AT A GLANCE
- Launch of the new aleph.org website
- Total Contributed Revenue: $328,391
- Total Program/Service Revenue: $960,201
- Total Reb Zalman Memorial Endowment Fund Contributions: $32,848
- Total Revenue: $1,288,593
- Total Expenses: $1,242,588
- Net Surplus: $45,465
- Number of 2014 ALEPH members: 762
- Affiliated Communities: 50
- Remembering Reb Zalman: 600+ in person, 2000+ via webcast, $79,874 raised
- End of Year Fundraiser: $61,842
2014 was more than a year of transitions. It was the end of an era and the dawn of a new period for ALEPH.
With the passing of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l, we have entered a profound “coming of age” at ALEPH and in Jewish Renewal. As our Founder and beloved teacher has gone on to his “next deployment”, as he often put it, the mantle of leadership of Jewish Renewal is now aleynu — upon us all.
Reb Zalman left no singular successor, but like a great oak, seeded many new trees to populate a forest of Renewal. Through the many transformational innovations and pioneering practices that he established, developed, or encouraged, from Deep Ecumenism to Davvenology, EcoKashrut to Sage-ing, Rabbinic Pastors to Chant Leadership, Reb Zalman’s spiritual DNA reached far and wide. Not just in Jewish Renewal circles, but across the Jewish and indeed the whole spiritual landscape. As the great teacher/poet Rumi reminds us, “When you’ve opened your loving to G!D’s loving, you are helping people you don’t know and have never met!” This was nowhere more true than in the paradigm shifting neshama/soul of Reb Zalman.
We were able to bring Reb Zalman home to Boulder via air ambulance after he fell ill in June, and he spent Shabbat twice more in his own home before he passed. This was of immeasurable comfort to both him and Rebbitzin Eve. The planned 90th Birthday Celebration for Reb Zalman was held as Memorial Tribute Service, and was successful on many levels. Reb Zalman’s memory continues to be an inspiration, a comfort, and a blessing.
We enter 2015 with new faces present on staff and some long time ones absent, as ALEPH restructured its staff and organization. ALEPH established an Executive Staff to collaboratively manage the day to day workings of the organization. The Executive staff consists of the Executive Director overseeing the entire organization; the Director of Operations managing the general operations office in Philadelphia and overseeing our entire operating structure; the Dean and Director of the ALEPH Ordination Programs overseeing our seminary; The Director(s) of Programs developing, coordinating and/or managing the many intensives, trainings, events, and programmatic aspects of ALEPH; and the Director of Engagement managing our outreach, messaging, website and social media presence.
In 2014 the contract position of ALEPH Kallah coordinator was reconfigured as an ongoing Events Coordinator. Sally Plone and her assistant Sheri Levson left the ALEPH staff in spring and ALEPH rabbinic student Jessica Shimberg was hired late in the year to take on the new position. The Events Coordinator will help to manage Kallah, Ruach Ha’Aretz, and other events, under the umbrella of the Directors of Programs.
The positions of Associate Director and Director of Member Services were phased out in the reintegration, and the functions of the ALEPH Beit Midrash were shifted to other areas of the organization or retired. As a result, long serving staffer Rivkah Walton departed our Philadelphia office.
Lastly, ALEPH Executive Director Joe Laur announced his intention to retire from ALEPH at the end of January 2015, and a new Executive Director, Shoshanna Schechter-Shaffin, was hired December 15th to overlap with Joe in his last weeks and take over the reins of the organization. As we emerge from this transitional period in ALEPH’s journey and enter a new era of growth and development under our new Executive Director, we offer a heartfelt thanks to all the departing and remaining ALEPH staffers who have served us this past year with blessings for a fulfilling future.
Integrated Budget Process
ALEPH adopted an integrated budget structure for fiscal year 2014-2015. This shift allows resources to flow more freely throughout the programs, projects and functions of the organization, and focuses on maximizing the whole system, rather than the parts. Adonai Echad, ALEPH Echad. ALEPH seeks to function as one integrated organization.
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi Legacy Endowment
We continued work on our endowment fund, beginning to build the structures needed to ensure ALEPH’s long term financial security. With funds set aside at the end of last year, and with generous effort from a key ALEPH supporter to establish and help fund named scholarship accounts. ALEPH is poised to lay down the financial foundation to keep Renewal renewing for the next 90 years in the post Reb Zalman era. In the coming years, we will be making a push to our members and supporters, to help build this fund through additional donations, legacy gifts, and bequests.
