Elat Chayyim Living Laboratory

Aug 11, 2014 - Aug 15, 2014

Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

Explore multiple dimensions of innovative Jewish spiritual practices for sustainable futures. Each of the Living Labs is an immersion in a renewed Jewish spiritual practices for sustainable futures. Together, these Labs are a crucible for cooking up a renewed Jewish spirituality dedicated to creating the future that we all know in our hearts is possible.

The Labs run simultaneously during the Living Laboratory, with ample opportunity for cross-pollinization amongst them. More information about other labs and teachers coming soon. When you register for Elat Chayyim Living Laboratory, please indicate in the special notes section which Lab you choose.

register now


Tending the White Fire with Alumah Schuster

Rebuilding the Temple of the Body as a Jewish Spiritual Practice

Participants are invited to inhabit internal sacred space from the inside out, beginning by silently exploring the innermost places of our bodies. Weaving somatic practice, text study, classical yoga postures and ritual arts, we will explore a body system each day along with the fire that fuels the body, so at the end of the workshop, participants may be able to authentically say, “From my flesh I shall see Divinity.” (Job 19:26) Occurring on the heels of the ashes of Tisha B’Av, we are given the perfect opportunity to purify and generate holiness from the inside out.


Vibrant Living with Shimon Darwick

Health & Wellness as a Jewish Spiritual Practice

Learn to create a renewed relationship with the body through health, nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness practices rooted in Judaism. All of us are made in the image of HaShem. Our bodies are treasures to be guarded, so according to Jewish tradition, shmirat haGuf – care of the body – is a core spiritual practice. The goal of this Lab is to treat oneself as you would a Torah scroll. Each participant will learn – in theory and practice – ways to be lighter in body, heart, mind, and soul. Feel Great, Be Energized, Think Clearly, and Connect Deeply.


The Prophetic Voice with Rabbi Arthur Waskow & Nili Simhai

Healing the Earth as a Jewish Spiritual Practice

Explore how Jewish eco-activists could work in the “Four Worlds” of reality, drawing on Jewish thought and practice to help move the world away from climate catastrophe and toward a world of just, shared, and sustainable abundance.

  • Spiritually, by creating new forms of prayer, meditation, and celebration that draw us into fuller awareness of the interweaving of all life.
  • Intellectually, by integrating both direct experience of Nature and ecological science – the science that integrates the two Trees of Eden (the Tree of Flowing Life and the Tree of Distinction-making) – into what we teach and learn as sacred Torah.
  • Emotionally and ethically, by developing a “sacred political activism” (Heschel’s “my legs were praying”) by which to move and engage people in changing public and corporate policy and action.
  • Physically, through hands-on action and daily eco-kosher practice to green synagogues and other Jewish homes, buildings, transportation, etc. and to point toward caring consumption of food and other earth-products (energy, etc) in an eco-kosher way.


Nili Simhai
Nili Simhai is currently living a year of shmita, release, from her career in the field of Jewish Environmental Education. She is exploring the values of the shmita (sabbatical) year in preparation for Rosh Hashana 2014, the start of the next shmita year. Nili served as the Director of the Teva Learning Alliance for fourteen years. A recipient of the Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education, Nili has been recognized for her leadership in training and counseling hundreds of educators in the tenets of Jewish environmental education. One of her current passions is outdoor classrooms in Jewish institutions.

Shimon Darwick
Shimon Darwick inspires others’ to explore the possibility of joy, spontaneity, vitality, and thriving as a reality. He combines his background as a teacher of laughter, yoga, meditation, nature awareness, and sweating into a dynamic coaching relationship to explore what unleashes power and love for life through an enlivened Jewish practice. He has studied and completed the Institute for integrative Nutrition’s coaching program, a bachelor’s studying sociology at the university of Colorado, holistic education at Omega Institute, Landmark education, and 500+hrs as a yoga teacher. His teaching experience spans NYC to India and in places such as Omega Institute, NY and Blue Spirit in Costa Rica.

Registration Information

More information about other labs and teachers coming soon. When you register for Elat Chayyim Living Laboratory, please indicate in the special notes section which Lab you choose.

register now

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