Davvenen’ Leadership Training Institute

DLTI has trained nearly 300 participants from every denomination, professional and lay role.

Our ninth cohort began in 2016.

  • Week 1: August 1 – 7, 2016
  • Week 2: February 15 – 20, 2017
  • Week 3: July 24 – 30, 2017
  • Week 4: February 14 – 19, 2018

Davvenen’ Leadership Training Institute (DLTI) offers a unique, award–winning learning experience to help those who lead worship and other communal events in a Jewish context to deepen the quality of communal prayer so that it activates the body, touches the heart, engages the mind and nourishes genuine spiritual growth and insight.

Employing the participatory approach of an intensive master class, this program coaches participants in the high art of leadership of public ritual and prayer.

The training is a two–year program consisting of four five-day retreats.

The retreat participants become a living and learning fellowship – deeply engaged in the practice and process of communal prayer and ritual. Throughout each retreat the group joins with core faculty and master–teachers in ongoing davvenen, text study, group discussions and coaching.


Aleph logo



Led by Rabbi Marcia Prager and Rabbi Shawn Zevit
with Hazzan Jack Kessler, Daniel Sheff and Shir Yaakov Feit

Deepening the quality of communal prayer to activate the body, touch the heart, engage the mind, and nurture spiritual growth.

The Davvenen’ Leadership Training Institute (DLTI) offers a unique learning experience to help those who lead worship in a Jewish context to deepen the quality of communal prayer so that it activates the body, touches the heart, engages the mind, and nourishes spiritual growth and insight. Employing the participatory approach of an intensive master class, this program coaches you in the high art of leadership of public ritual and prayer.

In this program consisting of four retreats, you become part of a living and learning fellowship – deeply engaged in the process of communal prayer and ritual. Throughout each retreat you join with core faculty and guest master-teachers in ongoing davvenen’, text study, group discussions and coaching.

A recipient of the National Mintz Award for Education, the Davvenen’ Leadership Training Institute is a living-learning experience that will enable participants from all Jewish environments to gain:

  • Deep understanding, experience and skill with the evolution, practice and meaning of Jewish prayer.
  • Grounding in liturgical sources and the inner structure of services, with special emphasis on Shabbat.
  • Advanced skills in the inspirational use of personal presence.
  • Practice and experience in creating prayerful environments, working with group energetics, and balancing structure with spontaneity.
  • Each session is further enriched by special programs and trainings with DLTI special guest faculty.

This program is designed for both the experienced leader and someone emerging into leadership.

For more information about DLTI, visit dlti.org.

Rabbi Marcia Prager is a vibrant teacher, storyteller, ritual artist, and therapist. She is Director and Dean of Ordination Programs for ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, and rabbi for the P’nai Or Jewish Renewal communities of Philadelphia, PA, and Princeton, NJ. Her book, The Path of Blessing (Bell Tower 1998 /Jewish Lights 2003) is an exploration of the profound spiritual wisdom that lies in the Jewish practice of blessing. She is the creator of the unique P’nai Or Siddurim for Shabbat and other innovative approaches to prayer and liturgy. She and her husband Hazzan Jack Kessler travel widely to teach in an array of Jewish and interfaith settings. rabbimarciaprager.com

Rabbi Shawn Israel Zevit is a leader in spiritual and congregational life, organizational and congregational consulting and training, educational arts, writing, musical and liturgical recording (6 CDs), teaching and performing. A graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and with Smicha from Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l, he has served congregations and havurot from all streams of Judaism with a regard for tradition and creative innovation. He is the rabbi of Mishkan Shalom in Philadelphia, PA, a spiritual director and Associate Director of the ALEPH Hashpa’ah Program, author of Offerings of the Heart (2005, Alban), Co-Editor of Brother Keepers (2010, Men’s Studies Press) and numerous other publications. rabbizevit.com

Hazzan Jack Kessler was ordained as a Cantor at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and went on to have a twenty-year career serving Conservative congregations. During that time he received a Master’s degree in voice from Boston Conservatory and pursued studies in composition in the graduate department of Brandeis University. In addition to his ongoing career as a hazzan (cantor) and vocal coach, he supervises the cantorial training of students in the ALEPH Cantorial Program, and directs two touring ensembles: ATZILUT- CONCERTS FOR PEACE, a duet format of Arab and Jewish musicians performing together, and KLINGON KLEZMER, which does Jewish music from other planets.

Daniel Sheff, a graduate of DLTI 2, has become a core member of the DLTI staff as a teacher, shamess and soul-catcher, bringing many gifts to our collaborative work. Daniel has been a lay leader of Shabbat and holiday services, and recently founded a worship community in the greater Boston area. He is a physician who practices internal medicine and rheumatology, and is a graduate of A Society of Souls program in Kabbalistic Healing, a training in healing and spiritual awakening. He lives in Lexington, MA with his wife Hanna Sherman and their three daughters.

Shir Yaakov is a teacher, singer, composer, designer, producer, “aba” (Dad) and graduate of DLTI 7. He serves both Romemu and ALEPH as Creative Director and is well known as a stage artist and liturgist performing with The Epichorus and Darshan. Working in both Jewish and multi-faith contexts, Shir Yaakov weaves a tapestry of Kabbalistic wisdom, contemporary songwriting and deep personal spirituality to offer a spiritual cultural Judaism that is contemporary, alive, and innovative. He has recorded and released four albums of original music. shiryaakov.com


Tuition for DLTI is $2800, spread over the four weeks at $700 per week. This does not include Room & Board for each of the four retreats, prices for which are determined by your choice of housing. All-inclusive rates for each week range from approximately $1100 to $2380, depending on your choice of housing.

Prices on the registration page are ALL-INCLUSIVE, combining the tuition with the room & board rates that you choose.

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

If you are participating in DLTI and you miss or cancel one of the week-long retreat sessions, 50% of the program fee ($350) for the missed or cancelled retreat session is still due. Withdrawal is permitted only after the first retreat session.

For the room & board portion of your registration fee, the following cancellation policy applies:

Cancellation Date Refund Policy
Up to 7 days prior to retreat start date Refundable less $50 per person
Between 3-6 days prior 50% refundable
48 hours before retreat start date,

if you do not show up, or if you leave early


Hazon reserves the right to cancel any program at any time. In the event of such a cancellation, you will receive a complete refund.

Inclement Weather: Hazon reserves the right to cancel a retreat due to inclement weather if, in its judgment, it will be unable to operate safely. In the event of such a cancellation, a full refund will be issued. In the event that the retreat proceeds as scheduled, no refund will be available.


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.

We offer partial scholarships for most of our programs, including DLTI. There is a separate application for each session. The application for a given session can be found on its webpage. Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis. Applications must be received at least three weeks prior to the start date of the session. Please submit your scholarship application and wait for a response before registering; scholarships cannot be applied retroactively. If you have any questions, please contact the Registrar at registrar@hazon.org or (860) 824-5991 x0.

apply now for DLTI 9

For more information please contact:

Rabbi Marcia Prager
Rabbi Shawn Zevit

Camp Teva is for kids ages 5 – 12, and runs simultaneously with your DLTI sessions. 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 participating in DLTI at Isabella Freedman. A transformative experience for the whole family!

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

more information about camp teva