Upcoming Events

Accepting Applications for Fall 2017 Group: Jewish Spiritual Education: Maggid-Educator Ordination Program

September 1, 2017 - 1:30pm - December 10, 2020 - 2:00pm
Location: 
Live on-line videoconference classes plus annual retreat

              Jewish Spiritual Education: Maggid-Educator Ordination℠

                       For principals, teachers, JCC, Hillel, camp and foundation staff, 
                              storytellers, librarians, clergy, and freelance educators 
                               from across the spectrum of Jewish life and practice


This Jewish Spiritual Education (JSE) training program reclaims the traditional role of maggid as a master educator who inspires and guides the Jewish journeys of students of all ages. Trainees become professional sacred storytellers and guides, developing a substantial repertoire of more than fifty Jewish spiritual practices (mitzvot) that are paired with sacred and contemporary stories, texts, new tikkun olam approaches, and awareness practices, including mussar, InterPlay, hashpa'ah, meditation, and the arts.

Designed as a two-year certificate program or three-year ordination training, this program is comprised of weekly video-conference classes, annual retreat intensives, and regular face-to-face videoconference field-work supervision and coaching in professional storytelling with our faculty of master teachers. The annual tuition is $1450 plus books and retreat costs, which vary based upon location. Some scholarship is available.    

JSE interweaves the following specific topics because these inspire love, transmission and retention of Jewish learning and living. And, because Jewish education needs to be turned on its head--to be about seeing the students' as people, and engaging their interests and talents while supporting and guiding their journeys in life through a Jewish lens.

Judaism is a precious world wisdom tradition, that when understood and practiced, adds great meaning, joy and support to living. Our goal is to support Jewish educators in deepening your own Jewish journeys while advancing your skills and methods in the following holistic way:


Our goal for MITZVAH is to deepen your capacity to connect students to at least fifty of these life-affirming spiritual practices that support healthy relationships while providing a meaningful Jewish lens for living throughout each day. This is an advanced approach to mitzvah studies geared to Jewish educators' professional and personal lives and learning.

Our goal for MUSSAR is to prepare you to nurture the development of your students by learning the primary mindfulness practices as developed by the gentle, empowering and deep Kelm School of mussar.

Our goal for MAGGID is to ensure that you attain a substantial repertoire of relevant traditional & contemporary mitzvah & mussar stories, along with advancing your storytelling skills into the guidance dimension associated with maggidut.

Our goal for HASHPA'AH is supporting your own spiritual development and that of your students, through classical methods, as well as those derived from the contemplative, healing, creative and expressive practices, activism and the arts. You will also receive support in reflecting upon and fine-tuning the applications of this program in your life & work.

                                EXAMPLE OF A MAGGID-EDUCATOR SM IN ACTION

The educator turns to the students saying: "Let me tell you a story!" The way that the educator tells the story turns on a light in each soul. The mitzvah being explored is "lo tikom—to refrain from holding a grudge" and the middah (ethical attribute) is savlanut—patience."

The educator gives them InterPlay movements, sounds and gestures to express the feeling of a grudge, and then invites their personal "grudge" stories. Almost every hand goes up to share—from the youngest to the eldest. As the educator guides the soulful exploration of personal experience—burdens begin to lift. The light of Torah, mitzvah-centered lives, shines through the radiant faces and body language of all present.

Returning to the text for the mitzvah and middah, the students dive in—for now they understand from the inside! Soon a tikkun olam initiative emerges, as students are invited and guided to imagine, plan and implement ways to bring their learning experience into action.    

What Our Trainees are Saying:

"When I heard Peninnah's first story, a new world opened. JSE is the new paradigm for training
Jewish educators. You will use everything you learn!"
     Danielle Kassin, Director of Education, Sinai Temple Religious School, LA

"Empowers us to access and strengthen our gifts and talents; to be supported to grow
professionally and personally in amazing ways."
      Rhonda Lillianthal, Director, Center for Jewish Lite, JCC of MetroWest NJ

"By going beyond the tradition of packing information into students, JSE gives us a healthier, holier way forward: the vital, holistic tools educators need to draw our students into the essence of Judaism."
     Paul Solyn, Jewish Center & Federation, Elmira, NY

Fees: $1450/year plus the retreat which varies in cost annually based on location. Partial scholarships are available.

Note: The first 3-year class is full; the ordination retreat will be Aug 3-10, 2017. Registration for Fall 2017 is now open. For applications, further information, please contact, Rabbi Goldie Milgram, Dean of Jewish Spiritual Education, rebgoldie@gmail.com

 
MEET OUR FACULTY for 2nd Group that runs Fall 2017-Aug 2020:
 

Cassandra Sagan has devoted her life to helping others access their creative brilliance through poetry, storytelling, movement, and Torah. For twenty years Cassandra taught as a Poet in the Classroom, pre-schoolers through high school, adults and seniors; in gifted, new immigrant, and special needs classrooms; editing and producing almost 100 volumes of student writing. An ukulele toting singer/songwriter, Cassandra performs a weave of original and traditional songs and stories, while encouraging audience participation and individual expression. She is an ordained Maggid, a mosaic artist, an InterPlay leader, and has developed InterPlay Torah study, a playful approach to personal midrash, insight, and embodied Torah. She is also a contributing author to New Mitzvah Stories for the Whole Family.


