Nishmat Hayyim at TBZ – Meditation Events and Retreats

Click HERE to receive informational emails about Nishmat Hayyim events.

Join us for these upcoming events sponsored by Nishmat Hayyim at TBZ:

Friday Morning Mindfulness/Meditation Practice Group

These sessions will be in the TBZ sanctuary at the same time, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM on:

June 26
July 10, 17, 24, 31
August 7, 21, 28

The above listed Fridays will be on a drop-in basis and open to everyone. There is no registration process for either TBZers or nonTBers, and there is no fee.  However, gracious giving, dana, is always appreciated and will be used for our programs.

This is a perfect opportunity to bring friends and family members who may be interested in mindfulness/meditation, and who may want to experience this Jewish meditation group setting couple with learning.


• July 25, evening – Tisha B’Av meditation and lamentations

• Aug 15 – all day, Contemplative Shabbat morning service, opportunity for a silent Kiddush lunch,  and a Shabbat Afternoon Meditation Retreat

• Sept 5, evening – Selichot , meditation, learning, and service

• Oct 18 – Day Long Workshop with Rabbi Sheila Peltz-Weinberg



Dates: TBA
1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
with Bobbi Isberg and Yoheved Sheila Katz

Coming together in stillness to be with the truth of what arises and passes in each moment, without fixing or adding anything.

Be fully alive to the hidden essence of Shabbat vayinafash. Stop and ensoul.

Hineh Ma Tov!

“YHVH reveals Itself as that which frees us from Narrow Places and brings us home. Come learn the Torah’s meditation instructions for the path of freedom and homecoming.”

Beginners and Experienced Meditators Welcome

Instruction for people new to meditation at 1:15pm

New Shabbat Afternoon Meditation Retreat Schedule
• 1:15  Intro for Beginners
• 1:30 Begin Shabbat Meditation SIT
• 2:15 Walk
• 2:25 SIT
• 2:55 Walk
• 3:05 Torah, Avodah, Gemilut Hasidim
• 4:00 End Shabbat Meditation

“Hineh ma tov u’ma nayim shevet achim gam yachad.”
How good and skillful it is for brothers and sisters to sit together.

Yoheved Sheila Katz and Bobbi Isberg will lead sitting and walking meditation, chanting, optional gentle yoga and contemplative Torah study.

Bring pillows/sitting equipment that you need for comfort, and a water bottle or thermos to save paper/plastic cups. We’ll provide chairs and light Kosher snacks.

There is no fee for attending. All teachings, arrangements, and food are given freely. Please join us in this practice of generosity that is the foundation of our lives, giving what you can after Shabbat ends.

Donation checks can be made out to “Nishmat Hayyim at TBZ” with  ‘(The date) Shabbat Meditation’ written on the memo line of your check.

For future Shabbat retreats, please check email announcements from Nishmat Hayyim, postings on the TBZ calendar and the TBZ website.

We dedicate our practice to the benefit of all beings.

We look forward to sitting with you!

For more information contact Nishmat Hayyim




Sunday, November 2, 9:30 am-4:30 pm

“T’sumet Lev” – Paying Attention with the Heart

Click here for a flyer about this event!


presented by Nishmat Hayyim at TBZ
December 13-15, 2013
at the Essex Conference Center in Essex, MA

Come join us and participate in a warm, contemplative Shabbat with Reb Moshe Waldoks, Bobbi Isberg, and Yoheved Sheila Katz in an idyllic setting in Essex, MA, only 45 minutes north of Boston. (See below for bios.)

Share the full beauty of Shabbat in prayer, study, meditation, chant, good fellowship, nature walks, yoga, good food, and more in this marvelous natural setting.

The cost is $220 per person for 2 nights lodging with all meals included, beginning with Friday night Shabbat dinner and ending with Sunday lunch. Snacks are available all day and are included in the cost.
(Limited scholarships available.)

Don’t miss this rare opportunity for a Contemplative Shabbat in nature!

Open to TBZ members and everyone in the larger Boston Jewish community! Reserve your place early and register NOW!

Only 18 double rooms available.

If you are interested please respond to Reb Moshe and/or
And then please send your check to the TBZ office at:
TBZ, 1566 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02446.
The check should be made out to “Nishmat Hayyim at TBZ”.
Please write ‘Dec 13/14 TBZ Nishmat Hayyim Contemplative Retreat’ in the memo section of your check. Or call the office 617.566.8171 ext. 14 and charge it!
Deadline for registration (on a first come basis) is Nov 20, 2013.


