Jacob J. Staub, Ph.D., was ordained at RRC in 1977 and has been on the faculty since 1983 (including 15 years as academic dean). Today, he serves as professor of Jewish philosophy and spirituality, director of eVolve: Groundbreaking Conversations, and director of the Jewish Spiritual Direction Program, which he was instrumental in developing. Spiritual direction is a contemplative practice that helps individuals discern God's presence in their lives. While the program is voluntary, 75 percent of the College's students participate each year.
Staub's own spiritual quest led him to complete certification in mindfulness leadership training with Sylvia Boorstein, a widely respected teacher of mindfulness meditation. He teaches meditation and spirituality at RRC and has taught Jewish spiritual direction across North America, including at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. He currently is co-director of Bekhol Levavkha: A Training Program for Jewish Spiritual Directors at HUC-JIR New York.
"It is a great source of pride that we at RRC were the first to develop a program in Jewish spiritual direction and to offer it to people training for the rabbinate," he says. "The history of the Jewish people includes a great variety of contexts and forms in which our ancestors sanctified their lives and heightened their awareness of God's presence in the every day. Jewish spiritual direction works so well in a Reconstructionist context because it encourages diverse approaches to the discernment of the divine."