Center for Jewish Spirituality

The Center for Jewish Spirituality at Congregation Kol Shofar seeks to deepen Jewish spiritual growth and learning. It is a place of experimentation and creativity with the common thread of shared practice: meditation, music, the study of Jewish mysticism, artistic expression and others that connect mind, body, and spirit. The CJS aims to help us cultivate our inner lives and our connection to the Divine, while building a community of fellow travelers on the spiritual path. For more information contact Rabbi Chai Levy at (415) 388-1818, ext. 119 or clevy @ kolshofar.org or join our Facebook group

WINNER OF THE SOLOMON SCHECHTER AWARD FROM USCJ!

We’re proud to announce that The Center for Jewish Spirituality is a recipient of the 2015 Solomon Schechter Award for innovative programming! This award is presented by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) and The Center for Jewish Spirituality received national recognition at the USCJ convention in November, 2015.

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Ongoing Events

Kol Neshama Minyan
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.                                                                                                                                                     Every 2nd Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to noon
Led by Rabbi Chai Levy, this musical, meditative, and participatory prayer experience is a chance to open your heart through song, to sink into the peace and joy of Shabbat, and to find a meaningful personal connection to the Torah portion and to others in our community. “Kol Neshama” means “voice of the soul/breath.” No Hebrew knowledge required; drop ins welcome.

Shabbat Sit
Every Saturday at approximately 11:30 a.m. after the drash in the main sanctuary, except 2nd Saturday at 9:15 a.m.
Led by Larry and Diane Yermack, this Shabbat morning experience explores silence and spirituality through simply being present. Based on mindfulness meditation, you will find yourself slowing down, calming your mind, and cultivating awareness, compassion, and Jewish wisdom. Whether you are new to meditation or have many years of experience, you are warmly welcome. Drop ins welcome.

Women’s Rosh Hodesh Group
Every second Sunday of the month, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Rosh Hodesh means the “head of the new (moon)” and is celebrated monthly as the Jewish calendar begins a new month. Rosh Hodesh is considered a special holiday for women and is a time of rediscovering new and ancient ceremonies. In this group, we will explore text, chanting and movement rituals to explore the intention of each month. For more information, contact Ilene Serlin at iserlin@ileneserlin.com.

Past Events & Guest Speakers

  • Shabbat and Sacred Chant with Rabbi Shefa Gold, featuring Sylvia Boorstein
  • Estelle Frankel, “The Wisdom of Not Knowing”
  • Tu B’Shevat Meditation Mini-Retreat
  • Rabbi David Ingber, Romemu
  • Sulam Chi: Integrating the Energies of Tai Chi and Kabbalah with Levi Ben-Shmuel
  • Concert with Kirtan Rabbi Andrew Hahn
  • Dance Midrash:  Jew-vinate with Rabbi Chai Levy
  • Jewish Ethics for Our Lives: The Art of Mussar with Rabbi Susan Leider
  • Shekhina Circle with Miki Raver
  • Musical Meditation Friday night service with the Kol Shofar rabbis and Eliyahu Sills and Surya Prakasha
  • Rabbi Jonathan Slater, Institute for Jewish Spirituality and author of A Partner in Holiness: Deepening Mindfulness, Practicing Compassion and Enriching Our Lives through the Wisdom of R. Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev’s Kedushat Levi
  • Rabbi Rachel Cowan, Founder of The Institute for Jewish Spirituality and author of Wise Aging
  • Norman Fisher, Jewish Zen Buddhist roshi, poet, and author
  • Introduction to Jewish Meditation with Larry Yermack
  • Torah Yoga with Rabbi Laurie Matzkin

High Holy Days 2016

  • Musical Meditation High Holy Days Services with Rabbi Chai Levy
    A highly accessible and spiritually deep experience through chant, meditation, and a participatory service. For more information, please visit our High Holy Days website page.

About The Center for Jewish Spirituality

The Center for Jewish Spirituality at Kol Shofar (CJS) was created to meet a growing desire for Jews in our community to explore alternative paths within Judaism. CJS offers alternative opportunities for spiritual growth that are both accessible and deep and which include meditation, music and practices that connect mind and body. It is the place to openly approach the multiple dimensions of Jewish tradition and to explore alternative practices for transformative Jewish learning.

More than half of the Jews of Marin County consider themselves “spiritual but not religious.” We’ve known this for more than a decade ever since the study conducted by the late community researcher Gary Tobin, titled “Religious & Spiritual Change in America: The Experience of Marin County, California.” Our community is aware of the large number of Jews who have turned to Eastern Religions and other spiritual paths because the traditional Jewish community did not meet their spiritual needs. With the Center for Jewish Spirituality, we hope to meet those needs and intend to provide a space where wisdom is cultivated and individuals can learn techniques for contemplative Jewish practice and study.

A member survey conducted in Fall 2013 at Kol Shofar indicated a clear desire among members to explore alternative services. More than 500 individuals from all over the Bay Area attend our annual Musical Meditation services at the High Holy Days Attendance at ritual synagogue alternatives such as the monthly Kol Neshama Minyan, weekly Shabbat Sit and Mindful Aging class has grown significantly during the past three years.

Congregation Kol Shofar has a strong history of providing various options for Jewish learning and ritual in addition to its vibrant traditional services and classes. The openness to the many paths that lead people through their Jewish lives is central to our work as a Conservative synagogue in Marin. Our experiential approach to learning is continually reflected in our religious school and teen programs, scholar-in-residence events, volunteer led classes, and question and answer interactions at Shabbat.

We welcome your involvement in activities that will be offered in an authentically Jewish way. The Center for Jewish Spirituality will provide opportunities to meet others with like interests as well as deepen your spiritual life.

For additional information please contact Rabbi Chai Levy at clevy @ kolshofar.org