Ritualwell

Tradition & Innovation

Ritualwell Immersions

Ritualwell Immersions are interactive online learning opportunities that offer a deep dive into Jewish topics that touch our everyday lives. Study in-depth with expert rabbis and teachers, participate in rich discussions, create rituals and connect with an online community. 

We offer two types of learning experiences: free, donation-based standalone sessions and fee-based, multi-session immersions for a deeper dive. However you choose to join, we welcome you to join our community and learn with us!

All sessions will be recorded and available to participants. You may join the session live or watch recordings at your own convenience, but we encourage live attendance as you are able.

Click on each offering below to learn more and register. For up-to-date announcements about Ritualwell Immersions please subscribe to our newletter.

 

2022 Schedule

 

Modern-day Psalms

King David wandered the Judean Desert thousands of years ago and wrote the most beautiful poems of prayer and praise; poems we are still reading today. Many contemporary poets are emulating David and writing their own versions of the Psalms. Join us to read these great works and even try our own hands at writing modern day psalms.
 
Led by Rachel Neve-Midbar
Tuesday, January 11 @ 12–1:30 p.m. EST
Free standalone session

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Jewish Ancestral Healing

We’ll consider ways in which honoring ancestors can be an important and empowering aspect of personal and communal healing and consider ways ancestor honoring is present within Jewish traditions.

Led by Taya Mâ Shere
Thursday, January 13 @ 7–8:30 p.m. EST
Free standalone session

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Dreaming Against the Current with Rabbi Haviva Ner-David

Join us for a book talk with Rabbi Haviva Ner-David on her new memoir, Dreaming Against the Current: A Rabbi’s Soul Journey, tracing Haviva’s spiritual, psychological, and emotional journey from Orthodox Jewish feminist activist to post-denominational inter-spiritual rabbi/minister.
 
Led by Hila Ratzabi
Thursday, January 20 @ 12–1 p.m. EST
Free standalone session

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Holy Conversation: The Kavannot of the Shabbat Amidah

If approached with mindfulness and intention, the Amidah can be our spiritual mission statement. Using prompts, short guided mediations, English translations of different denominations and discussion, liturgist Trisha Arlin will guide us through the Shabbat Amidah and the seven “stories” within it, and we will then write our own holy conversations. 
 
Led by Trisha Arlin
Thursdays, January 20, 27, February 3, 10, 17, 24 @ 7–8:30 p.m. EST  
$216 for six-session immersion

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Writing the Revelatory Poem

Each week we will read selections of a different book from the Hebrew Bible as well as poems of modern, postmodern and contemporary poets. These readings will be accompanied by writing prompts as we generate and write our own poems of revelation. Poets of all backgrounds and levels of experience are welcome.
 
Led by Rachel Neve-Midbar
Tuesdays, January 25, February 1, 8, 15 @ 12–1:30 p.m. EST
$144 for four-session immersion

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A Play for the End of the World: Book Talk with Jai Chakrabarti

Join us on International Holocaust Remembrance Day for a book talk with author Jai Chakrabarti on his debut novel, A Play for the End of the World, inspired by the true story of a play written by an Indian poet and performed in a Warsaw Ghetto orphanage before the residents are deported to Treblinka.
 
Led by Hila Ratzabi
Thursday, January 27 @ 7–8 p.m. EST
Free standalone session

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Black Fire / White Fire: Reading & Writing Creative Midrash

In this session we will discover what midrash is and learn how to write our own. No previous text study or creative writing experience necessary.
 
Led by Sivan Rotholz
Wednesday, February 2 @ 12–1:30 p.m. EST
​Free standalone session

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The Masked Writer: Persona Poetry as Modern Midrash

Part text study, part craft workshop, part generative creative writing space, each week we will encounter persona poetry that invites us to reconsider biblical characters before turning to in-class writing prompts and adding our own voices to an age-old tradition. No previous biblical knowledge or creative writing experience necessary.
 
Led by Sivan Rotholz
Wednesdays, February 16, 23, March 2 @ 12–1:30 p.m. EST
$108 for three-session immersion

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Writing from Single Words of Torah

Can one word of Torah be the basis of a poem? A sermon? A meditation? A kavannah? In this playful and generative writing workshop, liturgist Alden Solovy will guide us in examining individual words of Torah, followed by creative writing exercises in response.
 
