Tisha B'Av in Turbulent Times

Lisa Goldstein
Rabbi Lisa Goldstein
It's getting to the point where I dread checking the news or signing onto Facebook. The spiking of violence in so many parts of the world, including on our own streets, the unbridled vitriol, the screaming without listening, the hot rage - perhaps I am getting old and myopic, but I don't remember seeing this much venom before. I feel my heart close up, pressure in my throat. It is so profoundly unpleasant. I dislike the anger rising up in me and I want to turn away.  

But somehow I can't.

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  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.
Ruach Service for Shabbat Hazon
By Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton
The Shabbat that precedes Tisha B'Av offers a particularly unique spiritual opportunity for reflection. In our day, some service leaders maintain the old tradition of importing a melody from the chanting of Eicha, the book of Lamentations, which is read during the fast day that marks the destruction of the Temples. The mournful tune echoes in stark contrast to both the sounds, and mood, typically associated with Lecha Dodi, and with Kabbalat Shabbat, the receiving of Sabbath ruach, the spirit of rest and renewal.

How can we integrate this juxtaposition? By first noting that, as with all moments of transition, there exists some anticipation of the moments to come, as well as some reluctance to let go of the moments we have already experienced. 
Upcoming Programs

Dispatch from the Programs Manager
by Mara Bernstein

It's been a busy summer here at the Institute! We just completed two back-to back retreats, one for community leaders, and one for our Clergy Leadership program. As the Programs Manager, I travel with the Institute and run our retreats on-site, and it's always such a joy to experience our programs in action.
The first retreat was a new program for us, a hybrid retreat and training for community leaders (both clergy and lay leadership), who came to the retreat in teams to be trained in one of two of the Institute's community education programs: Tikkun Middot Project or Wise Aging. Participants had the opportunity to dive into the curricula, practice teaching sessions, and work with their teams on best practices to implement the programs into their communities. In addition, participants spent mornings  davvening , eating, walking, and meditating in silence, in order to bring contemplative practice into their training. For some, it was their first meditative experience, and for others, it was a new way of being on an IJS retreat. 

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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 upcoming webinars will be held:

Sunday, August 21 -  Mira Niculescu  on Jews and Buddhism ( 1:30-2:30PM ET .)

Thursday, September 15  -   R. Sheila Weinberg on The Practice of Teshuvah: Preparing for the High Holy Days,  Thursday ( 7:00-8:15PM ET)

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

Missed one of our previous webinars? Visit the V'asu Li Mikdash page on our website to download full recordings.