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Kohenet: The Hebrew Priestess Institute

Aug 1, 2016 - Aug 7, 2016

Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

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A new vision of Jewish women’s spiritual leadership

Led by Rabbi Jill Hammer, Shoshana Jedwab, and Taya Shere

Order the exciting new Kohenet book “The Hebrew Priestess” by Rabbi Jill Hammer and Taya Shere in our bookstore, linked here!

 

I’m open to the mystery and to walking the path lit by Shekhinah.
—Kohenet participant
 

Studying text, integrated with women’s other ways of knowing, has helped me find places in Judaism where I can fully engage as a woman.
—Kohenet participant
 

 

The Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute reclaims powerful shamanic models of sacred service based on Jewish women’s spiritual leadership roles throughout the centuries, from biblical prophetess-priestesses to Talmudic healers and magicians to kabbalistic dream interpreters to modern feminist ritualists. By opening to the sacred feminine in Jewish sources, in the world around us, and in our own lives, we evolve an embodied, earth-based, and feminist Jewish practice. The Kohenet training program uses prayer, ritual, text study, and experiential learning to give women tools of spiritual leadership they can use in their own communities.
 
The Kohenet Institute meets twice a year for a total of four week-long sessions over the course of two years. Our curriculum is based on priestess-archetypes such as Seeker, Shrinekeeper, Wise Woman, Mother, Prophetess, and Shamaness. For each priestess-archetype, we explore myth, history, personal experience, ceremony and spirit journey. Our initial program is four week-long retreats, with phone calls and on-line discussion and assignments in between sessions. This training program concludes with an initiatory ritual. Upon completion of the initial program, students can choose to enroll in an advanced program that provides in-depth training in ritual leadership, and receive smicha (ordination) as a Hebrew priestess.
 
Our community of Kohenet sisters spans the entire country and is a rich source of support and learning. Our core faculty has extensive experience in ritual facilitation; Jewish sacred text, lifecycle ritual, and prayer; and earth-based feminist theology, and we are also supported by guest faculty and interns. We have yearly programs for alumnae, and our graduates maintain close contact with the Institute and the Kohenet network.

Rabbi Jill Hammer
Rabbi Jill Hammer, PhD is an author, educator, midrashist, myth-weaver and ritualist. She is the co-founder of Kohenet: The Hebrew Priestess Institute. She is also the Director of Spiritual Education at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic Jewish seminary. Rabbi Hammer is the author of Sisters at Sinai: New Tales of Biblical Women, The Jewish Book of Days: A Companion for All Seasons, and the co-author of The Hebrew Priestess and Siddur HaKohanot: A Hebrew Priestess Prayerbook. Rabbi Hammer conducts workshops on ancient and contemporary midrash, bibliodrama, creative ritual, kabbalah, Jewish dreamwork, and Jewish cycles of time. She was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary and holds a doctorate in social psychology from the University of Connecticut.
 

Shoshana Jedwab
Shoshana Jedwab is a prize-winning Jewish educator and the Jewish Studies Coordinator at the A.J. Heschel Middle School in New York City. She is the founding facilitator of the Makom Drum Circle at the JCC in Manhattan and is a percussionist and performance artist who has trained in bibliodrama and psychodrama. Shoshana has provided empowering drum circles to singles, student, training and bereavement groups. Shoshana has performed with Storahtelling, Chana Rothman, Debbie Friedman, Akiva Wharton, A Song of Solomon, Hebrew Mystical Chant with the Kirtan Rabbi Andrew Hahn, and seasonal events. She is Kohenet’s ritual drummer and also serves on the Kohenet faculty.
 

Tay Shere
Taya Shere plays passionately in the realms of transformative ritual and embodied vocalization. Taya is co-founder of the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute. Her chant albums Wild Earth Shebrew, Halleluyah All Night and Torah Tantrika have been heralded as “cutting-edge mystic medicine music” and rock devotional tribe worldwide. Taya is co-author of The Hebrew Priestess: Ancient and New Paths of Jewish Women’s Spiritual Leadership (forthcoming Ben Yehuda Press) and Siddur HaKohanot: A Hebrew Priestess Prayerbook. Taya mentors resonant students in Sacred Arts and Spiritual Leadership and is Spiritual Leader Emeritus of Olney Kehila Congregation in Olney, MD. Taya makes home, music, and other magic in Oakland, CA. holytaya.com

 

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Registration is for accepted participants only.

