Pardes Spirituality Retreat: Awakening the Divine

Program Description

The Spirituality Retreat will run from January 2-7, 2018 at the Capital Retreat Center. More details will be available shortly. 

In partnership with Or HaLev, the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and The NYU Center for Global Spiritual Life

The Psalms teach that the human soul is the light of God, illuminating our hearts and minds, our actions and relationships, for the Divine to enter. This retreat, held in North America, offers the opportunity for a sacred pause, enabling us to open ourselves to the joy and presence which is our divine nature and take that awakening back with us into our everyday lives. It provides the skills necessary to transform the sometimes muffled, tense or distracted experience of our lives into an open-hearted engagement with every moment. It offers the opportunity to touch that still, small voice within each of us and the soul-wisdom which is our birthright. It transforms our Jewish practice and lives into a deep mode of spiritual awakening.

Combining prayer, mindfulness meditation, silence, text study, group work and other modes of spiritual practice, this retreat will introduce participants to the profound depths of Jewish spirituality and offer the possibility of finding life-transforming meaning in the Jewish tradition. Mornings of the retreat will be spent in silence and meditation, including meditation instruction and questions and answers, with a transition in the afternoon and evening into mindful speaking, group activities and text study before returning to silence before bed. Evenings will include opportunities for teachings, sharing, art and activities. The retreat will conclude with a deep celebration of Shabbat, helping participants experience one of Judaism’s most important spiritual practices. At the conclusion of the retreat, the teachers will provide participants with resources and techniques to continue practicing and growing in their universities and home communities.

2018 Faculty will be posted soon. See below for 2017 faculty. 

Rabbi James Jacobson Maisels grew up outside Hershey, PA and in Bloomfield Hills, MI. He teaches Jewish Thought and Mysticism and Jewish Spiritual Practices and Meditation at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, at Yeshivat Hadar in New York City and at the Hannaton Educational and Spiritual Center in the Galilee. Continue reading →

Rabbi Benjamin Barnett is the rabbi of Beit Am Jewish Community in Corvallis, Oregon. He is a devoted practitioner and teacher of Jewish contemplative prayer and meditation, and works to build relationships across religious and cultural lines in the name of creating a less violent world. Prior to the rabbinate, he worked with mentally ill adults and led wilderness expeditions for teenagers. He and his wife Rachel live in Corvallis with their children: Lev, Arava, and Judah.

Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg has studied mindfulness for twenty-six years. She has introduced meditation into the Jewish world as a form that can enliven and illuminate Jewish practice, ideas and community. She teaches mindfulness meditation and yoga in a Jewish idiom to lay persons, rabbis, cantors and other Jewish professionals and was a founder and senior and teacher for the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. She also serves as a spiritual director to rabbis, cantors and educators across the USA and is a developer and teacher of the Jewish Mindfulness Teachers’ Training program.

Rabbi Shuli Passow has over 15 years experience as a Jewish educator and communal professional. She has taught Torah, yoga, community organizing, and Judaism and social change throughout the Jewish community, including Jewish Funds for Justice, Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at New York University, and Yeshivat Hadar. Shuli currently serves as Director of Community Engagement at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York City.

6:30 AM Prayer and Meditation
8:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM Meditation, Yoga, Processing Groups
12:30 PM Lunch (silent)
1:30 PM Talmud Torah
3:00 PM Free Time
4:15 PM Blessing Practice
5:00 PM Meditation + Q&A
6:00 PM Dinner (talking or silent)
7:00 PM Meditation Talk
7:45 PM Evening Program
9:15 PM Bedtime

The retreat requires no experience or knowledge of meditation, spirituality or Judaism and is open to those of every denomination and type of observance. The retreat is kosher and supportive of halakhic observance. Shabbat will be observed in public spaces.

2018 rates will be posted soon. See below for 2017 rates.

Rates below are per person, and include all program fees, accommodations, and meals for the 6-day retreat.

$749 – double room
$1,349 – single room

SUBSIDIZED STUDENT RATE (limited slots available for full-time undergraduate and graduate students; first-come, first-served)
$399 – double room

To reserve your place, we require a $75 non-refundable deposit at the time of registration, which will be applied toward the full cost of the program.

The full balance is due by November 28, 2016.

Registration deadline: November 1, 2016. After this, registrations will be processed only if space allows.

There are a limited number of needs-based scholarships available for those not receiving the highly subsidized student price.
Financial aid is allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Note: The student price is already highly subsidized, and students may not apply for additional financial aid.

The retreat is housed at Capital Retreat Center in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.

For more information, see the Capital Retreat Center website.