Our T’rumah Financial Aid Fund entered its second year of operation, to help support those who participate in our programs through direct financial aid. Through a modest registration fee on all programs and courses, and earmarking a percentage of operating surpluses and contributions, the T’rumah Fund seeks to ensure that no one is turned away from an ALEPH program for purely financial reasons.
Our fundraising for FY 2014 exceeded its goals, raising nearly $330,000 in contributions, over 25% of our 1.3 million dollar budget. We held our expenses down, enabling us to report an overall operating surplus of over $45,000. We have reached 762 paying members and 50 affiliated communities in our network, with over 5,000 people on our mailing list. Our year-end fund drive for 2014, for the fourth year in a row, set a new record, not only matching a $5,200 challenge from our Board of Directors, but exceeding our year end goal of $45,000; raising $61,842! That’s 137% of our goal, provided ongoing funding for our programmatic needs. Our membership not only matched, but surpassed the leadership gifts by a factor of twelve! We’ve raised over $32,000 in restricted funds to date for the Reb Zalman Memorial Endowment Fund, and our fundraising at the Remembering Reb Zalman Memorial Tribute Event brought in roughly $80,000 to support Reb Zalman’s legacy through ALEPH and the sustain the work of his office as Rebbitzin Eve Ilsen and personal assistant Mary Foster settle his affairs. Kol HaKvod to all of our supporters, staff, and Board who worked to achieve these milestones!
The beautiful concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. Our Kol ALEPH online magazine was viewed over 42,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 16 sold-out performances for that many people to see it!
The top stories of the year were:
- Reb Zalman z”l (1924-2014) July 2014
- Remembering Reb Zalman — August 15-17 March 2014
- “The Emerging Cosmology” – Transcript of Reb Zalman at HH the Dalai Lama’s Roundtable August 2014
- Reb Zalman and the Origins of Post-Holocaust American Judaism January 2014
- Welcome Shoshanna Schechter-Shaffin; ALEPH’s Incoming Executive Director December 2014
Our Facebook Page and Twitter feed have over 2,000 combined followers, and the Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l – Getting It Together, Together page on Facebook is still receiving tributes and blessings for our dear founder and teacher.
And the long awaited new ALEPH website is now launched and live at aleph.org! The site, nearly three years in the making, is light years ahead of our old site, and is a bright reflection of and essential tool for the work of Jewish Renewal in the years to come.
ALEPH Programs and Projects
Reb Zalman’s Memorial Tribute Event
What was originally envisioned as a 90th birthday celebration, transformed into a stunning memorial tribute to this radical soul who touched so many lives and shifted so many paradigms. Over 600 souls attended in person and over 2000 participated via live streaming of Reb Zalman’s Memorial Tribute, making this one of the largest Jewish Renewal gatherings ever! This historic event was successful in all four worlds, providing support for Rebbetzin Eve Ilsen to conserve Reb Zalman’s work and legacy, providing support for ALEPH to continue its work of fostering Jewish Renewal worldwide, and filling many hearts, minds and souls with Reb Zalman’s presence, thought, and memory.
We offer special todot/thanks and k’vod/honor — to the Planning Committee who volunteered long hours to design the program; the Host Committee who underwrote a large portion of the cost and made the event viable, the ALEPH staff who put in many hours, both on and offsite to make the logistics flow, and everyone in every Jewish Renewal corner of the world who spread the word, donated funds, and participated in some way.