Led by Alden Solovy
Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022 @ 7–8:30 p.m. EST/EDT
Free standalone session

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Finding Your Inner Voice through Poetry

In this workshop, we will experiment with writing activities in order to access some of our concerns, thoughts and unique language styles. Both new and experienced poets are welcome! We will explore with a sense of curiosity and mutual support.
 
Led by Cathy Cohen
Thursday, March 3 @ 7–8:30 p.m. EST 
Free standalone session

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Writing God

Part of the "Creative Writing as Spiritual Practice Series" with Joy Ladin

We will examine a wide range of examples of this power in biblical and other traditional religious texts, and in modern and contemporary poems, and practice techniques we find there to learn to create language to reflect and extend our own sense of the divine.
 
Led by Joy Ladin
Mondays, March 7, 14, 21, 2022 @ 2–3:30p.m. EDT/EST
This immersion is part of the "Creative Writing as Spiritual Practice Series," which includes three immersions.
$108 for three-session immersion // $300 for full series (save $24)

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Subversive Seder: Writing Prayers from the Haggadah

The Haggadah is the liturgical centerpiece of the Passover seder. With subversive undertones, the story is a potent prompt for new writing. Where does that story lead?
 
Led by Alden Solovy
Tuesdays, March 8, 15, 29, April 5, 2022 @ 7–8:30 p.m. EST/EDT
$144 for four-session immersion

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Citizen of the World: Amplifying Your Voice Through Poetry

Poetic exploration as a path to gemilut hasadim (acts of lovingkindness) is our aim in this three-session Immersion, open to new and experienced poets. We'll sample the wisdom and questions of Jewish poets who address such topics as social justice, diversity, climate justice and gender equity. 
 
Led by Cathy Cohen
Mondays, April 4, 11, 25 @ 7–8:30 p.m. EDT
$108 for three-session immersion

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Sacred Vessel: A Creative Cleansing for Passover

In this workshop we will use embodied creative practices including breath, sound, and movement to clear out and prepare our vessel for whatever creativity is ready to flow through us.
 
Led by Elana Bell
Thursday, April 7 @ 12–1:30 p.m. EDT
free standalone session

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Emerging from our Inner Mitzrayim: A Journey toward Creative Freedom

In this four-session workshop, we will use embodied practices, including breathing, sound meditation, and movement to quiet the inner critic, calm the nervous system, and open the creative channel. From that place we will explore generative prompts designed to free your creative expression.
 
Led by Elana Bell
Thursdays, April 21, 28, May 5, 12 @ 12–1:30 p.m. EDT
$144 for four-session immersion

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Begin with Story: A Dip into the Fictive Imagination

In this generative workshop, we’ll discuss the pathways toward crafting fiction and then write from a prompt designed to free your imagination. This workshop is for anyone who wants to surprise themselves on the page.
 
Led by Amy Gottlieb
Thursday, April 28 @ 12–1:30 p.m. EDT
free standalone session

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Conjure a Story: An Introduction to Writing (Jewish) Fiction

In this generative workshop for writers of all levels, we’ll delve into the craft of writing fiction, stretch our imaginative muscles, and explore the myriad ways to tell a story. 
 
Led by Amy Gottlieb
Wednesdays, May 4, 11, 18, 25, June 1, 8 @ 12–1:30 p.m. EDT
$144 for four-session immersion

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What Past Participants Had to Say ...

