Brenden Jackson – Amir with Shalom Community Farm Houston Parshat Eikev In Parshat Eikev, Moses calls upon his people to reflect on their past in order to remember and obtain the future that was promised to them. As they prepare to enter the Promised Land, the lines blur between past transgressions, promises, sufferings and joys, made inseparable from the current joy at the edge of the holy land. As summer comes to a close here in Houston, so does summer camp programming, which means ending my mentor role with summer farmers and transitioning to fall programming. With the end of the summer chapter, I find myself guided by Moses’s reflections while I enter the reflection stage of this particular learning cycle. Here in Houston, we have several projects occurring and converging at one time: On the one hand, we have Shalom Community Farm – a Jewishly centered agriculture program aimed at connecting flora and Torah for community members. On the other hand, we are developing a Garden Kitchen program with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, where I grow, harvest, and prepare produce with different community members. While in many ways these projects are totally separate, Amir has […]
by Nigel Savage Dear All, Last week, I sent to all of our staff, what I think is the best – and more significantly the most useful – TED Talk I’ve ever seen. It’s from a few years ago, by a fellow called Shawn Achor. He’s a Harvard wellness guy. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, start to finish, but it is also spot-on. In my case, because of my mini-sabbatical, I was already following some of his advice and finding for myself how profound it has been. I won’t spoil the pleasure of your watching it by sharing its details. But it is fundamentally about gratitude – and health and wellness – and how we re-set ourselves… So I offer thanks to our staff, and board members and donors and stakeholders and partners. Also to the people who grow the avocados I love and the people who run our hospitals and the infinite number of other miracles, seen and unseen, that let me live in peace and freedom. Happy Thanksgiving, Nigel PS I encourage you to try out the practice of writing down three discrete things for which you are grateful each day. And we invite you to share them on our Facebook page. We […]
Wisdom from Rabbi Shir Yaakov Videography by Deana Morenoff and Michael Arginsky Rabbi Shir Yaakov is a teacher, singer, composer, designer, producer, and “aba” (Dad). He is the leader of an emerging spiritual community in the Hudson Valley, Kol Hai. In addition, he is a lead teacher in DLTI, and 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 The 7-week period between the holidays of Pesach and Shavuot is called the Omer. For each of these 7 weeks, we will be making available one offering per week from 7 leaders of our upcoming Shavuot Retreat. Join us Memorial Day weekend for the Shavuot retreat to go deeper and get higher with these wonderful teachers. (Use early discount code EARLY10 through April 24th for 10% off.) In the meantime, enjoy our Omer experience!
Wisdom from Rebbetzin Eve Ilsen Videography by ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal Rebbetzin Eve Ilsen is our featured teacher for this year’s Shavuot retreat. For the past decade she and her late husband Reb Zalman Schachter Shalomi זצ׳ל built this retreat into the amazing experience that it is today. Eve comes to us this year still in the first year of mourning for her beloved, and yet bringing an incredibly insighful and inspiring perspective on Life. This week’s video blog offers us a taste of her talents, her presence, and her power. Join us for the retreat and learn with her in person. Rebbetzin Eve Ilsen is a psychotherapist, teacher, storyteller and singer. She has studied closely with mythologist Joseph Campbell, Eutonia bodywork founder Gerda Alexander, and trained for years in Jerusalem in waking dream and the therapeutic use of imagery with Mme. Colette Aboulker-Muscat. Since returning to the United states in 1986, Ms. Ilsen has also worked in tandem with her husband of blessed memory, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi זצ׳ל, co-creating the Wisdom School, co-leading workshops and partnering at holy day retreats. In 2008, she was ordained as a Rabbinic Pastor. These days, Eve is invoking transformative states by performing in concert, […]
Wisdom from Rachel Dewan, Certified Anusara Teacher, E-RYT500 Videography by Deana Morenoff and Michael Arginsky Rachel Dewan, Certified Anusara Teacher, E-RYT500 , is a graduate of the Yoga and Jewish Spirituality Teacher Training. and in addition to a full schedule of yoga classes, has been teaching Yoga Teacher Trainings, Prenatal Yoga Teacher Trainings, Yoga Therapeutics, and a wide variety of workshops since 2004. She has studied many different yoga styles and regularly immerses herself in a range of both Jewish and yogic texts and practices. It is Rachel’s ultimate goal as a teacher to cultivate a sense of community in her classes, bring a sense of fullness and joy to her students by inspiring them to expand to their highest possible potential both on and off the mat, and helping them to strengthen their connection to their own unique and divine nature. Her classes infuse dynamic asana and skillful pranayama (breathwork) and meditation, interwoven with deep teachings of the heart and spirit, designed to awaken the deepest longing of the soul to connect with it’s Source. Read Rachel’s thoughts on yoga and life. The 7-week period between the holidays of Pesach and Shavuot is called the Omer. For each of these 7 weeks, we will […]
Wisdom from Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek Videography by Deana Morenoff and Michael Arginsky Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek is the rabbi at Beacon Hebrew Alliance. Before that, he served as the Rabbi in Residence at American Jewish World Service and the Marshall T. Meyer Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York. He has been recognized by the Jewish Forward as one of the most inspiring rabbis in America, and by Newsweek/The Daily Beast as “a rabbi to watch.” Brent holds rabbinic ordination and a masters in philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was the first recipient of the Neubauer Fellowship. Prior to entering the rabbinate, he attended Wesleyan University and worked as a daily journalist in Durham, NC. He lives in Beacon with his wife Alison, a professor of environmental chemistry at Vassar College and their two children, Noa and Abraham. A selection of Brent’s teachings are available here. The 7-week period between the holidays of Pesach and Shavuot is called the Omer. For each of these 7 weeks, we will be making available one offering per week from 7 leaders of our upcoming Shavuot Retreat. Join us Memorial Day weekend for the Shavuot retreat to go deeper […]
Traditional Yemenite melody with original music by Aviva Chernick and Joel Schwartz Filmed at the Small World Music Centre, Toronto, Canada Videography by Rodrigo Castro The 7-week period between the holidays of Pesach and Shavuot is called the Omer. For each of these 7 weeks, we will be making available one offering per week from 7 leaders of our upcoming Shavuot Retreat. Join us Memorial Day weekend for the Shavuot retreat to go deeper and get higher with these wonderful teachers. (Use early discount code EARLY10 through April 24th for 10% off.) In the meantime, enjoy our Omer experience!
Power of Bro Encore Screening March 14th, 7:00 PM Cinema Arts Centre 423 Park Avenue, Huntington, NY If you weren’t able to attend the first sold-out screening, come see the second showing of this incredibly moving and inspirational film about how the Israel Ride changed two brothers’ lives. The stars, Eyal and Ronen, and the director, Ofer, will be there to share their personal experiences.
Our 10 cross-country cyclists and 60 others who joined along the way raised over $120,000 in support of sustainable food systems from over 1200 donors.
This week, the ride began in Madison, WI and ends in Chicago, IL for tours of Jewish Farms, Shabbat, and Tisha B’Av. Next week, the riders make stops in Indianapolis and travel to Ohio to spend Shabbat in Dayton.