Deepening the quality of communal prayer to activate the body, touch the heart, engage the mind, and nurture spiritual growth.
Current DLTI'ers: Click here if you would like to register for Week Four of DLTI VII, Wednesday, February 12 - Monday, February 17, 2014.
The Davennen' Leadership Training Institute (DLTI) offers a unique learning experience to help those who lead worship in a Jewish context to deepen the quality of communal prayer so that it activates the body, touches the heart, engages the mind, and nourishes spiritual growth and insight. Employing the participatory approach of an intensive master class, this program coaches you in the high art of leadership of public ritual and prayer.
In this program consisting of four retreats, you become part of a living and learning fellowship — deeply engaged in the process of communal prayer and ritual. Throughout each retreat you join with core faculty and guest master-teachers in ongoing davvenen', text study, group discussions and coaching.
- Week 1: Monday, July 28 - Sunday, August 3, 2014
- Week 2: Wednesday, February 11 - Monday, February 16, 2015
- Week 3: Monday, July 27 - Sunday, August 2, 2015
- Week 4: Wednesday, February 10 - Monday, February 15, 2016
*Exact dates will be announced soon.
Leadership Skills for Building Community
Prayer can be electric and alive. Prayer can touch the soul, burst forth a creative celebration of the spirit, and open deep wells of gratitude, longing and praise. Jewish prayer in its essence is soul dialogue and calls us into relationship within and beyond.
We intuitively know when group prayer is working. Through the power of ancient and modern words and melodies, we venture into realms of deep emotion and find longing, sorrow, hope, wholeness, connection and peace. When guided by skilled leaders of prayer and ritual, our complacency is challenged, we can break through outworn assumptions about God and ourselves, and emerge refreshed and inspired to meet the challenges our lives offer. As rabbis, educators and prayer leaders, we aspire to meaningful prayer and ritual. How does one learn to create transformational spiritual experiences that will vitalize our communities?
A recipient of the National Mintz Award for Education, the Davennen' Leadership Training Institute is a living-learning experience that will enable participants from all Jewish environments to gain:
- Deep understanding, experience and skill with the evolution, practice and meaning of Jewish prayer.
- Grounding in liturgical sources and the inner structure of services, with special emphasis on Shabbat.
- Advanced skills in the inspirational use of personal presence.
- Practice and experience in creating prayerful environments, working with group energetics, and balancing structure with spontaneity.
- Each session is further enriched by special programs and trainings with DLTI special guest faculty.
This program is designed for both the experienced leader and someone emerging into leadership.
For more information about DLTI, visit dlti.org.
Rabbi Marcia Prager is a vibrant teacher, storyteller, ritual artist, and therapist. She is Director and Dean of Ordination Programs for ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, and rabbi for the P'nai Or Jewish Renewal communities of Philadelphia, PA, and Princeton, NJ. Her book, The Path of Blessing (Bell Tower 1998 /Jewish Lights 2003) is an exploration of the profound spiritual wisdom that lies in the Jewish practice of blessing. She is the creator of the unique P'nai Or Siddurim for Shabbat and other innovative approaches to prayer and liturgy. She and her husband Hazzan Jack Kessler travel widely to teach in an array of Jewish and interfaith settings. rabbimarciaprager.com
Rabbi Shawn Israel Zevit is a leader in spiritual and congregational life, organizational and congregational consulting and training, educational arts, writing, musical and liturgical recording (6 CDs), teaching and performing. A graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and with Smicha from Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, he has served congregations and havurot from all streams of Judaism with a regard for tradition and creative innovation. He is the rabbi of Mishkan Shalom in Philadelphia, PA, a spiritual director and Associate Director of the ALEPH Hashpa'ah Program, author of Offerings of the Heart (2005, Alban), Co-Editor of Brother Keepers (2010, Men's Studies Press) and numerous other publications. rabbizevit.com
Hazzan Jack Kessler was ordained as a Cantor at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and went on to have a twenty-year career serving Conservative congregations. During that time he received a Master's degree in voice from Boston Conservatory and pursued studies in composition in the graduate department of Brandeis University. In addition to his ongoing career as a hazzan (cantor) and vocal coach, he supervises the cantorial training of students in the ALEPH Cantorial Program, and directs two touring ensembles: ATZILUT- CONCERTS FOR PEACE, a duet format of Arab and Jewish musicians performing together, and KLINGON KLEZMER, which does Jewish music from other planets.
Daniel Sheff, a graduate of DLTI 2, has become a core member of the DLTI staff as a teacher, shamess and soul-catcher, bringing many gifts to our collaborative work. Daniel has been a lay leader of Shabbat and holiday services, and recently founded a worship community in the greater Boston area. He is a physician who practices internal medicine and rheumatology, and is a graduate of A Society of SoulsŐ program in Kabbalistic Healing, a training in healing and spiritual awakening. He lives in Lexington, MA with his wife Hanna Sherman and their three daughters.
Shir Yaakov is a teacher, singer, composer, designer, producer, "aba" (Dad) and graduate of DLTI 7. He serves both Romemu and ALEPH as Creative Director and is well known as a stage artist and liturgist performing with The Epichorus and Darshan. Working in both Jewish and multi-faith contexts, Shir Yaakov weaves a tapestry of Kabbalistic wisdom, contemporary songwriting and deep personal spirituality to offer a spiritual cultural Judaism that is contemporary, alive, and innovative. He has recorded and released four albums of original music. shiryaakov.com
DLTI In The News
How to Apply for DLTI VIII
Fill out our online application.
Tuition for DLTI is $2800. This does not include Room & Board for each of the four retreats, prices for which are determined by your choice of housing. More information about Room & Board rates will be available by January 1, 2014.
Register for DLTI VII: Week 4
DLTI VII is currently under way. Week 4 will be held Wednesday, February 12 - Monday, February 17, 2014.
Please click here to register for Week 4.
Join us a day early for Awakening in the Four Worlds: Mindfulness as a Spiritual Practice to Connect with Body, Heart, Mind, and Soul with Ashira Katz, Mark Russo, Mia Miriam Cohen and Zelig Golden, February 11 - 12, 2014. Use discount code FWDLTI50 and register for both DLTI VII Week Four and Four Worlds by December 31st to save $50.