Jack and Judith Lief
Helena Rachel Foster
Rabbinic Pastor David Daniel Klipper
Rabbi Yocheved Mintz
Rabbi Jeff Roth & Joanna Katz
Esther & Zeh Amarante
Andalin Alan Bachman
Linda Jo Doctor & Rabbi Elliott Ginsburg
Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer
Lucinda Kurtz & Oran Hesterman
Susan Raskin Abrams
Sara Schley & Joe Laur
Eliana Nadyne Lee
Jade Netanya Ullmann
Rabbi Jay Weinstein
Program and Planning Committee
Rabbi Phyllis Berman
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone
Rabbi Elyse Seidner-Joseph
Special thanks Jeremy Parnes, ALEPH Board Chair and Judith Dack
David Brown, Director of Operations
Ming Shem Lu, Ordination Program Administrator & Program and Retreat Registrations
Lynda Simons, Finance and Membership Coordinator
Decorator of the Sacred Space at Omni and Boulder Theater
Rev. Sandy Pond
We want to give a special call out those who taught and led the program over the weekend. They came on their own ticket, at their own cost, and gave beautifully to the kahal. They include:
|Rabbi Arthur WaskowRabbi Rachel BarenblatRabbi Phyllis BermanRabbi Lori KleinRabbi Hannah DresnerRabbi Nadya GrossRabbi Victor GrossRabbi Tirzah FirestoneRabbi Marcia Prager
Cantor Jack Kessler
Rabbi Yocheved Mintz
Rabbi Shaya Isenberg
Reverend Bahira Sugarman
Rabbi Jeff Roth
Rabbi Michael Paley
Father Matthew Fox
Acharya Judith Lief
Rabbi Art Green
Chazzan Richard Kaplan
Murshid Allaudin Ottinger
|Rabbi Sarah Bracha GershunyRabbi Jack GabrielRodger KamenetzCantor Cindy FreedmanJanice RubinSharon AlexanderKaren RoekardAmitai GrossHal Aqua
Rabbi David Zaslow
Rabbi Elyse Seidner Joseph
Rabbi Burt Jacobson
Rabbi Jeff Roth
Rabbi Goldie Milgram
Rabbi Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin
Rabbi Leah Novick
Rabbi Elliot Ginsburg
|Rabbi Chava BahleRabbi Diane ElliotShir Yaakov FeitRabbi Shalom SchachterRabbi Julie DananBarbara BreitmanRabbinic Pastor David Daniel KlipperShoshana CooperLinda Jo Doctor
Rabbi Anne Brener
Ellen Kaufman Dosick
Rabbi Wayne Dosick
Rabbi Ed Stafman
Rabbi Paula Marcus
Rabbi Tsurah August
Rabbi Raachel Jurovics
Rabbi Dan Gordon
Many blessings to you all. May the Source of All grant us peace and long life; may Reb Zalman’s soul soar ever higher, and his memory and legacy be allways for a blessing.
In 2014, the ALEPH Beit Midrash program integrated into our other programs, with the ALEPH Ordinations Program taking over responsibility for most of the distance-learning classes. ALEPH is working with OHALAH about taking responsibility for continuing education courses, as it makes more sense for the clergy association to handle ongoing education of its members. ALEPH also entered into an agreement with Kolbo Fine Judaica to handle book and other media sales, creating a special Jewish Renewal category on their soon to be launched new website. Watch for this launch in the near future. And ALEPH launched the definitive edited version of Reb Zalman’s “Psalms in a Translation for Praying,” in spring of 2014. ALEPH Canada will continue to offer downloads of many of Reb Zalman’s and other seminal works.
ALEPH Canada’s year was notable for its transitions, both minor and significant. This summer, with deep sadness and heavy hearts we said goodbye to our beloved Reb Zalman. Three Canadian congregations – in Vancouver, Regina and Montreal – joined with others around the planet in hosting community shloshim gatherings. Reb Zalman will be deeply missed even as his example continues to motivate us to continue the work of renewing Judaism in a universal context.
To honour the memory of Reb Zalman, and to further his living legacy, this year ALEPH Canada’s Rabbinic Director Rabbi Daniel Siegel announced the creation of the Integral Halachah Institute (IHI). The IHI replaces the ALEPH Beit Midrash as our major Canadian project. The focus of this institute will be the continuation of Reb Zalman’s sacred work in the areas of spiritual practices, ethical standards, and the routine challenges of trying to live our faith.
This year ALEPH Canada’s staff and board also underwent a number of transitions. We send our love and thanks to Rabbi Neil Rose and rabbinic student Susan Shamash for their contributions to the board over the past few years, and we welcome with great pleasure new board member Miriam Friedman, Executive Director of Beth Jacob Synagogue in Regina, Saskatchewan (and graduate of DLTI7!). We deeply appreciate the work of ALEPH Canada’s Board of Directors for their offerings of time, skills, and leadership. In July, Associate Director Ranaan Mallek resigned his staff position after accepting an invitation to be a rabbinical student at the Masorati Yeshiva in Jerusalem. With his departure, Sherril Gilbert was appointed by ALEPH Canada as Interim Associate Director.
In 2014, Reb Daniel retired from his two salaried positions with ALEPH in order to focus on his teaching and writing. With financial support from ALEPH Canada, Reb Daniel continued to offer new spiritual resources via his blog at rabbidanielsiegel.com, and worked on projects including a booklet for conversion and further development of Siddur and Machzor Kol Koreh.
