We are almost there! Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, all new and increased donations made to the Institute on or before  June 30, 2016  w ill be matched up to  $7,500 Donate now , and help us reach our goal!
A Summer of Delight

Lisa Goldstein
Rabbi Lisa Goldstein
Last week I had the opportunity to be in Los Angeles for Father's Day.  I was delighted to celebrate with my family by going up to a picnic area by a small creek - complete with a waterfall - in the San Gabriel Mountains.  When I was a child, we would often escape the heat and smog of Southern California by going to this lovely canyon with its white granite walls, the cold honey-colored water, the smell of oaks and sage. It was the definition of summer time.

Click here to read more.
  Upcoming Programs
Join us for a pre-High Holidays study and practice retreat. This is an opportunity for Kivvun alumni to reconnect and practice together, and for those interested in the Kivvun program to get a taste of Kivvun.  Featuring guest faculty Dr. Daniel Matt and Julie Newman, and held at the beautiful Guest House Retreat Center in Chester, CT, September 14-18, 2016.
Visit the event website for more information.
Kissing the Joy
By Rabbi Nancy Flam
Nancy Flam
On a mindfulness meditation retreat, you're not supposed to read or write. You're supposed to sit in the meditation hall for sitting periods, walk in the walking hall during walking periods, and eat in the dining hall during eating periods. That's about it. Any time you're not walking, sitting or eating, you're simply supposed to do what's called "continuity of practice." That means to do what you're doing and know what you're doing while you're doing it.
All of this sounds simple enough --unless you happen to be a human being.
V'asu Li Mikdash: Building Communities of Practice
Webinar Series
from Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell Jordan Bendat-Appell
V'asu Li Mikdash is an initiative of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality dedicated to supporting all those who teach, lead or organize Jewish Meditation groups-- as well as for those who hope to begin groups. 

We are excited to begin monthly webinars as a resource and inspiration for those who are involved with teaching Jewish mindfulness and meditation.  Each month we will have a webinar with a guest teacher or presenter who will address key topics within this field.  Some of the webinars will explore practical issues, like raising money for these groups.  Others will address key sociological trends that impact our work, best practices from the secular mindfulness and Buddhist worlds, as well as teachings that draw from the wealth of Jewish spiritual wisdom that can illuminate our practice and teaching. 

Our second webinar will be held:
Thursday, June 30 from 8-9PM with Daniel Rechtschaffen on "The Way of Mindful Education." Daniel is an expert in the field of mindfulness in education.  Click here to register for that webinar! 

Please note that space for the live webinar is limited to 100 participants, so don't wait. The webinar will be made available for download after the live webinar has concluded. 

Open to everyone!

Cost: Free of charge

News from the Institute

Honoring Our Outgoing Board Chair

On June 7, the IJS community gathered at the Auburn Theological Seminary to honor our founding Board Chair, Larry Schwartz, who officially steps down from his position on June 30th. Larry's wisdom, deep practice, and love for Jewish spiritual engagement have guided the Institute's vision since our founding in 1999. We are truly blessed to have had his guidance and support. Larry will remain on the board as Immediate Past Chair, and will be succeeded by Terry Rosenberg.

Visit our Facebook to see more pictures of this lovely event!

Welcoming new staff and board members!

Spring has been a time of great transition for the Institute! We are so excited to be welcoming two new part-time staff members to our team: Kim Schneiderman joined us on June 21st as our Grant Writer, and Rabbi Sam Feinsmith joins us on July 1st as the Program Director of Day Schools and Camps. 

We are also overjoyed to welcome Marte Singerman, Shuli Passow, Judy Fishman to our Board of Directors. They bring varying experiences, great excitement, and true passion to our mission, and we are excited for the perspectives they will bring to our family.

Keep an eye on our Leadership: Staff and Board page for more information about the new members of the IJS community.


The Institute is seeking a talented Development Director/Major Gifts Officer with significant experience in fundraising, donor relations, and database management to join our team and help us work toward our mission and vision. Responsibilities will include maintaining relationships with prospective and current donors capable of making major gifts, as well as coordinating fundraising campaigns and developing Board relations.