Jewish Spiritual Direction or Hashpa'ah is a process for exploring our connection with what we experience as God, Spirit, Truth- however we express and understand the Sacred in our lives. Through these explorations, those engaged in spiritual direction, try to discern the presence of the Sacred, in their everyday lives, work, celebrations, and struggles. Since 1998, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College has offered this form of spiritual support to rabbinical students, independent Jewish spiritual direction training programs have developed around the United States, and some Reconstructionist communities have begun offering group spiritual direction for their members through trained clergy or spiritual directors. This call will explore the historic and current evolution of Jewish spiritual direction, some of the key elements of the experience, and how this sacred practice can help individuals and communities deepen their connections to God, self, community and the world.
You can listen to the audio recording of this call by clicking here: http://jrf.org/node/2599
Barbara Breitman, D.Min., LCSW, ( http://www.jewishspiritualdirection.com/) is a pioneer in the field of Jewish Spiritual Direction. She is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College where she also helped to create the program in spiritual direction. She is a co-founder of Lev Shomea, a two-year training program in spiritual direction at Isabella Freedman/Elat Chayyim: the Jewish Spiritual Retreat Center. An experienced psychotherapist with a private practice in Philadelphia, Barbara has a special interest in trauma and spirituality.
Sandra B. Cohen, DSW, LCSW, (http://www.aleph.org/hashpaah.htm) has a private psycho-spiritual clinical and relationship coaching practice. “Reb Sarah” is a Spiritual Director at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and for the ALEPH Ordination Programs as well as core faculty for the HASHPA’AH Ordination Program. She privately provides individual and interfaith group spiritual direction and mentors individuals and clergy called to this ministry. She trained in Group Spiritual Direction at The Shalem Institute and received smicha from Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi as Mashpi’ah Ruchanit, Maggidah, and “Reb Sarah.” She is available for private Supervision for Spiritual Directors.
Rabbi Shawn Israel Zevit, (http://www.alban.org/rabbizevit/direction.asp) is the Director of Outreach & Tikkun Olam, and a congregational consultant and resource developer for the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation. He is a founding member of Shabbat Unplugged and the Davenning Leaders’ Training Institute, and a spiritual director for numerous clergy and communities, having bee a spiritual director at RRC from 1999-2008 and on the core faculty of the ALEPH Hashpa'ah program. He has written and developed resources and delivered workshops in the areas of community building, leadership, prayer, interactive midrash, contemporary views of GOD, prayer and spiritual leadership skills, money and Jewish values, social justice issues, Jewish environmental concerns and Jewish men's issues. He is the author of "Offerings of the Heart: Money and Values in Faith Community (Alban, 2005), co-editor of "Brother Keepers: New Essays in Jewish Masculinities" (Men's Studies Press, 2010) and the Recon Press publications on "Money and Jewish Values" and "Manual for Effective Boards and Committees".
Rabbi Nancy Epstein serves as Director of Congregational Relations for JRF, as associate teaching professor at the Drexel University School of Public Health, and as a spiritual director at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She has been a participant in the most recent cohort of Lev Shomea, a training program for Jewish spiritual directors.