Institute for Embodied Spirituality

 

Rabbi Diane Elliot Starts New Institute

 

Rabbi Diane Elliot announces the inauguration of Merkavat Ha-Makhol Institute for Embodied Spirituality which is a new training program for Jewish spiritual leaders, to begin in August, 2010 at Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality, Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center outside Falls Village, Connecticut. This program is being initiated by four passionate women—Simona Aronow, Rabbi Diane Elliot, Latifa Berry Kropf, and Julie Leavitt—who have come together out of their deep love and many years’ experience of moving spirit through the body, and with the strong conviction that honoring body wisdom and integrating it into spiritual practice are vital activities, both for the evolution of Judaism and for the very health and survival of our planet.

Merkavat Ha-Makhol Institute for Embodied Spirituality, a bi-coastal collaboration designed to bring embodiment and movement practices into the forefront as a modality for Jewish spiritual leadership, is delighted to announce its first class offering August 16-22, 2010, at Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center outside Falls Village, Connecticut.

This week-long retreat will introduce participants to the methods and the heart of Embodied Spirituality. The course is designed for those who long to physically inhabit and kinetically manifest their spirituality, to dance their devotions, to become more open channels for the flow of shefa, (Divine energy) into the world, and to lead others in the creation of a “Jewish community of embodiment.”

This program is being initiated by four passionate women—Simona Aronow, Rabbi Diane Elliot, Latifa Berry Kropf, and Julie Leavitt—who have come together out of their deep love and many years’ experience of moving spirit through the body, and with the strong conviction that honoring body wisdom and integrating it into spiritual practice are vital activities, both for the evolution of Judaism and for the very health and survival of our planet.

The founders have collectively spent more than 100 years exploring the convergence of Jewish soul and tradition with movement, ritual, psychology, and the healing arts. They are committed to the creation of community in which each participant is honored, guided, and empowered to grow the roots of her or his own spiritual aliveness as the ground and matrix for leadership.

Participants in this course will be guided to experience through body, mind, and spirit the deep structure of Jewish prayers, of Torah, and of the mystical traditions. Among the many practices you will learn and be able to share with your home community are Authentic Movement within a Jewish context, somatic explorations of the Kabbalistic Four Worlds, and communal sacred dance. All levels of experience are welcome.

The week-long seminar in August will serve as an introduction to a four-week Jewish movement facilitator training program, spread over two years and slated to begin in the summer of 2011.

For further information:
www.isabellafreedman.org/elatchayyim, call (860) 824-5991 x319

Teachers’ bios:

Simona Aronow has been in private practice for over 30 years as a Dance/Movement Therapist, body worker, movement educator and teacher. She integrates her traditional Jewish background with the direct experience of movement to foster personal connection and meaning. Simona has taught through the National Havurah Institute, Laban Institute of Movement, and Gesher Center for Spirituality Meditation and Healing on whose Board she has served. She has also supervised students through Goucher College and Antioch University,.and currently practices in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her love for movement and somatic healing is inspiring.

Rabbi Diane Elliot, spiritual teacher, dancer and somatic therapist, inspires her students to become clearer channels for Divine Light through awareness and movement practices, chant, and nuanced interpretations of Jewish sacred text. Her wise, loving presence creates a safe space for those who wish to explore spirituality individually and in community. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, she served as spiritual leader of the Aquarian Minyan from 2007-2009 and now teaches locally and nationally, maintains a spiritual direction practice, and with her husband Rabbi Burt Jacobson, leads Jewish meditation retreats. She is the author of numerous articles, essays, and poems.

Latifa Berry Kropf has been creating and leading sacred dance for 35 years. As a leader of her Renewal chavurah in Charlottesville, VA, Latifa enriches Shabbat and holy day services and celebrations with dance and weaves movement into life cycle events. She has published dance materials for both adults & children, has had the privilege of sharing sacred dance with many communities, and has been honored with the title of Eshet Hazon, Woman of Vision.

Julie Leavitt practices body-centered psychotherapy and spiritual direction in Newton, MA. She has taught Sacred Movement classes at Elat Chayyim and the Aleph Kallah and serves on the core faculty of the Lev Shomeya spiritual direction program. She has also taught Movement and Healing classes at Lesley University for the past 22 years. In 2004 Julie’s community, B’nai Or of Boston, honored her with the title Eshet Hazon: Miyaledet Ruchanit, Woman of Vision: Spiritual Midwife.

Calendar Editors

WHAT: Merkavat Ha-Makhol Institute for Embodied Spirituality

WHEN: August 16-22, 2010

WHERE: Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center

INFO: www.isabellafreedman.org/elatchayyim, (860) 824-5991 x319

PRESS: For additional press materials, photos, to arrange interviews, please contact Rabbi Diane Elliot at 510-778-9452, hannadrei@earthlink.net