Lisa Zbar, Development Director
I am a devoted member of Kolot Chayeinu in Brooklyn. Several years ago I told my rabbi, Ellen Lippmann - an alumna of the Institute's rabbinic program - about some difficulties in my life. She guided me to a program she planned to teach, created by the Institute, exploring adult Jewish spiritual journeys.
I joined and quickly learned that our tradition has sources dating back hundreds of years on how to pray, meditate, become more mindful and live a joyous life, even in the face of pain. I was flabbergasted that no one had ever told me about these texts and tools.
I felt like Dorothy at the end of the Wizard of Oz. At no point during her odyssey did anyone tell her she already had the tools right on her feet - the ruby slippers - to get home. She didn't know until Glinda told her to tap three times and say "there's no place like home."
She finally had the tools, the knowledge, and the guidance to find her way.
So now I have ruby slippers: retreats, a renewed meditation practice, spiritual direction and weekly text study with my partner from Kolot Chayeinu. I am grateful to all of you who support the Institute and participate in our programs. You sustain this work, and enable our staff to bring it to more and more Jews who, like me, have no idea that these tools are embedded in the Jewish tradition.