Tuition for Kohenet is $1800, spread out over the 4 sessions of the Institute, at $450 per session. This tuition price does not include Room & Board for each of the four retreats, prices for which are determined by your choice of housing. Click here for more information about Room & Board.

If you’re new to Isabella Freedman, click here for information about where we’re located, arrival and departure times, what to bring, etc.

We strive to make our programs affordable to everyone.

Click here for information about Financial Aid. »
Hazon is committed to making our Transformative Experiences financially accessible to as many people as possible. We believe that participation in these kinds of events are a core feature of a healthy and sustainable Jewish community in the 21st century. Please note that in our efforts to provide access to our events, we must balance our ability to meet individual requests with our ability to spread our resources among as many participants as possible. You can help support us in this endeavor by considering your request carefully. Financial aid is awarded on a rolling basis. Applications must be received at least three weeks prior to the start date of the event. Please submit your financial aid application prior to registering. If you have any questions, please contact the Registrar at registrar@hazon.org or (860) 824-5991 x0.

 

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ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE

Check-in is from 2 to 5 pm on Monday, August 1 followed by a welcome and orientation. If you are arriving on a different day, you may check in with the retreat manager on duty anytime after 4 pm on your arrival day. You must be checked out of your room by 10 am on the day your retreat ends. The retreat will come to an end with lunch on Sunday, August 7.

TRANSPORTATION

For those coming from the New York City area, we are conveniently located just half an hour from Wassaic Train Station, the last stop on the Harlem Line of the Metro North. We offer a shuttle service at the following times for this retreat:

  • 2:03 pm on Monday from Wassaic Train Station to IF
  • 4:03 pm on Monday from Wassaic Train Station to IF
  • 1:30 pm on Sunday from IF to Wassaic Train Station (train departing from Wassaic at 2:27 pm)

If you have not already reserved shuttle service during registration, please call (860) 824-5991 ext. 0 at least a week before the start date of the retreat to reserve your spot. For those of you driving, please see our website for directions to IF.

For more information on getting here, click here.

RIDESHARE

Help to reduce the environmental impact of car trips to and from Isabella Freedman by checking out our carpool initiative! Upon registering, you will receive a link to a unique rideshare board to help connect you with fellow retreat participants. Offering a ride in your car will help reduce carbon emissions, cut down gas costs and make new friends! If you are looking for a ride, adding yourself to the wait list (on the right hand side of the page) is the best way to be notified when movements occur.

KASHRUT POLICY

One of our mashgichim (kosher supervisors) must pre-approve all food items that enter the designated dining spaces. If you plan to supplement our delicious, healthy, farm-to-feast meals, your items must be completely sealed in original packaging. Unapproved food and drinks may be enjoyed anywhere on campus besides our dining spaces.

PACKING LIST

You may want to bring:

  • Over-the-counter and/or prescription medications
  • Toiletries
  • Flashlight
  • Chargers for electronic devices
  • Sun protection (sunblock, sunglasses, a hat)
  • Rain gear (a jacket and/or umbrella)
  • Ritual wear
  • Comfortable, loose-fitting clothes for yoga
  • Closed toe shoes
  • Hiking boots to enjoy our many trails
  • Camping equipment, including a tent, sleeping bag, and towel if you are camping

We provide:

  • Toiletries like deodorant and toothpaste for sale in the bookstore
  • Extra kippot and tallitot, in addition to siddurim
  • Yoga mats, blankets, and blocks
  • Heat and A/C in all guest rooms
  • Linens and towels in all guest rooms
  • Alarm clocks in all guest rooms

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Camp Teva is for kids ages 5 – 12, and runs simultaneously with retreats geared toward adults. Camp Teva combines the best of Teva’s signature Jewish environmental education with all of the opportunities provided by the Adamah Farm to create a distinctive and creative way for kids to have a fun and safe Jewish outdoor, food, and environmental education experience while their parents are enjoying Hazon’s many retreats, conferences, holidays, and workshops at Isabella Freedman. A transformative experience for the whole family!

When you register kids during your event registration process, they are automatically enrolled in Camp Teva! All-inclusive kids’ rates include Camp Teva programming.

more information about camp teva