Past Immersions

20202021

  • The Soul’s Transit: 24 Hours of Neshama | Trisha Arlin, Using prompts, short guided mediations and discussion, liturgist Trisha Arlin guided us in following the journeys of our neshamot/souls.
  • Telling the Soul's Stories: Spiritual Anecdote and Autobiography Part of the "Creative Writing as Spiritual Practice Series" | Dr. Joy Ladin, We looked at examples of spiritual anecdote and autobiography, discussing the communicability and incommunicability of spiritual experience, and practiced using midrash, haiku, and self-inventory to develop our own spiritual narratives.
  • Reading & Writing Poetry as Sacred Jewish Text | Jake Marmer, We explored a variety of approaches to spiritual writing by modern and post-modern poets, contemplating our way toward a new Jewish sacred poetics.
  • Poetics of Silence | Jake Marmer, We explored powerful poetic works that address the ways we can experience, describe, and share our silences.
  • Ingredients of Prayer: Writing Contemporary Liturgy Alden Solovy, a spiritual journey that deepened our core understanding of prayer and honed our writing skills for creating new Jewish liturgy. 
  • Writing Poetic Midrash from the Book of Genesis | Alden Solovy, We explored and created poetic midrash from Sefer Bereishit (the Book of Genesis). 
  • “I” and “You”: The Power of Pronouns in Establishing Divine-Human Relationships Part of the "Creative Writing as Spiritual Practice Series" | Dr. Joy Ladin, We talked about how “I” and “you” work in human relationships and in traditional prayer, how addressing a “you” changes what we mean by “I,” and how we can say “you” in ways that open ourselves up to infinity and make us places where change can happen. 
  • The Power of "AND": Parataxis in Praise, Lament, And Prophecy | Dr. Joy Ladin, We examined examples of parataxis – listing things without specifying connections between them – in daily life, psalm and prophetic writing, practiced using lists to foster creativity, and learned techniques for arranging them to broaden the scope of our spiritual writings.
  • Heshvan: Integrating the High Holidays | Dr. Mira Neshama Niculescu, We learned to integrate the transformational power of the High Holidays in our daily lives, all year long. 
  • Resting in Heshvan: When Doing Nothing Makes Everything Possible | Dr. Mira Neshama Niculescu, Using Jewish meditation practices, niggunim (wordless melodies), text study, and creative ritual, we explored how to make the most of this gift of pausing, so that we can fully integrate the powerful journey of the High Holidays in our everyday lives. 
  • Latin-Jewish High Holiday Practice: An Exploration of Cultural Identity and Ritual | Kimberly Dueñas and Analucía Lopezrevoredo of Jewtina y Co., In parallel sessions led in English and Spanish, we explored the ways in which cultural identity informs our ritual practices.
  • Aligning Ourselves for the New Year | Rabbi Daniel Raphael Silverstein, In this four-part series, we we prepared for the end of our year, and the beginning of a new one, through spiritual teachings and reflective writing on the year that has been and the one to come.
  • Embodied Jewish Practice for Self-Care & Wellness | Yoshi Silverstein, This five-part series explored what it means to move in relationship to the environment and to those around us through a framework inspired by and playing with Jewish wisdom and tradition. 
  • Renewing Our Communities and Ourselves: An Elul Workshop SeriesParticipants had the option to join up to four inspiring rabbis on a journey of shared reflection, learning and renewal. 
  • Return to Self through the Writings of Etty Hillesum: A Five-Day Intensive | Hila Ratzabi, This is a five-day intensive for participants to engage in spiritual practices inspired by the writings of Etty Hillesum to go inward in preparation for the transformative experience of Yom Kippur.
  • Klei Kodesh – Spiritual Tools for Challenging Times | Rabbi Elisa GoldbergThis interactive workshop explored the klei kodesh, the spiritual tools, we need as we turn inward through Teshuvah, upward with Tefillah and outward through Tzedakah
  • Holy Words for Troubled Times: Masterclass in Liturgical Poetry | Alden Solovy, In this masterclass each participant will have the opportunity to deepen their own work with a combination of one-on-one coaching with Alden, masterclass reading and workshopping, small group workshopping and sessions on advanced topics in liturgical writing.
  • Art for Activists: Using Creativity to Experience Rest and to Renew Energy | Rabbi Bec Richman, This three-part series used the methodology of the Jewish Studio Process to help participants find restoration and redefine their call to the work they do in the world.
  • Lighting the Path Within: Jewish Mysticism & Meditation | Hadar Cohen, During Hanukkah and the darkest time of the year, this series to shined a light on our inner worlds through the wisdom of Jewish mysticism and meditation with a deep dive into ancient texts and practices. 
  • Soulcation: A Global Jewish Tour, With travel plans cancelled and folks sheltering in place, six rabbis across the globe were our tour guides in exploring their local Jewish geography, uncovering fascinating hidden gems of history, and sharing teachings that inspire. 
  • Time for Healing, A Time for Hope: Setting Intentions for 2021, The wonderful rabbis from Rabbi Connect helped us to set our kavannot (intentions) for a year of transformation and healing. 
  • Embodying Purim Joy: Hasidic and Shtetl Dance with Rabbi Daniel Brenner, A special holiday event, where we utilized a folktale to magically transport ourselves to the shtetl of the 1880s, learn about the movements and gestures of Jews who lived in the Pale of Settlement, and do some not-too-complicated dance moves with the upper body that can be done in a chair or standing. 
  • From Brokenness to Holiness: Engaging the Creative Mind to Heal the Wounded Will, This immersion took participants on a journey of exploring and employing intentional processes and practices to engage with brokenness.
  • On the Path to Liberation: A Jewish Men’s Series, A series for Jewish men* in preparation for Passover & our own liberation where they explored their individual and collective mitzrayim or narrow places. 
  • Journeying to Sinai: Seven Workshops for the Omer, A creative, spiritual journey from Exodus to Revelation, with weekly workshops taught by rabbis, poets and spiritual leaders.
  • Revelation and Relationship: Receiving Torahin a Time of Global Change, In this session we explored a new way to receive Torah – in the broadest sense of the word.
  • Rise and Rebuild: Tending our Individual and Collective Grief with Dor and Ophir Haberer, Together we unearthed the longings underneath the grief and vision together what it means for us to rebuild the temple in these diasporic times.
  • Gates of Awe: Writing New High Holiday Liturgy | Alden Solovy, We prepared for the High Holidays with an exploration of four treasures from our High Holy Day Machzor by examining the Unetaneh Tokef (Power of the Day), Vidui (Confession), Kol Nidre (Release), and Avinu Malkeinu (Almighty and Merciful).
  • Dreamwork as a Window to the Soul | Rabbi Haviva Ner-David, We dove into the wonderful world of dreamwork influenced by Haviva's experience in spiritual companionship. Together with our hevruta dream partners, we discussed texts on dreams in pairs and as a group, and worked one another's dreams in class, with Haviva demonstrating and offering guidance.