Finally, this year, ALEPH Canada began a pan-Canadian visioning conversation to imagine and plan for the future of ALEPH and Jewish Renewal in Canada. Reb Daniel visited two communities in the fall of 2014 – B’nai Or Montreal Community Shul and Beth Jacob in Regina – and with Sherril Gilbert, will visit Or Shalom in Vancouver in January 2015 to facilitate and support these conversations. www.alephcanada.ca
ALEPH Ordination Program
The ALEPH Ordination Program accepted one of our larger entering classes this 2014 year… welcoming four new rabbinical students, four new cantorial students, and two new rabbinic pastor students. The ALEPH Hashpa’ah Training Program entered Cohort IV with 18 new students, bringing our total enrollment up to 78 students.
Twelve students completed their studies in 2014, and they will be awarded their smichas at the Ordination Ceremony on Jan 11th 2015:
- Richard Backer, (rabbinic)
- Rebecca Kushner, (rabbinic)
- Evan Krame, (rabbinic)
- David Markus, (rabbinic)
- Abby Michaleski, (rabbinic)
- Lori Shaller, (rabbinic)
- Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser, (rabbinic)
- Shifra Tobacman, (rabbinic)
- Rain Zohav, (rabbinic)
- Daniel Kempin, (cantorial)
- Steven Klaper, (cantorial)
- Heena Reiter, (rabbinic pastor)
In addition OHALAH member Rabbi David Teva, a graduate of RRC, will be awarded a smicha from ALEPH during the OHALAH conference of 2015 in recognition of further studies and in acknowledgement of his contribution to Jewish Renewal.
We entered 2014 with our famously festive Ordination Ceremony on the Sunday preceding the annual OHALAH conference. On January 12th 2014, eight Renewal clergy received their smicha. In the presence of our beloved Reb Zalman z”l, ALEPH welcomed five new rabbis, one rabbinic pastors and two hazzanim into the cadre of ordained Renewal leaders:
- Rabbi Bella Bogart
- Rabbi Hannah Dresner
- Rabbi Cynthia Hoffman
- Rabbi Hannah Nathans
- Rabbi Aura Ahuvia
- Hazzan Cindy Freedman
- Hazzan Leah Frey-Rabine
- Rabbinic Pastor Joni Brenner
In addition OHALAH member Rabbi Keven Hale, a graduate of RRC, was awarded a smicha from ALEPH and Reb Zalman in recognition of his further studies and in acknowledgement of his contribution to Jewish Renewal.
The ALEPH Hashpa’ah Training Program certified and ordained its third cohort of 13 in January, 2014:
- Rabbi Aura Ahuvia
- David Aladjem
- Rabbi Ilan Glazer
- Rabbi Cynthia Hoffman
- Nalini Indorf Kaplan
- Evan Krame
- Nadyne Eliana Lee
- David Evan Markus
- Shira Michael
- Rabbi Sue Mauer Morningstar
- Rabbinic Pastor Stephanie Tivona Reith
- Rabbi Dr. Leslie Ann Schotz
- Lori Shaller
Rabbi Dr. Leslie Schotz became the first ALEPH student to earn a D.Min. focusing on hashpa’ah from New York Theological Seminary as part of our joint program with them. We welcomed Rabbi Nadya Gross as incoming Director and Rabbi Shawn Zevit as incoming Associate Director of the ALEPH Hashpa’ah Training Program. Rabbi Shohama Wiener, the program’s Founding Director and Director for the first three cohorts, remains active on the Training Faculty, and will continue to serve all the ALEPH Ordination Programs as Rosh Hashpa’ah.
The Ordination Program continues to grow and evolve, now offering over 60 full-semester video-conference courses and courses offered at the ALEPH summer retreats Ruach Ha’Aretz, The ALEPH Kallah, and our own AOP Intensive Learning retreat, often called “smicha student week” or simply “ smicha week” for short. Developing these courses includes embracing new teachers, reviewing and refining curricula and initiating new approaches in order to continually refine our performance and fulfill our mission. The Rabbinic Pastor Task Force completed its report and its recommendations have been the basis of several new courses and new approaches. We have embarked upon a comprehensive administrative and decision-making restructuring process based on our adaptation of Dynamic Governance, an organizational method designed to allow organizations to be more effective, transparent, and enjoyable, and to grow without sacrificing their commitment to democracy, accessibility and high-level quality of engagement. This past year AOP was also able to appropriately increase remuneration for VAAD members and faculty, and create a more long-range view of the growth needs of the Program.
