Previous Nishmat Hayyim Events and Retreats

Meditation, the Divine Presence, and Jewish TeachingsJeff Roth Monday evening Meditation.pages

with Rabbi Jeff Roth

Sponsored by Nishmat Hayyim at TBZ

Monday evenings
7:15 PM- 8:45 PM in the TBZ sanctuary

Suggested donation is $10 per session.

Rabbi Jeff Roth’s approach to Jewish Meditation comes out of a desire to cultivate an awareness of the Divine Presence along with the particular qualities of wisdom, compassion and kindness from a Jewish perspective. The practices he includes under the rubric of Jewish meditation are designed with this direction as our reference point. The wisdom accessible through Jewish meditation supports the understanding that the Divine Presence is the ground of All Being, and the ground of All Being is part of a singular interconnected web of being. The practice teaches us how to direct our attention into the present moment of experience, which is the only place the Divine Presence can be experienced.

Rabbi Jeff Roth is a well-known meditation practitioner, teacher, and facilitator of over 140 Jewish retreats in the last 20 years. He is founder and director of the Awakened Heart Project for Contemplative Judaism, and cofounder of Elat Chayyim, the Jewish Spiritual Retreat Center, where he served as executive director and spiritual director for 13 years. Rabbi Jeff Roth is author of Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life: Awakening Your Heart, Connecting with God. He was ordained by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi as well as by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

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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.

We dedicate our practice to the benefit of all beings. We look forward to sitting with you!



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.



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).


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.


Jewish Gateways to Meditation, Mindfulness, and Compassion
with Rabbi Sheila Peltz WeinbergSheilaPeltzWeinberg

Sponsored by Nishmat Hayyim at TBZ

Sunday, October 18, 9:30am – 4:30pm
held in the sanctuary at TBZ

We will root our practice in a deep listening to Jewish sources and allow that listening to move through our hearts, our minds and our lived experience. We will discover and receive the compassion that lives within us as an expression of the Jewish and the universal wisdom. There will be periods of teaching, silent meditation, instruction and guided meditation, walking practice, simple mindful movement, an option for a silent lunch, and questions and answers.

Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg served as a congregational rabbi for seventeen years. She is the author of Surprisingly Happy: An Atypical Religious Memoir and has released the CD, Preparing the Heart: Meditations for Jewish Spiritual Practice. Rabbi Weinberg has taught mindfulness meditation and yoga to rabbis, Jewish professionals and lay people in the context of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. She is creator and co-leader of the Jewish Mindfulness Teacher Training Program. She is married to Maynard Seider and they have three married children and five grandchildren.

Adults: $90, Seniors: $54, Students: $36
(Lunch: bring a vegetarian or kosher lunch to TBZ. We will provide coffee, tea, snacks.)

Location: Temple Beth Zion, 1566 Beacon St., Brookline, MA

Download the flyer for this event: HERE


IJS Chanukah Mindfulness Meditation Retreat – Nov 29 – Dec 3

Register at:



Day Long Retreat at Just Right Farm  – May 22



May 22 Day-Long Meditation Retreat at Just Right Farm 2016.pagesMay 22 Day-Long Meditation Retreat at Just Right Farm 2016.pages

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