Kohenet—The Hebrew Priestess Institute
"I'm open to the mystery and to walking the path lit by Shekhinah.” –Kohenet participant
"Studying text, integrated with women's other ways of knowing, has helped me find places in Judaism where I can fully engage as a woman.” –Kohenet participant
The Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute reclaims powerful shamanic models of sacred service based on Jewish womenÕs spiritual leadership roles throughout the centuries, from biblical prophetess-priestesses to Talmudic healers and magicians to kabbalistic dream interpreters to modern feminist ritualists. By opening to the sacred feminine in Jewish sources, in the world around us, and in our own lives, we evolve an embodied, earth-based, and feminist Jewish practice. The Kohenet training program uses prayer, ritual, text study, and experiential learning to give women tools of spiritual leadership they can use in their own communities.
The Kohenet Institute meets twice a year for a total of four week-long sessions over the course of two years. Our curriculum is based on priestess-archetypes such as Seeker, Shrinekeeper, Wise Woman, Mother, Prophetess, and Shamaness. For each priestess-archetype, we explore myth, history, personal experience, ceremony and spirit journey. Our initial program is four week-long retreats, with phone calls and on-line discussion and assignments in between sessions. This training program concludes with an initiatory ritual. Upon completion of the initial program, students can choose to enroll in an advanced program that provides in-depth training in ritual leadership, and receive smicha (ordination) as a Hebrew priestess.
Our community of Kohenet sisters spans the entire country and is a rich source of support and learning. Our core faculty has extensive experience in ritual facilitation; Jewish sacred text, lifecycle ritual, and prayer; and earth-based feminist theology, and we are also supported by guest faculty and interns. We have yearly programs for alumnae, and our graduates maintain close contact with the Institute and the Kohenet network. We are planning a Kohenet trip to Israel for the summer of 2013.
- Week 1: Summer 2012
- Week 2: March 4 - 10, 2013
- Week 3: July 22 - 28, 2013 CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR WEEK THREE
- Week 4: March 2014: Initiation Week
Rabbi Jill Hammer, PhD is an author, educator, midrashist, myth-weaver and ritualist. She is the co-founder of Kohenet: The Hebrew Priestess Institute. She is also the Director of Spiritual Education at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic Jewish seminary. Rabbi Hammer is the author of Sisters at Sinai: New Tales of Biblical Women, The Jewish Book of Days: A Companion for All Seasons, and the co-author of The Hebrew Priestess and Siddur HaKohanot: A Hebrew Priestess Prayerbook. Rabbi Hammer conducts workshops on ancient and contemporary midrash, bibliodrama, creative ritual, kabbalah, Jewish dreamwork, and Jewish cycles of time. She was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary and holds a doctorate in social psychology from the University of Connecticut.
Holly Taya Shere plays passionately in the realms of transformative ritual, mystical movement and embodied vocalization. She co-founded the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute and serves as rabbi/spiritual leader at Olney Kehila Congregation in Olney, MD. Her chant albums Halleluyah All Night and Wild Earth Shebrew have been heralded as "cutting-edge mystical medicine music" and rock devotional tribe world-wide. Her record label BlissRoot serves emerging devotional artists who create goddess vibes for conscious tribe. Taya is a practitioner of the body-awareness-based healing art Somatic Experiencing. She teaches ChantDanceBeFree and JourneyDance, merging inspired, organic undulation with dynamic vocal co-creation. Home is lush, rustic land-based community between Washington, DC and Baltimore. She looks for yeses everywhere. holytaya.com
Shoshana Jedwab is a prize-winning Jewish educator and the Jewish Studies Coordinator at the A.J. Heschel Middle School in New York City. She is the founding facilitator of the Makom Drum Circle at the JCC in Manhattan and is a percussionist and performance artist who has trained in bibliodrama and psychodrama. Shoshana has provided empowering drum circles to singles, student, training and bereavement groups. Shoshana has performed with Storahtelling, Chana Rothman, Debbie Friedman, Akiva Wharton, A Song of Solomon, Hebrew Mystical Chant with the Kirtan Rabbi Andrew Hahn, and seasonal events. She is Kohenet's ritual drummer and also serves on the Kohenet faculty.
Click the purple button to the right for information, rates, and to register online. Online registration is for full credit card payments only. If you would like to pay in installments, pay by check, or apply approved financial aid, please call 800.398.2630 x4. Please review our lodging options and rates prior to calling.
Room & Board
The cost for Room & Board is determined by the type of lodging you choose.
Click here for additional details about lodging types.
Tuition for Kohenet is $450 per weeklong retreat. Please note that 100% of the tuition fee goes to the teachers. Tuition fees are per person, and do not include the cost of Room & Board.
We strive to make our programs affordable to everyone. Click here for information about Financial Aid.