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

  • Reimagining Purim: Journey into Megillat Mordekhai with Beit Toratah
  • A Tribute to Rabbi Marcia Prager and Hazzan Jack Kessler
  • Dancing the Omer: Collective Healing in the Forest of Creation
  • Festschrift for Eve Ilsen’s 75th Birthday

Continual Programs

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

Session Descriptions

Virtual Program - Minyan

Reimagining Purim: Journey into Megillat Mordekhai with Beit Toratah

DATE: Tuesday, March 19
TIME: 1pm ET / 10am PT
LOCATION: Zoom (register below) 

Preparing for Purim? Join us for a study of Megillat Mordekhai with Beit Toratah!

Welcome to the topsy-turvy season in the Jewish calendar, a time when we reexamine power dynamics between women and men, the rich and poor, non-Jews and the Jewish people. How do these dynamics shift when the traditional scroll undergoes a genderbend?

In this session, we will collectively engage in the reading of the scroll of Mordekhai and explore the alternative world it presents.

Join us as we reflect on Queen Akhashveroshni’s quest for a new virgin lad to ascend to the throne; ponder the relationship between the young virgin lad, Mordekhai, and his aunt Esther, who escorts him to the queen’s fortress; delve into the tensions between Esther and the High Minister Hamani; and contemplate the resilience of the Tehudiyot who defend themselves and retaliate.

Come, let’s explore and contemplate these intriguing aspects together.

This program will be led by Yael Kanarek and Tamar Biala. Learn more about the speakers here. 

Virtual Program - Minyan

A Tribute to Rabbi Marcia Prager and Hazzan Jack Kessler

DATE: Sunday, April 7
TIME: 4pm ET / 1pm PT
LOCATION: Zoom (register below)

Rabbi Marcia Prager and Hazzan Jack Kessler are the visionaries behind the Aleph Rabbinic and Cantorial programs. Their work has spanned decades – creating, sustaining and endowing the AOP program in order that Reb Zalman’s inspirational legacy – with their tireless dedication – will continue to flourish for generations to come.

Let us gather in tribute to these two extraordinary people and celebrate and their accomplishments, their efforts, and raise funds for the Aleph Ordination Program. The program will feature many of their students- Cantor and Rabbis- co creators and students.

Virtual Program - Minyan

Dancing the Omer: Collective Healing in the Forest of Creation with physical therapist Rachael R. Resch

DATE: Tuesdays, April 23 – June 4
TIME: 7pm-8pm ET / 4pm-5pm PT
LOCATION: Zoom (register below)
COST: $72

Come embody the Kabbalah Tree of Life through Counting the Omer – from the liberation of Passover to the revelation of Shavuot. We’ll explore the seven archetypes (or sephirot) of the Divine that also comprise the sacred anatomy of the human body.

Each one-hour session will include gentle movement, guided meditation, journaling and group dialogue to organically grow the Forest of Creation Ongoing in our bodies and in our lives.

We’ll move through the Tree of Life one week at a time so that the whole, holy human body can blossom from the root of the Divine. Please join us in bringing physical and spiritual healing to your body, the Body of Humanity and the Body of the World.

All ages and physical abilities are welcome.  No previous movement background is needed.  Please plan to attend all seven sessions.

Items to Bring:

•  Comfortable clothes to move in
•  Bare feet if you like
•  Materials for journaling, drawing &/or pillow for seated meditation

This program will be led by Rachael Resch, physical therapist. Learn more about Rachael here.
Virtual Program - Minyan

Festschrift for Eve Ilsen’s 75th Birthday

DATE: Sunday, June 2
TIME: 1pm ET / 12pm CT / 11am MT / 10am 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

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.