Reb Moshe Waldoks
Along with an infectious laugh, Reb Moshe brings to the rabbinate many years of experience as a teacher and academic. Co-editor of The Big Book of Jewish Humor, he has lectured widely on Jewish cultural renewal and the Jewish spirit.  With his wife Anne, and their three daughters, Reb Moshe infuses our community with love, laughter, and joy. Reb Moshe completed his Doctorate in Eastern European Jewish Intellectual History at Brandeis University in 1984, and was ordained as a post-denominational Rabbi in the fall of 1996 by Rabbis Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Arthur Green and Everett Gendler. Dedicated to building bridges, Reb Moshe went to Dharamsala, India in October 1990 to participate in the first Jewish-Tibetan Buddhist encounter with the Dalai Lama. He is active in Jewish-Christian Dialogue, and in 1999 co-led a Jewish-Catholic Pilgrimage to Israel and Rome. He sits on the Executive Board of the Jewish Community Relations Council. Reb Moshe has been the Rabbi at Temple Beth Zion since January 1998. He also completed a two-year meditation course for Rabbis conducted by Sylvia Boorstein.  He is the founder of Nishmat Hayyim:  the Jewish Meditation Collaborative of New England.

Roberta Isberg
Roberta Isberg has a longstanding interest in meditation, psychotherapy, yoga and contemplative practices to help meet the challenge of living life as a human being. She received her M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1978 and completed her training in adult and child psychiatry at Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, in 1984. She completed psychoanalytic training at the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute in 1993 and has a private practice in adult and child psychiatry in Brookline. As Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, she teaches Child Psychiatry Fellows at Children’s Hospital. Dr. Isberg has had a personal meditation practice for over forty years. Over the past decade she has learned and practiced at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center and the Insight Meditation Society. In 2009 she completed the practicum in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and in 2011 she completed the Jewish Mindfulness Teacher Training sponsored by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and the Awakened Heart Project. In 2013 she completed a 500-hour yoga teacher training. She is delighted to co-lead a monthly Shabbat afternoon meditation retreat at Temple Beth Zion with Yoheved Sheila Katz.

Yoheved Sheila Katz
Yoheved teaches Contemplative Practice and Middle East History at the Berklee College of Music. She received her PhD in Middle East History from Harvard University and is author of Women and Gender in Early Jewish and Palestinian Nationalism (University Press of Florida, 2003). Her study of meditation and yoga during involvement in political activism as an undergrad at Brandeis University and her founding of a Palestinian-Israeli dialogue network in Jerusalem taught her the necessity of both inner and outer transformation. Katz’ current meditation practice combines concentration and mindfulness learned from Jewish texts, and extended silent retreats, including 100 days of meditation with Rabbi David and Shoshana Cooper’s Jewish Meditation at Elat Chayyim, a month of silent Vipassana Buddhism at Spirit Rock, Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village in France, and Soto Zen Zoketsu Norman Fischer in Mexico. She has studied with Rabbi Shefa Gold in the 2-year chant leaders’ training, Kol Zimra, with Rabbi Alan Lew, z”l, and Norman Fischer at the 2-year Elat Chayyim Advanced Meditation Program, Rabbis Sheila Weinberg and Jeff Roth at the 2-year Jewish Mindfulness Teacher Training at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. She has taught meditation at Nishmat Hayyim at TBZ since its inception in 2005 and enjoys co-leading its monthly Shabbat meditation retreats with Bobbi Isberg.



Evolving Dharma: Understanding the Meditation Revolution

with Dr. Jay Michaelson

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014

7:30 – 9:00 pm in the sanctuary

The last twenty years have witnessed a revolution in the West’s embrace of meditation. Mindfulness is now everywhere: schools, hospitals, prisons, even the U.S. Marines. But the most radical changes are yet to come. With new scientific data showing how meditation changes the brain, contemplative practice is set to explode. Based on his new book, Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment, Jay will talk about our unique historical moment, in which everything we know about the mind and the brain is shifting.

Dr. Jay Michaelson is a writer and activist. He is the author of five books, most recently Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism and the Next Generation of Enlightenment. Other writings include God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality (Beacon), a 2012 Lambda Literary Award finalist and bestseller, and Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism (Shambhala), as well as two hundred articles in various publications. His contemplative journey includes twelve years in the dharma, including several long-term vipassana retreats in the United States and Nepal, and he is currently an adviser to the Varieties of Meditative Experience project at Brown University. His first meditation retreat was with the Rabbi David and Shoshana Cooper in 2002, and he subsequently completed the Jewish Meditation Advanced Training program with them.



Secular Jewish Renewal in Israel: Inspiration for American Jewry
with Dov Elbaum and Dr. Arthur Green
Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM in the TBZ sanctuary

Join us for a conversation between Dov Elbaum and Dr. Arthur Green. They will discuss themes explored in Dov’s latest book, Into the Fullness of the Void: A Spiritual Biography, which courageously weaves together Kabbalah, personal introspection, and Torah commentary in ways new and surprising, particularly to American Jewish audiences. They will also explore Dov’s departure from Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community, compare and contrast Israel’s secular Jewish renaissance with American Jewish life, and discuss how religion and state issues affect Judaism in both countries. His book will be available for purchase by Brookline Booksmith.