Danny Siegel is best known for bringing the discussion of Tzedakah and doing Tikkun Olam back into Jewish communities. A well-known author, lecturer, and poet, Danny has spoken in more than 500 North American Jewish communities on personalized Tzedakah, Mitzvah heroes, and Jewish values. He is the author of numerous books, including Danny Siegel’s Bar and Bat Mitzvah Mitzvah Book: A Practical Guide For Changing the World Through Your Simcha; Heroes and Miracle Workers, a collection of essays about everyday people who are Mitzvah Heroes; Who, Me? Yes, You! — Danny Siegel’s Workbook To Help You Decide Where, When, Why, and How You Can Do Your Best Tikkun Olam; and Giving Your Money Away — How Much, How to, Why, When, and to Whom: Danny Siegel’s Practical Guide to Personalized Tzedakah. He has also published several collections of poetry and children’s stories. Danny served as the Tzedakah Resource Person on the United Synagogue Youth Israel Pilgrimage for 37 years, and is a recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for Exceptional Jewish Educators.
 

JSE Program Dean:
Rabbi Goldie Milgram
DMin., MHL., MSW. Goldie founded and directs the non-profit Reclaiming Judaism & also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Reclaiming Judaism Press, providing innovative new programs and resources for meaningful Jewish living. Rabbi Milgram has worked at every level of Jewish ed
ucation–religious school teacher, & principal, day school high school-co-founder, youth group director, geriatric social worker & educator, BJE director, camp, pulpit, center & campus rabbi and consultant, Federation executive, university faculty and seminary dean.

    A Covenant Award finalist honored for her excellence in experiential Jewish education, she is also a widely published author, and professional Jewish storyteller. A founding NBC Health Watch program innovator & for a long-time, anchor person, for this she became the recipient of the American Cancer Society’s “Most Distinguished Citizen Award.”
     A rabbinic graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College "Reb Goldie"  has also received smicha (ordination) from her teacher Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi as rabbi, maggidah, mashpi'ah and shlicha. Her new book Reclaiming Bar/Bat Mitzvah as a Spiritual Rite of Passage is part of a body of work honored by the Covenant Foundation and co-edited with Ellen Frankel, her previous book, Mitzvah Stories: Seeds for Inspiration and Learning has recently been honored by the National Jewish Book Awards. Her newest release is Seeking and Soaring: Jewish Approaches to Spiritual Guidance and Development.

 

Batya Podos is an ordained maggid, teacher and storyteller in the Jewish tradition. She also teaches pre-b’nai mitzvah students at her congregation and is the director of “Abraham’s Tent”—an interfaith summer camp for Christian, Jewish and Muslim children. One of her goals is to have children connect with the Divine through their personal experience of the stories within their tradition. She brings to JSE and NewCaje over thirty years of experience as an artist-in-residence, educational consultant and curriculum specialist, and as a middle school drama/language arts teacher. Her new publications for young people and families include Rebecca and the Talisman of Time (Portal Center Press) and she is also a contributor to New Mitzvah Stories for the Whole Family (Reclaiming Judaism Press) and The Language of Life, by Milt Markewitz, which explores the meaning of the energetic patterns of the Hebrew letters. Batya also leads services, teaches from the bima, facilitates holiday celebrations, offers shabbatonim.


Cherie Karo SchwartzMA in Developmental Theater, is a storyteller, author, and educator living in Denver. She has shared stories with audiences of all ages throughout America and abroad for forty years. She shares a kaleidoscope of spirit-filled tales of wishes, wisdom, and wit drawn from worldwide Jewish folklore, sacred texts, family folklore, original stories and modern midrashim. Cherie offers storytelling performances, master classes, workshops and keynotes for conferences, organizations, museums, storytellers, schools, and libraries world-wide. She was co-founding coordinator of the international Jewish Storytelling Network of CAJE, following her heart-friend-in-story Peninnah Schram. Cherie has authored three books, numerous recordings and articles.
 

Mindy Shapiro, M.A, is a Jewish communal professional with 30 years of experience. She was the founding director of Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing!, a program of Moving Traditions. She has also worked for other Jewish organizations including Hillel of Greater Philadelphia, International Hillel and the Gershman Y. Mindy has been studying  Mussar with Rabbi Stone since 2003 and teaching since 2009. Mussar provides her with a framework for leading a more mindful life, something she helps others to do. She is also a papercut artist and teacher. Mindy serves on the editorial team for the next release from Reclaiming Judaism Press, in honor of Danny Siegel: New Mitzvah Stories for the Whole Family.

