Makom@Adat Shalom is an invitation to the contemplative side of Judaism. Read Hazzan Rabbi Rachel Hersh's response to "What is Contemplative Judaism?" here

Makom@Adat Shalom is an opportunity to bring together members of the Adat Shalom community who are engaged in mindfulness practices, some Jewish, such as meditation and mussar study; and some originating outside of Judaism, such as hatha yoga and silent retreat. It is also an invitation to members who have no exposure to this side of Jewish life but who are interested in exploring these practices. Makom is the Hebrew word for “place” and also one of our Jewish names for “God”: the Place that contains us all, the Place that is filled with compassion, the Place that inspires the pursuit of justice.

This effort in our synagogue community complements our foundational practices of Jewish communal prayer, study, and social justice. Makom@Adat Shalom includes events that have been part of our community for years, such as silent retreats and healing services. If you have had a desire to turn off the noise of daily life and turn to nourishing spiritual fare, these programs might be a step on that path. If you have questions about or suggestions for Makom@Adat Shalom, contact Fran Zamore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please check the Adat Shalom website, listserve and MaChadash for specific dates and times for all program activities.

Makom Meditation
Jewish tradition has an ancient context for mindful silence, and that is Shabbat.
A Jewish Mindfulness Meditation practice is offered the first Shabbat of each month just prior to services in the Sanctuary (9-9:30 AM). Guided meditation will be based on either the season, the Torah portion or other Jewish gateways. This half-hour meditation is appropriate for people new to meditation as well as experienced meditators.

Congregant Fran Zamore who has studied with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and is a graduate of their Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Program will lead these sessions.

Makom Sacred Hebrew Chanting
Chanting is a powerful spiritual technology. Sacred words become “the lanterns” that enable us to heal and bless (both self and others). Chanting in community has both personal and communal benefits: deepening one’s center and being part of a group enhances the energy in the experience. It is often in the silence after the chant, that one’s soul experiences divine insight.

Congregant Paul/Pesach Zeitz (and friends) who was trained as a chant leader by Rabbi Shefa Gold's Kol Zimra program will lead these sessions.

Wise Aging
Using various modalities — journaling, sharing, text study, active listening, meditation — members are guided through reflective work which enables them to come to new understandings about their lives, their values and themselves. They acquire skills for making changes which lead to a deeper sense of well-being as they grow older, a richer sense of what the remainder of their lives can be.
The program uses the book, Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience and Spirit, which was written by Linda Thal and Rachel Cowen of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Topics include: becoming one’s authentic self; revitalizing and nourishing relationships; forgiveness; living with loss; conscious dying; cultivating spiritual qualities for well-being; leaving a legacy; and more.

This 9-session group will be facilitated by congregants Larry Goldsmith and Margi Heisel-Arnold who have both been trained as Wise Aging facilitators by the authors.

Spiritual Direction
The object of Jewish Spiritual Direction is to learn and develop — through discernment — to cultivate one’s ability to discern God’s presence in one’s life, to maintain an awareness of the interconnectedness of all things, to explore ways to be open to the Blessed Holy One in challenging, difficult, and joyful moments. The 1.5 hour monthly sessions consist of groups of 6-8 and are structured in a specific way where there are no judgments and no advice-giving. Participants speak from their experience and desires; through speaking and deep listening to themselves and to each other they find ways to put words to feelings that often have no room in regular day to day existence. There is nothing directive in spiritual direction. Groups start in the Fall and end in June.

Congregants Larry Goldsmith and Susana Isaacson, both certified Spiritual Directors, facilitate these groups.

Makom Quiet Retreats
A Quiet Retreat offers the opportunity for letting go of the hectic pace of life and bringing our kavanah (intention) and attention to connecting with the Divine. During a Quiet Retreat, most of our time is spent within the sanctuary of silence. It is a time to be silent and open to an encounter with God, Godliness and our own tzelem Elohim (being in the image of God.)

Adat Shalom's guided communal Quiet Retreats include opening and closing circles, guided entry into and out of silence, and extended times of silent reflection. Different options for your silent reflection will be suggested.

The retreats are facilitated by congregant Kit Turen, who is experienced in the spiritual gift of quiet and silent retreats.

Makom Healing Circles
A Jewish Healing Circle provides a structured time and place of prayer, reflection, meditation and communal connection for us when we are seeking healing, including when we are coping with illness, grief, loss and other traumas. It is a place that invites God to be in relationship with us when we are suffering and hope for healing. It draws upon traditional Jewish liturgy (e.g., niggunim, blessings, psalms, prayers) and liturgically non-traditional texts and activities (e.g. poetry, communal sharing, and consciousness of the breath and of the body.) Through a Jewish healing circle, one may derive spiritual strength from Jewish liturgy, quiet reflection, meditation and from personal sharing and listening.

Healing Circles will be facilitated by congregants, Rabbi Sandy Rubenstein, Marla Zippin and Susana Isaacson

Makom Yoga
In rhythm with the Jewish calendar, we will learn and practice basic shapes of hatha yoga, approaching them with an awareness of the Jewish wisdom of the seasons as observed in Jewish mystical tradition. Open to all, beginner and veteran yoga practitioners. Bring a yoga mat — all other props provided.

Yoga will be led by Hazzan Rabbi Rachel and congregant Sue Dorfman, both are certified yoga instructors.

Makom Laughing Yoga
Laughing Yoga is a fun and profound blend of yogic laughter games, guided deep relaxation, yogic breathing practices and meditation designed to ease us into a profound level of peace, joy and relaxation. The word “yoga” literally mean “union,” specifically the union between our limited body/mind and a higher, Sacred Self that ordinarily escapes us. Besides its healing benefits, laughing yoga helps us open up and tune in to our Sacred Self, releasing the heart energy and connecting us to the people around us. Cultivating your own "laughing" state of mind will help you bring the benefits of this practice into your day to day life.

This will be facilitated by Paul Zeitz and/or Kit Turin who have both been trained as laughing yoga facilitators.