IJS logo




Lisa Goldstein


Summer is coming with its longer sunlight hours - time for the change of pace we long for.


A change of pace could be vacation; it could also be Shabbat.  Vacation is a time for resting and doing and exploring in ways that are usually quite separate from our ordinary lives.  Shabbat, on the other hand, is a time to rest and lehinafesh - to breathe, to be re-ensouled, to be nourished and refreshed, not by frittering time away, but by actively cultivating peace, joy, gratitude, and community.  Shabbat echoes through the rest of our week, reminding us that the holy is not so separate after all.


We invite you to come and spend a few days of your summer with us!  It'll feel like a vacation on the scenic Housatonic River, but more than that, we look forward to spending an extended Shabbat together with joyful prayer, inspiring learning, expansive meditation, centering yoga and a community of fellow seekers.   

With blessings,



Myriam Klotz
Open Retreat - Hoda'ah/Gratitude


"Exciting new way to study Torah. Thank you for the implicit teaching in how to learn to question instead of strengthening our "knowing" muscles." 

- Winter 2012 participant


Our Open Retreat is a perfect introduction to the practices of the Institute.  It offers rich introductions to the Institute's practices (mindfulness meditation, yoga, contemplative prayer, Torah study and Shabbat celebration) in a gorgeous nature setting.


From the very first moment we open our eyes in the morning, Jewish tradition invites us to say, "I am grateful." Together we will explore ways to cultivate the quality of gratitude in our moment to moment experience, so that it is not merely an abstract idea or an emotion that we stumble upon only when all conditions are right.  


Silent Retreat Shabbaton - Hearing the Still, Small Voice


Jordan Bendat-Appell
"Returned home with a feeling that I had the ability to integrate meditation practice much more on a daily basis (at home) and with my weekly Shabbat prayer practice. I feel more like being silent than singing at services right now, and as a result my spoken prayer's are more mindful."  
- Summer 2011 participant
Our lives can feel so filled with noise that we may find it hard to hear that which underlies it all-what Jewish tradition calls the kol d'mama daka, the still, small voice.


The Silent retreat is an opportunity to experience a sustained meditation practice primarily in silence. For people who are interested in beginning or deepening their meditation practice, this is a an excellent opportunity, and a powerful way to experience Shabbat.





Marc Margolius
"A true Shabbat of the spirit -- a chance to take a breath, be amidst natural beauty, and be nourished in mind body and soul!" - past participant
Our theme will be "The Poetry of Prayer for the Yamim Nora'im."  With our guest text instructor Rabbi Ed Feld, editor of the new Conservative machzor Lev Shalem and a forthcoming companion siddur for Shabbat and Hagim, we will explore tehillimpiyyutim and contemporary poetry (mostly Israeli) on some of the key themes of the Yamim Nora'im (life and death, tefillah, sin, and teshuvah).    
In addition, Rabbi Roly Matalon of Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in New York, who serves as co-director of Piyyut North America (http://piyutnorthamerica.org/pages/leadership), will lead several evening sessions on engagement with piyyut as a spiritual practice. 



Summer 2012 Retreats
 Trinity Retreat & Conference Center
West Cornwall, CT 


Open Retreat


Silent Shabbaton
Hearing the Still, Small Voice


(professional alumni) 

Tiferet of Hod:



What's a pearl and what's a link in my day to day life? what things get the priority of focus and what are just the links, the ways to get there? Do I pay as much attention to my time on the subway as I do to what happens once I reach my destination? What are the little links that weave throughout my life deserving of more careful attention, needing, perhaps a tightening of awareness so they will not become loose, undone. Even friendships, they need the maintenance or they come undone. The links are winks that get us to look back and get the bigger picture. The links are our limbs, the little daily gestures, the way we said good night.
31. Tiferet of Hod: the heart of humility - finding a way to honor each day's journey with the truth of our emotions, paying more attention not just to the tiny shiny pearls but to each and every little comma, also, and every, little, smile.


[Amichai Lau-Lavie]

Counting the Omer: 
Week of Hod

We hope you may find some of these resources useful in your practice: 

Parshat Video Teaching

Omer Teaching

50 Days Journey 2 Gather the Broken

The Deep Significance of Counting the Omer


Your Guide to Personal Freedom:  Week 5 Hod
Stay up to date - like us on Facebook

We know that your inboxes are overflowing (ours are too!), so we try to be very conscious about limiting the number of emails we send.  Please take a second and like us on Facebook to stay current with all Institute offerings.  Thanks!

Find us on Facebook



You are on this list because, over the years, you have either opted in on our website, attended a retreat with us, or asked us to keep you up to date about Institute news.  Please know we respect your privacy and will never share your contact information; you can unsubscribe from this list at any time with the links below.  If you have any questions, or would like to change your email address, please email sadie@jewishspirituality.org  Thank you for your time. 
Institute for Jewish Spirituality / 330 7th Avenue / 19th Floor 
New York, New York 10001 / 212.774.3608