The Ordination Program Student Board has become an even stronger voice for students and has most productively collaborated with the VAAD on several significant matters pertaining to the success of the Program. The attractive and clear presentation of AOP in the new ALEPH website, and also its enhanced functionality, will greatly improve our visibility and ease of functioning.
C-DEEP/Kol Zimra Chant Leaders Program
This year CDEEP: Center for Devotional, Energy and Ecstatic Practice, has seen the graduation of 20 new and amazing chant leaders from Kol Zimra 6, our first cohort to graduate from our new east coast home in Mendham, NJ. The nuns at this Episcopal Convent were so fascinated by our work there, that they asked Rabbi Shefa Gold to stay and teach them about the passion she expressed in through our shared Psalms. CDEEP also began a new cohort – Kol Zimra 7, comprised of 21 participants who began their journey of initiation in Santa Fe, NM. These rabbis, cantors, Rabbinic Pastors and lay leaders are from California, Texas, Nevada, Colorado, Florida, New York, Minnesota and Canada.
In August marked the ten-year anniversary of Kol Zimra, celebrated with an Alumni retreat with participants from KZ1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Next year’s alumni retreat will include the new graduates of KZ6.
In addition to the Kol Zimra training, CDEEP will again be offering a week long silent retreat called Ecstatic Meditation that will be held at the Fitzgerald Retreat Center in Jemez Springs, NM. The Jewish practice of Devekut (defined by Yitzhak Buxbaum as God-consciousness imbued with love) inspires us to open to the vastness of the Infinite, while releasing the content of thought, moment to moment. During this week of chant and silence (August 10-16) we will connect to the Divine through the Earth, Water, Fire and Air in the glorious setting of the Jemez Mountains.
CDEEP is reaching out to younger and more tech-savvy leaders. In support of our practice, we have been developing a smartphone app called “Flavors of Gratefulness”, which will soon be available at the AppStore. With this app, you will be able to wake up to a new melody for Modah Ani each morning in order to set you on the path of gratefulness and generosity.
The ALEPH Sage-ing® Mentorship Program
The ALEPH Sage-ing® Mentorship Program had a busy 2014.
Part One “Wisdom of the Heart” was taught as “Sage-ing® in Beauty: The Joys and Oys by Sage-ing® Co-Founders Co-directors Bahira Sugarman and Rabbi Shaya Isenberg July 7-13, 2014 at the Canby Grove Retreat Center in Canby, Oregon at Ruach Ha’Aretz Summer Retreat. Part One will be taught again July 2015.
Co-Directors Rabbis Victor and Nadya Gross taught Part Two, “Death as Home Coming: Life is the Answer” on end of life issues, in Tampa, Florida, January 27-February 1st, 2013, with Rabbi Shaya Isenberg and Bahira Sugarman attending. The Grosses will again teach Part Two in Tampa January 18-23, 2015.
Part Three, the certification part of the ALEPH Sage-ing® Mentorship Program, includes two retreats, one at the beginning and one at the end of the program.
A Second Cohort for Part Three began October 20-25 2013. All participants were required to take Part One and Two before applying for Part Three.
Their studies continued throughout the year, meeting four additional times via teleconference, meeting monthly in chevruta, additional monthly meetings with their faculty advisors and engaging in community projects.
Three of the tele-course sessions, were co-taught by Rabbi Shaya and Rabbi Victor Gross, focusing on Jewish and other sources for Sage-ing®. The fourth tele-course, taught by Co-Director Lynne Iser, focused on creating community as we grow older. In addition this group of twelve met via zoom for additional times to study Reb Zalman’s December Project and offer additional support for their projects.
The Final five-day intensive for Graduation Week, was held October 19-24, 2014 at Pearlstone Retreat Center in Maryland where students presented their inspiring community projects. It was a time of ever deepening learning and connection for us all. Faculty also presented cutting edge work in progress.
