Jewish Spiritual Director Training Program | Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

ACADEMICS

Jewish Spiritual Director Training Program

בְּכָל־דְּרָכֶיךָ דָעֵהוּ - Know God in All Your Ways
ACADEMICS

Jewish Spiritual Director Training Program

בְּכָל־דְּרָכֶיךָ דָעֵהוּ - Know God in All Your Ways

Jewish Spiritual Direction offers a unique opportunity to explore our relationship with the Holy — the mystery we call God. Spiritual directors accompany others as they reflect on their spiritual journeys and expand their awareness of the sacred dimensions that infuse the ordinary and the extraordinary events of life. Through reflection, practice and response, directors support people to cultivate their inner lives and deepen their connection with others, with creation and with the Source of Life.

The Kotzker Rebbe said: God is present where we let God in. Spiritual direction is a practice that supports us to let God in.

A Jewish Spiritual Director recognizes the spiritual hunger of contemporary Jews. Drawing on our heritage to create a contemporary model of spiritual companionship, a Jewish Spiritual Director helps people to connect experiences of the holy to Jewish vocabulary and tradition, explore Jewish pathways that sustain the inner life and inspire participation in spiritual community.

Bekhol Derakhekha Da’ehu (“Know God in all of your ways,” Proverbs 3:6) offers participants a wonderful opportunity for professional growth and personal transformation. Participants will:

  • Explore and practice the art of Jewish Spiritual Direction. Areas of study will include Holy Listening, Discernment, Contemplative Psychology, Boundaries and Ethics, and Phases of the Spiritual Journey. Students will learn to offer spiritual direction by participating in individual and small group settings.
  • Cultivate contemplative mind and presence. Spiritual direction is a contemplative practice, involving silent attention to God, reflection and response.
  • Engage classical Jewish sources on Spiritual Formation. We will learn from our prophets, sages and mystics about continuing awareness of God and moral development. From rabbinic wisdom and Hasidic teachings, we will explore transformative practices that can help cultivate a mature spirituality.
  • Explore the redemptive dimension of Spiritual Direction. We will explore how a deepening awareness of the Holy and the interconnectedness of life sustains our work to heal the world.

Program Details

  • Monthly classes with Dr. Barbara Breitman will meet in-person for two years to integrate the theory and practice of spiritual direction as participants engage in experiential and skill-building exercises, real plays and group practices.
  • Two semesters of in-person or online weekly classes with Rabbi Jacob Staub on Contemplative Jewish Practices, including meditation, chanting and contemplative reading of texts, and Jewish Theologies and Jewish Texts for Spiritual Direction.
  • Biweekly calls with a hevrutah partner. Participants will be paired and will meet via phone or Skype for one hour each week to develop their skills at contemplative listening and to share their experiences with practice assignments and readings.
  • Bimonthly calls with a mentor to reflect on your own growth in this training.
  • Monthly meetings with an approved spiritual director for two years.
  • Monthly meetings with one to two directees and an approved supervisor in the second year.
  • Capstone project.

Application Info

Visit this link for an application to the program.

The application deadline is Aug. 31, 2018. Please contact Rabbi Jacob Staub at jstaub@rrc.edu for additional information. Interviews will be scheduled after the application and references are received.

Tuition for Bekhol Derakhekha Da’ehu is $2,500/year for two years. In addition, participants are responsible for compensating their own spiritual directors and, in the second year, for their supervisor’s fees.

Courses

Over the course of two years, participants will take four courses:

  • Two year-long courses with Dr. Barbara Breitman that will meet monthly, 10 times, on Wednesday evenings, for 2.5 hours. These 20 class meetings will integrate the theory and practice of spiritual direction as participants engage in experiential and skill-building exercises, real plays and group practices. (These two courses are the only parts of the program that must be attended in person.)
    • In 2018-19, the class will meet at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote PA at 7:00 p.m. on 9.26.18, 10.10, 10.31,12.5, 1.9.19, 2.6, 3.13, 4.10, 5.8 and 6.5.
  • Two courses with Rabbi Jacob Staub that will meet weekly, 12 times, for two hours.
    • “Contemplative Jewish Practices,” including meditation, chanting and contemplative reading of texts.  This course will meet in the fall 2018 term at 3:40 p.m. on 9.26, 10.3, 10.10, 10.17, 10.24, 10.31, 11.7, 11.14, 11.28, 12.5, 12.12 and 12.19.
       
    • “Jewish Theologies and Jewish Texts for Spiritual Direction”— times and dates to be announced. 

Faculty

Barbara E. Breitman, DMin, LCSW, co-founder of the Spiritual Direction program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1999, has served as the Director of Training since the program’s inception. A founding teacher of Lev Shomea, the first institute to train spiritual directors in the Jewish tradition, she has helped to establish Spiritual Direction programs at Hebrew College and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She is co-editor of Jewish Spiritual Direction: An Innovative Guide from Traditional and Contemporary Sources.

Jacob J. Staub is Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Spirituality at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He co-founded and co-directed Bekhol Levavkha: A Program for Training Jewish Spiritual Directors at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. He has directed the Spiritual Direction Program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College since it began in 1999. He is a spiritual director, supervises spiritual directors and co-authored Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach.