Shabbaton 2020

We are so excited to host Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, aka the Velveteen Rabbi, and Rabbi David Markus on June 5 & 6, 2020 in Prayer, Poetry, & Politics: Renewing the continuing call to bless and repair the world.

Register Here

Rabbi Rachel Barenblat and Rabbi David Markus are Scholars in Residence for this annual immersive weekend honoring the life and living legacy of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, a pathfinder in Jewish renewal.  

Register Here

The weekend, “Prayer, Poetry, & Politics: renewing the call to bless and repair the world,” will feature spirited, musical and participatory prayer in the innovative flow of Jewish Renewal, and opportunities to learn with Barenblat and Markus about public affairs, mysticism, blessing, ethics, poetic liturgy and the ethical path of spiritual innovation. 

“Religion and spirituality, at their core, are about building a wise, loving and ethical future together,” said Barenblat and Markus, who serve together as senior builders at Bayit: Building Jewish (a Jewish innovation incubator).  “We learned this Jewish path from the legacy of Reb Zalman as a continuing call that our increasingly fractured world especially needs now.”

Rabbi Markus is the nation’s only pulpit rabbi simultaneously holding a public oath of office.  In spiritual life, Markus serves as rabbi and music director for Temple Beth El (New York, NY), and seminary faculty at the Academy for Jewish Religion.  In secular life, Markus presides in New York Supreme Court as part of a parallel public service career that has spanned all branches and levels of government – from presidential campaigns to legislation to environmental affairs.  Markus has won numerous awards as an “innovator in public service” (Harvard University).

Rabbi Barenblat is one of “America’s most inspiring rabbis” (Forward 2016).  Barenblat serves as rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel (North Adams, MA); her Velveteen Rabbi blog was rated as one of the top sites on the Internet (Time Magazine 2008).  Barenblat is an accomplished poet and narrator of Jewish spiritual life: her collections include Texts to the Holy (Ben Yehuda 2018), Open My Lips (Ben Yehuda 2016), Waiting to Unfold (Phoenicia 2013) and 70 faces: Torah poems (Phoenicia 2011).


The weekend schedule is below. 

Fri., June 5

7:00 pm Musical Kabbalat Shabbat

9:00 pm Celebratory Dessert Oneg

Sat., June 6

9:00 am Innovative “All Worlds” Torah study

10:00 am Shabbat service & keynote: Faith in the Public Square

12:30 pm Catered lunch (or brown bag for those who don’t order lunch)

1:15 pm And I Will Bless Them: Becoming Spiritual Vessels 

2:15 pm Spiritual Creativity: Authenticity, Boundaries & Balance  

3:15 pm Break

7:00 pm Seudat Shlishit (“dining” on poetry and song), Social  Justice Havdalah & Poetry Jam