Co-sponsored by New Israel Fund,
TBZ’s Israel Committee and Nishmat Hayyim at TBZ

DovElbaumDov Elbaum was born to an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem family in 1970. Until the age of 17, Dov was immersed in the ultra-Orthodox life of Jerusalem and the cloistered yeshiva studies of that community. During his army service, he left the ultra-Orthodox lifestyle and ever since, Dov has engaged passionately in language and literature, art and philosophy, engaging core questions of Jewish thought and Israeli life as a journalist, television host and interviewer, academic researcher, novelist, lecturer, editor-in-chief and leading voice in Israeli culture. Dov has recently served as editor-in-chief of Yediot Publishing, and currently hosts the popular Israeli TV show “Mekablim Shabbat.” Dov is the director of BINA’s Center for Jewish Thought, the content director of BINA’s “We Declare” project, and a founder of BINA’s Secular Yeshiva. BINA is the leading organization at the intersection of Jewish Pluralism & Social Action in Israel.

Dr. ArArtGreenthur Green was the founding dean and is currently rector of the Rabbinical School and Irving Brudnick Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Religion at Hebrew College. He is Professor Emeritus at Brandeis University, where he occupied the distinguished Philip W. Lown Professorship of Jewish Thought. He is both a historian of Jewish religion and a theologian; his work seeks to form a bridge between these two distinct fields of endeavor.Educated at Brandeis University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he received rabbinic ordination, Dr. Green studied with such important teachers as Alexander Altmann, Nahum N. Glatzer, and Abraham Joshua Heschel, of blessed memory. He has taught Jewish mysticism, Hasidism, and theology to several generations of students at the University of Pennsylvania, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (where he served as both Dean and President), Brandeis, and now at Hebrew College. He has taught and lectured widely throughout the Jewish community of North America as well as in Israel, where he visits frequently. He was the founder of Havurat Shalom in Somerville, Massachusetts in 1968 and remains a leading independent figure in the Jewish Renewal movement.

The NEW ISRAEL FUND (NIF) is the leading organization advancing democracy and equality for all Israelis. We believe that Israel can live up to its founders’ vision of a state that ensures complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants, without regard to religion, race, gender or national identity.


A Meditation Workshop with Norman Fischer

Sunday, May 18, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Click HERE for event flyer)

NormanFischerNorman Fischer is a Zen Buddhist priest, teacher, poet, and a former abbot of San Francisco Zen Center. He is founder and teacher of the Everyday Zen Foundation ( dedicated to sharing Zen teaching and practice widely with the world.  Fischer and Rabbi Alan Lew (z”l) co-founded Makor Or, a San Francisco based Jewish meditation center that brings Jewish meditation to a new level by providing daily meditation, weekly classes, monthly retreats and an intensive yearly along with contemplative preparation for the holidays.

He is an author of both nonfiction and poetry; his collections of poetry include Turn Left in Order to Go Right (1989), Success (2000), Slowly but Dearly.  Fisher has written numerous books on spirituality, among them Opening to You: Zen-Inspired Translations of the Psalms (2003), Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up (2004), and Sailing Home: Using Homer’s Odyssey to Navigate Life’s Perils and Pitfalls (2008).

Click here or call the TBZ office at 617-566-8171 ext 14 to register.


Sunday Jewish Contemplative Practice

with Reb Moshe, Bobbi Isberg, Sheila Yoheved Katz, and Reggie Silberberg

Sunday, June 8 from 4:00 – 5:30 pm
TBZ offers monthly Sunday sessions on the Introduction to Contemplative Practice in the sanctuary.

Water the seeds of mindfulness practice to discover fresh possibilities of liberation. The benefits of mindfulness meditation are clear. But its power is in daily practice. That discipline can be difficult to maintain without support. If you would like to begin a meditation practice, or receive support for an ongoing practice, or root your mindfulness practice in a group setting, then please join us!



as part of the Evening Service
Breaking Apart into Oneness
Mon, Aug 4, 8 pm



as part of the Evening Service
Opening to Forgiveness
Sat, Sept 20, 9:30 pm


flowers image


Friday, January 30 at 3:00 pm – Sunday, February 1 at 1:00 pm

Click here for a flyer about this event!


Day-Long Meditation Retreat at Just Right Farm

May 3, 2015

9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

For more info CLICK HERE.





Friday Morning Meditation/Mindfulness Practice Group
with Bobbi Isberg, Sheila Yoheved Katz, and others
April 17, 24, May 1, 8, 15, 22,29, Jun 12, 19
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM in the TBZ sanctuary
Cost: TBZers, free; returning nonTBZers, $135; new nonTBZers, $180.

A second round of the Friday Morning Meditation/Mindfulness Practice Group will start January 2015.  What good fortune to continue and deepen this challenging discipline together to cultivate wisdom, compassion, happiness, and ability to respond to this complex life and world.

All three of our teachers will continue.

Mindfulness is a way of being with the truth of what is. It is open, curious, non-judgmental, tender presence.

A supportive community helps develop heart-opening compassion, wisdom, humor, and joy arising from a disciplined practice that touches the roots of suffering and helps relieve the suffering of others in the midst of our complex lives and world.

These 90 minute sessions will include chant, silent sit, teachings from Jewish, Buddhist, and other mindfulness texts, discussion, and check-ins about our practice. These sessions are for beginners and experienced practitioners who want support for starting or deepening a regular practice.

CLICK HERE to register.