“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.” -CJS Mission Statement
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.
More than 500 individuals from all over the Bay Area attend our annual Musical Meditation services at the High Holy Days. The monthly Kol Neshama Minyan, weekly Shabbat Sit and Mindful Aging class have 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 youth and teen programs, scholar-in-residence events, and volunteer-led classes.
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.
CJS: Wise Aging Lunch & Learn with Larry Yermack
Those in their sixties and seventies can count themselves as part of an extraordinary, history-making generation, now primed to be pioneers in understanding and making the most of this “third chapter” stage of life. These healthy years of aging are not the end; they are full of potential for learning and growth. The Wise Aging program provides new resources and support to live the later years with spirit, resilience, and wisdom. (Series: Tuesdays, October 23, November 6, 27 & December 11)
Watch teaching video and read brief lesson on Sundays; set aside 20 minutes to practice Monday-Friday; post in online discussion forum in response to weekly reflection questions; [if you are requiring this, which we highly recommend]: participate in live, weekly processing group with Rabbi Leider
Rabbi David Jaffe is the Founder and Principal of The Kirva Institute, dedicated to bringing people into closer, healthier relationships with others, themselves and God for the sake of the repair of the world. He is the author of Changing the World from the Inside Out, Winner of the 2016 National Jewish Book Award for Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice.
Past Programs beginning in Fall 2014
Ongoing Groups and Services
Kol Neshama Minyan with Rabbi Chai Levy
Shabbat Sit Meditation with Larry Yermack
Rosh Hodesh group with Ilene Serlin
Home Hosted Shabbat dinners organized by Meg Rose
Special Events and Guest Teachers
Musical Shabbat with Darshan (Shir Yaakov Feinstein-Feit and Eden Pearlstein/Eprhyme)
Sacred Chant Shabbat with Rabbi Shefa Gold
Concert with the Kirtan Rabbi, Andrew Hahn
Rabbi Rachel Cowan on Wise Aging
Rabbi Jonathan Slater on Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev
Rabbi David Ingber
Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg on God Loves the Stranger
Estelle Frankel on the Wisdom of Not Knowing
Rabbi Burt Jacobson on the Baal Shem Tov
Summer outdoor musical Shabbat services at Louise’s house with Achi Ben-Shalom
Musical Meditation Friday nights with Rabbis Chai and Leider, Eliyahu Sills, and Surya Prakasha
Shabbat and Sunday retreats with Rabbi Chai Levy and Larry Yermack
Classes and Groups
Wise Aging groups with Larry Yermack
Jewish Mindfulness Meditation with Larry Yermack
The Spirituality of Jewish Parenting with Rabbi Chai Levy
Mussar Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Susan Leider
Jewish Sound Healing with Judy Berger and Diane Yermack
Shekhina Circle with Miki Raver
Midweek Mysticism, Meditation and Music with Rabbi Chai Levy
Dance Midrash: Jew-vinate with Rabbi Chai Levy
Sulam-Chi with Levi Ben-Shmuel
Torah Yoga with Rabbi Laurie Matzkin
Torah Yoga with Leah Kahn
Musical Meditation High Holyday services with Rabbi Chai Levy and the band
Yom Kippur Workshops with Ilene Serlin, Diane Yermack, and Judy Berger
High Holyday sits with Larry Yermack
Dove Govrin Tu B’Shvat Moving Meditation
Contemplative Passover Seder with Rabbi Chai Levy
Shavuot with Rabbi Shefa Gold and Sylvia Boorstein