When is this event taking place?
Each program takes place at different dates and times. Please refer to your selected program for the correct dates and times, and be sure to pay attention to time zones.
Where is this event taking place?
This event is entirely virtual! You can participate from anywhere in the world. You can even be in your pajamas (we won’t tell!)
Do I need an internet connection to participate?
An internet or phone connection is required to be able to participate. We encourage having some sort of camera so that your face can be seen, but a phone will work just fine if needed.
What if I have never done video conferencing before?
That’s okay! After you register, you will be given detailed instructions on how to get set up so that you will be able to fully participate in as many sessions as you wish.
How long is each session? How often do they meet?
Session lengths vary based on the program. Refer to the detailed session descriptions above to learn more.
ALEPH Virtual Programs

The views, information, or opinions expressed during this event are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of ALEPH and its members.