The Second certified Cohort of ALEPH Sage-ing® Mentorship Program Graduated October 2014 and were named Vatikim/Elders/Veterans by Reb Zalman: Betty Adler – Chevy Chase, MD; Esther Amarante – San Paulo, Brazil; Yesh Ballon – Palo Alto, CA; Shira Orit Flower Gross – Longwood, FL; Shelley Goldberg – Hellerton, PA and Boynton Beach, FL; Eliana Nadyne Lee – Leitchfield, KY; Rosemary Lohndorf – Louisville, CO; Connie Reider – Annapolis, MD; Elca Rubinstein – Sao Paulo, BRAZIL; Sherry Laness – Kfar Sava ISRAEL; Meira Bracha Sumka – Silver Springs, MD; Ana Szutan – San Paulo, BRAZIL.
Graduates from both Cohorts are engaged in consciously continuing on their Sage-ing® journey in their communities.
Reb Shaya, Bahira and Lynne were honored in August at the Sage-ing® International Conference in Seattle as new members of the Council of Honored Sages for their foundational work over almost 3 decades and recipients of the Sage-ing® Pioneers Award. Reb Zalman is acknowledged and honored as the Founder. Reb Shaya and Bahira offered a workshop “New Perspectives on Forgiveness in Reb Zalman’s Thinking – and How We Can Teach It.” Lynne offered a workshop “Becoming Elders in Our Emerging World and was on a panel discussion for “Sages in Service: Presence and Action”
A Third Cohort for Part Three is scheduled for October 2015.
Embodying Spirit, En~Spiriting Body Retreats
The second cohort of Embodying Spirit, En~Spiriting Body (ESEB2) gathered for its first retreat, “Embodying Prayer,” the week of November 3-9, 2014, at Four Springs Retreat Center in Middletown California. The small but spirited group converged from around the country (Washington state, Oregon, northern California, Massachusetts, Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia) to begin its transformative journey of moving Judaism together. Future retreats in this program include “Embodying Torah” (May, 2015), “Embodying Kabbalah” (November, 2015), and “The Sacred Dance” (May, 2016).
Although small in numbers, the new cohort was delighted to be together and excited by the work. Over the course of the next 18 months, they’ll be supporting one another to bring an embodied approach to Judaism into their home communities, where some serve as lay leaders and others work as Jewish educators. In addition to founding director Rabbi Diane Elliot, faculty include Latifa Kropf, Rabbi Ori Har, Simona Aronow, Julie Leavitt.
To offset expenses and support and further the work, a number of generous benefactors have stepped forward, including several graduates of the program. We were able to raise $4,400 for this first retreat, in addition to support from the ALEPH Terumah Fund, providing three members of the cohort with partial funding for the year.
In the words of participants:
“Such safety and love to be who we truly are and let that come through is a supported, resourced, and joyful community. Shabbat…the best ever experienced! I will never forget it…the climactic high point of the week.”
“The variety and depth of activities was striking. Excellent balance of personal and communal, of listening and doing, of movement and stillness, of sound and silence.”
Ruach Ha’Aretz 2014
Ruach Ha’Aretz welcomed a full house to its summer signature retreat in Canby, OR following the ALEPH Ordinations Program’s Intensive Study Week (Smicha Week) at the same location. The summer retreats were impacted deeply by the death of Reb Zalman – and many expressed gratitude for the opportunity to share in the loss with old and new friends, many who had been close students of our Rebbe, all who had been influenced in some way by his wisdom. The Ruach Kids program continued our tradition of amazing experiences for kids of all ages; returning program director, Mia Cohen and her co-director, Zev Friedman brought new vision and planted seeds for new traditions to emerge. Plans are underway for another Ruach summer retreat in 2015. Concurrent with the summer retreats, Ruach administered the start of Kol Zimra 7, and a Kol Zimra Alumni retreat in Santa Fe, NM, ongoing retreats for the Wisdom School fourth cohort in Colorado and a new (second) cohort of Embodying Spirit, En-Spiriting Body in California, and the second cohort of the Sage-ing® Mentorship Training. Registration is ongoing for Kol Zimra 8, to begin in May, 2015 in NJ and a C-DEEP Ecstatic Meditation Retreat in Jemez Springs, NM.
With changes to the organizational structure of ALEPH, Ruach Ha’Aretz co-Directors, Victor and Nadya Gross, assumed the role of Directors of Programs for ALEPH. All programs are now identified as ALEPH programs, and Ruach Ha’Aretz will refer to the summer retreat.
The Directors of Programs are thrilled to welcome Jessica Shimberg to the programming staff as the new ALEPH Events Coordinator.
