Bekhol Levavkha: A Training Program for Jewish Spiritual Directors

Check back for information about Cohort 2.

The Kotzker Rebbe said: God is present where we let God in. Spiritual direction is a practice that helps open the gates. 

Do you want to deepen your capacity to accompany people on their spiritual journeys?  Do you yearn for a community of seekers who listen contemplatively to one another and witness encounters with the sacred dimension of life? 

What is Jewish Spiritual Direction?

In individual or group settings, Spiritual Directors companion others as they reflect on their spiritual journeys, cultivate the inner life, and expand their awareness of the holy dimensions of living. The Director serves primarily as a contemplative listener, providing a safe, nonjudgmental relationship in which people can listen for how they are being invited into deeper connection with themselves, with others, and with God. Understanding that spiritual growth is a life-long process involving commitment, practice, and reflection, Spiritual Directors offer companionship and guidance to seekers through both joyous and challenging times of life. Some people in Spiritual Direction believe in God; others do not. An essential part of the relationship is helping directees discern and put to language the sacred dimension of their lives.

It is a gift and a privilege to companion others on the spiritual path. Therefore, Spiritual Directors are people already dedicated to their own spiritual growth and desirous of engaging in a continuing process of contemplative reflection. Spiritual Directors themselves must be in Spiritual Direction with their own Spiritual Director. Often, Directors are renewed as much as the directees with whom they witness the unfolding of encounter with the divine.

What is Bekhol Levavkha?

"Bekhol Levavkha: A Training Program for Jewish Spiritual Directors" is a two-year program for Jewish leaders who feel called to tend to the unfolding life of spirit in themselves and others. Beginning in June 2015, you will meet at HUC-JIR/New York for one three-day, on-site retreat each year, and eight Mondays, 9 AM-5 PM, September-May in each of the two years. Work between monthly sessions of in-person study and practice, will include reading, reflective writing, and phone meetings with faculty and other classmates. 

Participants will learn and practice the art of contemplative listening, among themselves in the first year and with clients in the second year.  We will explore the practice of discernment, a variety of theological expressions of spiritual experiences, Jewish and other texts that illuminate the practice of discernment, common obstructions faced by contemporary Jews to awareness of the sacred dimension of life, the use of oneself as an instrument who discerns the holy in seekers’ narratives, and pastoral care that refrains from solving problems.

Upon successful completion of the program, you will be able to serve as a Jewish Spiritual Director.

Meet our Faculty:

Co-Director: Rabbi Jacob Staub

Jacob Staub serves as Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Spirituality at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC), where he teaches Jewish Meditation and Contemplative Spiritual Practice. Staub founded and directs RRC’s Jewish Spiritual Direction Program, the first program in Jewish Spiritual Direction at a rabbinical seminary. 

 

Co-Director: Rabbi Myriam Klotz

Myriam Klotz serves as the Director of the Spirituality Initiative at HUC-JIR/New York, where she coordinates the Spiritual Direction program and serves as a Spiritual Director. Klotz offers Spiritual Direction with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. She was among the founding group of Spiritual Directors at RRC.

 

Rabbi David Adelson

David Adelson serves as Dean of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. He is a Spiritual Director and earned his Doctor of Ministry in Interfaith Clinical Education for Pastoral Ministry at HUC-JIR. He is active in the Reform Movement’s social justice initiatives.

 

Dr. Barbara E. Breitman

Barbara E. Breitman, D.Min., LCSW is a psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling and Director of Training for the Jewish Spiritual Direction Program at RRC. Breitman serves as a Spiritual Director at HUC-JIR/New York and co-founded Lev Shomea, the first training program in Jewish Spiritual Direction.

 

Rabbi Sheila Weinberg

Sheila Weinberg serves as a Spiritual Director at HUC-JIR/New York. Weinberg is a developer and teacher of the Jewish Mindfulness Teachers’ Training through the Open Heart Project and the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, where she is a senior teacher. Her first book, Surprisingly Happy: An Atypical Religious Memoir, was published in 2010.

 

Dates 

Retreats at HUC-JIR/New York:

  • June 9-11, 2015
  • June 20-22, 2016

Monthly Mondays at HUC-JIR/New York:

  • September 2015-May 2016:
    • 2015: October 12, October 26, November 16, December 14
    • 2016: January 25, February 22, March 28, April 11, May 16
  • September 2016-May 2017: Dates TBD

Tuition

  • $3000/year
  • Includes on-site intensive learning and interim distance learning materials and guidance.
  • Room and board not included. Participants need to commute and arrange their own housing.

Apply

Click here to apply >

Questions?

Please contact Rabbi Myriam Klotz at mklotz@huc.edu.

 

Spiritual Direction enables me to continually frame my relationship with God in ways I experience as vibrant, deep, and true. Through conversation with a trusted colleague, words of Torah, Jewish liturgy, and teaching take on a newfound power as I discover, rather than assume, their truth. Students in Spiritual Direction at HUC-JIR express a similar gratitude for the opportunity to engage in honest exploration of religious experience, and I have observed firsthand the extraordinary impact this work is having in our seminary. This training program offers a wonderful opportunity to broaden and deepen the impact in ways that will enrich our colleagues and the Jewish communities they serve.

- Rabbi Shirley Idelson, Ph.D., Former Dean, HUC-JIR/New York