Pardes Spirituality Retreat: Awakening the Divine

Program Description

Details of the January 2018 Retreat are below. Stay tuned for details of the Spirituality Retreat 2o19. 

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, meditation and yoga, including meditation instruction and questions and answers. Afternoons and evenings include additional meditation, mindful text study and discussion, a question and answer session, and exploration of additional spiritual practices that compliment and support our meditation practice. 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.

Registration deadline: November 15, 2017. After this, registrations will be processed only if space allows.

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 →

Yael Shy is the Senior Director of Global Spiritual Life at New York University. She founded and directs MindfulNYU, the largest campus-wide mindfulness initiative in the country.

Rabbi Benjamin Barnett serves as rabbi of Havurah Shalom in Portland, 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 more compassionate and just world. Benjamin is an alum of the rabbinic cohort of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality as well as the Kol Zimra chant leader’s training, and has practiced and learned from a diverse collection of teachers both in the Jewish community and beyond. Prior to the rabbinate, he worked with mentally ill adults and led wilderness expeditions for teenagers. He and his wife Rachel live in Portland with their children: Lev, Arava, and Judah.

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.

Emily Herzlin is a certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction instructor, a Mind-Body Therapist at Memorial Sloan Kettering, a teacher at The Interdependence Project, and founder of Mindful Astoria.

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.

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

$795 – double room
$1,495 – 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.

Registration deadline: November 15, 2017. 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.


Click here to apply now!

Registration deadline: November 15, 2017. After this, registrations will be processed only if space allows.