Reb Zalman Airlift Home
Our beloved rabbi and founder, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l, fell ill during Shavuot at the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center last June. In a wonderful collaboration, ALEPH and Yesod solicited over $25,000 from angel donors to fund an air ambulance transfer, and Adam Segulah Sher from Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality/Hazon coordinated the logistics of the airlift.
Angel Med air ambulance carried Reb Zalman from St. Francis Hospital in Hartford CT, to Boulder Community Hospital to complete his recovery nearer home. He was able to transfer to his house soon afterward, where he spent his final days exactly where he wanted to be. This was of great importance to Reb Zalman and Eve; being home eased both their spirits and blessedly though unforeseen, allowed Reb Zalman to pass peacefully in his own bed.
This was a wonderful collaborative effort by three organizations that support, and have been supported by, Reb Zalman and Jewish Renewal. The whole enterprise was planned, funded, and executed in just a few days. It’s amazing what can be done when we come together in love and avodah, not worrying who gets the credit. Reb Zalman was grateful and proud.
ALEPH Networked Communities and Havurot Worldwide
2014 saw 5 new communities join the ALEPH network to connect with the larger phenomenon of Jewish Renewal;
- Eitz Chayim (Port Saint Lucie, FL)
- Kavanat HaLev (Carmel, CA)
- Kol Ḥai: Hudson Valley Jewish Renewal (New Paltz, NY)
- Pioneer Valley Jewish Renewal Community (Western Massachusetts)
- Rimon Resource Center for Jewish Spirituality (Berkshires, MA)
We welcome these communities and their members to the ALEPH network!
Ruach Hamidbar-Spirit of the Desert (Scottsdale/Paradise Valley/Phoenix)
B’nai Horin/Children of Freedom (Los Angeles)
Chadesh Yameinu (Santa Cruz)
Chochmat HaLev (Berekeley)
The Elijah Minyan (San Diego)
Shir HaYam (San Diego)
Kehilla Community Synagogue (Piedmont)
Shir Hashirim Minyan (Berkeley)
Makom Ohr Shalom (West Hills)
Kavanat HaLev (Carmel)
Nevei Kodesh (Boulder)
Pardes Levavot (Boulder)
Congregation P’nai Or of Central Connecticut (West Hartford)
Temple Adath Or (Davie)
Or Ahavah (Lutz)
Eitz Chayim (Port Saint Lucie)
Makom Shalom (Chicago)
Am Kolel (Beallsville)
East Bank Havurah (Baltimore/Central Maryland)
B’nai Or Boston (Boston)
Pioneer Valley Jewish Renewal Community (Western Massachusetts)
Rimon Resource for Jewish Spirituality (Berkshires)
Congregation Shir Tikvah (Metropolitan Detroit)
Pardes Hannah (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
Congregation Neve Shalom (St. Louis)
Congregation Beth Shalom (Bozeman)
Havurah Or Ha Lev (Long Valley)
Congregation Nahalat Shalom (Albuquerque)
Romemu (New York City)
Kol Ḥai: Hudson Valley Jewish Renewal (New Paltz)
Temple Or Olam (Concord)
Yavneh: A Jewish Renewal Community (Raleigh)
Havurah Shir Hadash (Ashland)
P’nai Or of Portland (Portland)
P’nai Or (Philadelphia)
Havurah P’nai Yisrael (Charlottesville)
Congregation Eitz Or (Seattle)
Shaarei Shamayim (Madison)
Temple Emmanuel (Sydney)
Jewish Congregation of Brazil — Chavurah Al Sfat ha-Yam (Rio de Janeiro)
Or Shalom (Vancouver)
Beth Jacob Synagogue (Regina)
Ohel Hachidusch (Berlin)
Nava Tehila (Jerusalem)
Jewish Community of Huanuco Beith Etz Chaim-Peru
Ruach Havurah (London)
2014 Members and Donors
Thank you to everyone who supported ALEPH in 2014.
If you made a gift and do not see your name on this list, please contact David Brown at 215.247.9700 x26 or at email@example.com. We apologize for any omissions and will update the list immediately upon notification.