2019–2020

  • Peering into the Kabbalah: A Very Short Introduction to Jewish Mysticism with Joel Hecker, PhD, This course served as a brief introduction to some of the features of Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah from its earliest appearances in the Hebrew Bible to the Hasidism of the 18th century.
  • Creating Resilience: Writing and Spiritual Practice Inspired by Etty Hillesum with Hila Ratzabi, In this series of online gatherings we read and discussed Hillesum’s writings as a springboard for creating our own writing and spiritual practices. 
  • Writing from Sacred Text with Alden Solovy, In this series we explored four texts as the basis of writing your own new liturgical compositions and examined sacred texts that challenge, provoke and inspire.
  • Poetry as Sanctuary: The Journey Continues with Cathleen Cohen and Chelsea Jackson, We explored ekphrasis and finding inspiration through visual art, poems as Midrash, and the use of poetic forms. 
  • Meet Me at the Well: Ritual Creation Workshop, This series took us through the basic principles of ritual building, and guide us toward creating our own rituals, in this three-part series.
  • Into the Depths: Exploring Ritual Immersion in the MikvehThis three-part series will feature conversations with members of the Rising Tide Open Waters Mikveh Network, text study, videos and opportunities for creative expression and workshopping a ritual.
  • Beneath the Surface: Spiritual Boot Camp with Rabbi Jacob Staub, In this series we dove deeply into an array of practices that bring us closer to a relationship with the Divine: Jewish mindfulness meditation, lovingkindness meditation, chanting and spiritual direction.

2018–2019

  • Food Justice with Rabbi Mordechai Liebling and Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, We examined the conditions of farmworkers past and present, organizing history and the worker-driven social responsibility model, “voting with your fork,” the efficacy of labeling and the politics of the fair trade movement and much more. 
  • Ingredients of Prayer: Writing Contemporary Liturgy with Alden Solovy, a spiritual journey that deepened your core understanding of prayer and honed your writing skills for creating new Jewish liturgy. 
  • Forgiveness and Spirituality for Therapists with Rabbi Elisa Goldberg, This interactive workshop helped clinicians to understand and support clients grappling with the process of seeking forgiveness and those working to forgive. 
  • Death and Mourning: Jewish Roots and Contemporary Ritual with Rabbi Linda Holtzman, This course examined traditional Jewish approaches to death and mourning and the values that underlie them.
  • #ZeroWastePassover: The Life-Changing Mitzvah of Tidying Up with Betsy Teutsch, With a nod to the decluttering rituals introduced by Japanese organizing consultant and author Marie Kondo, we explored the process of sacred downsizing during the weeks leading up to Passover.
  • Embodied Ritual for Trauma, Resilience and Healing with Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg, We discussed how trauma theory and the tools of Jewish ritual can help us to grieve and process hurts we’ve experienced, build resilience and power for surviving and thriving in oppressive conditions and experience joy, growth and celebration. 
  • Will You Marry Me? Officiating Jewish Weddings with Rabbi Annie Lewis, This session covered the nuts and bolts of traditional Jewish wedding rituals and creative approaches to crafting meaningful ceremonies, customized for each couple.

 

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