As our communities grow and explore a variety of approaches to compliment tradition-based egalitarian Jewish practice, many Reconstructionist communities have begun integrating a variety of Jewish religious practices, continued to reconstruct Shabbat practice, traditonal rituals and liturgy, meditation, mussar study, "Torah" yoga, healing services, chant and other forms of spiritual experience into core offerings. In these sessions, we explore some of these forms, how we make communal decisions around them and see the connection to and inspiration from Reconstructionism and Jewish spiritual life .
This year we ask participants to deepen their learning by signing up for both sessions on a given topic. The follow-up to this session is Wed. May 4th, 8pm EST. Please register separately at www.jrf.org/pearl
Listen to the audio as you view the power point below.
Rabbi Jacob Staub, Ph.D., graduated from RRC in 1977. Staub has served on the RRC faculty since 1983; he served as the College’s vice president for academic affairs and academic dean from 1989 to 2004. He was instrumental in developing RRC’s Spiritual Direction Program and has taught Jewish spiritual direction across North America, including at Spiritual Directors International and the Spirituality Institute of Metivta. He is also a faculty member at Nehirim: GLBT Jewish Culture and Spirituality, and he directs Nehirim’s Shalshelet Mentoring Program.
His prior teaching experience includes appointments as assistant professor of religion at Lafayette College and as a Mellon Fellow in Jewish Philosophy at Washington University. He has served as rabbi of Bristol Jewish Center in Bristol, PA, and of Congregation Beth Shalom in Arlington, TX. Staub has served as chair of the Academy for Jewish Philosophy, of which has been a fellow. He has been vice president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and currently serves on its board. Jacob also has chaired the RRA’s Gevulot Committee and its Committee on Intermarriage.
Staub earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Master of Arts and doctorate in religion from Temple University, where he specialized in medieval Jewish philosophy. He trained as a spiritual director at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. He completed certification in Mindfulness Leadership Training with Sylvia Boorstein and teaches meditation and contemplative practice at RRC.
Staub served as editor of The Reconstructionist from 1983 to 1989. He is the author of The Creation of the World According to Gersonides (1982) and of numerous articles, poems and essays. He is co-editor with Jeffrey L. Schein of Creative Jewish Education: A Reconstructionist Perspective (1985) and co-author with Rebecca T. Alpert of Exploring Judaism, A Reconstructionist Approach (1985, revised edition 2000).
Rabbi Shawn Israel Zevit, www.rabbizevit.com is the Director of Congregational Service, Outreach and Tikkun Olam for the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation. Rabbi Zevit graduated with a BFA, Theatre Honors, from York University in Toronto (1982), Canada, RRC in 1998, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Spiritual Direction and Liturgical Arts from the New York Theological Seminary. He is the Co-Director of the award-winning Davennen Leaders Training Institute and is a spiritual director for many clergy and on core faculty of the ALEPH Hashpa’ah (Spiritual Direction) Clergy Training Program. A recording artist with 5 CD’s of original music and the Shabbat Unplugged “A Night of Questions” CD, he has also written and developed resources in the areas of Community Building, Leadership, Prayer, Contemporary views of GOD, Jewish Men's issues ("Brother Keepers: New Essays in Jewish Masculinities, 2010, http://www.mensstudies.com), and Money and Jewish values ("Offerings of the Heart: Values-Based Approaches to Money in Faith Community", Alban, 2005). Rabbi Zevit moved from Philadelphia to Cleveland in 2009 to be with his wife Simcha and family, continuing his work for JRF from there.