Supporters of the Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi Endowment for Jewish Renewal
(January 1 – December 29, 2014)
B’nai Or of Boston
Ted and Harriet Fredman
Stuart Joel Goldman
Nina Sokol Katzin
Meira Bracha Sumka
Westchester Reform Temple
ALEPH Members and Donors (January 1 – December 29, 2014)
|Jack AaronDavid AbramowitzHessie AbramowitzSusan AbramsBetty AdlerShayndel Adler-EldridgeMarthajoy AftAura AhuviaDavid AladjemLarry Bennett and Garland AllenHelaine AlpertSusan AltermanJose Amarante
Nina Amir Lacey
Shari and Stephen Ashman
Ann and Mike Atkin
David Backer and Sandy O’Day
Barry and Barbara Epstein Fund
Janet and David Batlan
April Beer & Mick Gyure
Leila Gal Berner
Aaron and Patience Bousel
C Sagan and B Morris
The Generations Fund Charles Schwab
Rita Karuna Cahn
Keren Chaya Carter
Rachel Meira Chmiel
Richard Cohen and Elizabeth Gouverneur
Andrea Cohen Kiener
Congregation Beth El
Amy Danziger Tenenbaum
David and Barbara Sussman Philanthropic Fund
Sarah and Austin de Besche
Dennis Mankin and John DeVincentis
Linda Jo Doctor
Don and Michelle Drury
Ebsco Industries, Inc.
Stephanie and Mark Eidelman
Matthew and Derek Eidinger
Rob Wulff and Jim Eimers
The Lisa and Ernest Auerbach Family Foundation
James and Deb Feiner
Michael and Susan Feinstein
Shir Yaakov Feit
Edward and Merle Feld
Mark & Shari Felix
Yonina Andrea Foster
Nancy Fuchs Kreimer
Alan and Joy Ganapol
Goldblatt Fund of the Austin Community Foundation
Andrew Goldman and Susan Heilbron
Susan and George Gomez
|Owen GottliebEvlyn GouldHadar GrabelSarah GrafsteinAlan GreenDevora GreenSteven GreenLinda GreeneLioubov GriffinNadya GrossTeri GrossblattAmy Grossblatt PessahMarc Grossman
Halley & Ruth Anne Faust
Ori Har DiGennaro
Janne Harrelson, Deborah Weiner and Lucy Youyou Weiner Harrelson
Carolyn and Philip Henderson
Ellen and David Epstein Herbert and Selma Chubin
Alexis Chark Hill
Chester and Stephanie Hooper
Anita and Fred Hotchkiss
Wayne Steinman and Sal Iacullo
Elana Jagoda Kaye
Jewish Communal Fund Diane M. Sharon Philanthropic Fund
Joan and Laine Schipper
Caryn Kenin Family
Barbara Klein and Barry Pupkin
David Daniel Klipper
Sally and George Kohn
Mary Blye Kramer
Lucy Rebecca Kushner
Philip and Judy Kushner
Diane and Ingemar Lanevi
Lasko Family Foundation
Leeder Family Philanthropic Fund, Jewish Community Federation & Endowment Fund
Orna Ariel Lenchner
Larry and Susan Levine
Roxanne Littner and Roy Rubinfeld
Lostand Foundation, Inc.
Marcia Luccock Gofsky
Victor and Sylvia Margolin
Annie Matan Gilbert
John Kurt Mayer
Andrew and Thomas Moran
Michael and Mary Beth Dreske Moran
Baruch Bruce Morris
David Morris and Eric Norman
Mary Ellen Movshin
Musinsky Krieger Fund
|Seth OppenheimerOr Zarua ChavurahAllan OsterLinda OwenP’nai YisraelSharon Page-MedrichMichael PaleyJeremy ParnesMelvin PasternakTracy PatchAngelo “Pat” PattersonSharon PearlRoger Perilstein
Jacquelynne and Marvin Pilo
Stephanie Tiv’ona Reith
Resonance Women’s Chorus
Joyce Rosen Friedman
Hettleman J. Cantor/ The Irrevocable Ahava Trust
Betsy Samuelson Greer
Jennie and Birdi Schacht
Chaim Lieb Schneider
Deborah Schuman Wohl
Schwab Charitable Fund – DDK
Leonard and Mary Scott
Robert, Jill and Rachel Shaller
Sherwin B. Rubin Fund
Sue and Ross Shipp
Joan & Arthur Solomon
Shula Stevens Calmann
Meira Bracha Sumka
Sivan and Matt Teitelman
Temple Beth El
Temple Beth El of City Island
Temple Or Olam
The Boston Foundation – Belle Linda Halpern Family Fund
The Lief Family Charitable Fund, Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program
Ullmann Family Foundation, Inc.
Matthew van der Giessen
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Stephen and Nan White
Linda and Razi Yitzchak
George Zarella and Family
Nancy Sprince and Craig Zwerling