 
Judith Black,
 one of America’s foremost storytellers is grounded in Jewish roots, from which she retells history from new perspectives, tickles familial dysfunction, offers ironic explorations of aging, and calls people to pay attention to their planet.  As a Wheelock College graduate and professional teacher she is able to draw storytelling through the educational landscape, showing its profound uses in cognitive, emotional, and social learning. Featured on stages from the Montreal Comedy Festival to The Smithsonian Institution, the National Storytelling Festival, and over 12 CAJE conferences, she is the winner of the Oracle Award, storytelling’s most coveted laurel, and was recently given the Brother Blue and Ruth Hill Award.  She also sings, gardens, is a Rotarian and environmental activist.

The JSE Program and Curriculum was founded, developed and first taught by: Rabbi Goldie Milgram with Batya Podos, Cassandra Sagan,
Cherie Karo Schwartz, Peninnah Schram, Mindy Shapiro, and Danny Siegel.

Note: The first 3-year class is full; the ordination retreat will be Aug 3-10, 2017. Registration for Fall 2017 is now open on a rolling admissions basis. For applications, further information, please contact Rabbi Goldie Milgram, Dean of Jewish Spiritual Education, rebgoldie@gmail.com

 

Call For Submissions: The Wisdom of Reb Zalman

November 5, 2014 - 9:24pm - January 15, 2018 - 9:24pm

We heard you cry out to us in the wilderness: "We need more time!" Accordingly the new written submissions due date for the juried volume "The Wisdom of Reb Zaman" Schachter-Shalomi is the end of 2016. True quotes, vignettes, stories, ritual moments, his advocacy for feminism, tikkun olam, neo-hassidism, and other highlights from your transcriptions of his teachings that illuminate Reb Zalman's ways of being in the world are invited, up to 1800 words. jpg images of Reb Zalman facilitating ritual, teaching, caring, davenning, etc., are helpful, as well.
     This is a juried volume by award-winning Reclaiming Judaism Press, so your name will be removed before your piece is reviewed but your name and bio will appear on your piece in the final publication. This book is for general public reading, so be careful to define Hebrew, Yiddish, or Yinglish terms. Send submissions to Publishing Coordinator: Daniella Forstater at daniellasubmissions@gmail.com. Up to three submissions will be considered per person. Editorial team: Goldie Milgram and Shohama Wiener [Eds] with Rachel Barenblatt, Micha-el Esformes, Rodger Kamenetz and Arthur Kurzweil.

Details:

1. Submissions will be peer-reviewed with contributing author names removed before the jury sees and decides on which piece(s) to include. Submission is no guarantee of publication, though we are open to publishing more than one submission by any given author. 

2. Up to 1800 words max. per piece, double-spaced in *.doc, *.docx, *.rtf.

3. With each submission also include your bio, no longer than 100 words. This word count does not include your name, you can also add one website. Part of the goal is for people to seek you out and learn from you as part of Reb Zalman's legacy.

3. Submissions taken on a rolling review basis
 and all entries must be sent to our assistant at Reclaiming Judaism Press, Daniella Forstater at daniellasubmissions@gmail.com. We have asked her to remove contributing author names before forwarding them to the jury. (Be sure to use a substitute name when talking about yourself in your story) 

4. No fiction, nor poetry, nor praise, no eulogies will be included. Bring your reader into the experience with Reb Zalman, don't talk "about him."
    Note:  An example story appears at this colorful hyperlink.

5. Works previously published in copyrighted volumes will not be accepted, items that appeared in local newspapers or on websites/blogs will be considered. You retain the right to republish any piece accepted into this volume so long as you cite this volume as the first point of publication. [First published in ___________________, NY: New Rochelle. Reclaiming Judaism Press, 2016.]

6. Submissions must be of sound literary style with all sources cited.

Note: It is fine and recommended for you to secure editorial assistance before sending in your piece(s). Please provide appropriate credit to those who assist you.

7. As full and complete compensation, contributing authors will receive discounts on purchases of this volume. No free copies will be available.

8. Revenue from book sales will be shared equally by the ordination scholarship programs at Reclaiming Judaism and ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal.

9. Our editorial board for this project is: Goldie Milgram and Shohama Wiener (Eds) with Rachel Barenblat, Robert Esformes, Yaakov Gabriel, Rodger Kamenetz, and Arthur Kurzweil.n
Books and resources created by Reclaiming Judaism Press have been honored by the National Jewish Book Awards and the National Jewish Book Council.

This publishing house was founded by Rabbi Goldie Milgram under the supervision and guidance of Reb Zalman, Z'l, Rabbi Judith Abrams, Z'l, Arthur Kurzweil and Ellen Frankel. 

Our focus is the emerging field of Jewish Spiritual Education so that those we serve are supported to love life, respect life and choose life.

As a matter of policy Reclaiming Judaism Press welcomes and incorporates submissions by students and teachers from across the full spectrum of Jewish life and learning.