Lev Shomea: Institute for the
Training of Spiritual Directors
in the Jewish Tradition
Rabbi Howard Avruhm Addison, Dr. Barbara Eve Breitman, Ann Kline and Julie Leavitt
The Kotzker Rebbe said: "God is present where we let God in." Spiritual direction is a practice that supports us to let God in.
Spiritual Direction offers a unique opportunity to explore our relationship with the Holy, the mystery we call God.
In individual or group settings, spiritual directors companion others as they reflect on their spiritual journeys and learn to recognize how the Source of Life invites us daily into deeper connection with ourselves, with others and with creation. Understanding that spiritual growth is an ongoing process of reflection and response, commitment and practice, directors support people to cultivate their inner lives and expand their awareness of the sacred dimensions that underlie both the ordinary and extraordinary events of life.
What is a Jewish Spiritual Director?
A Jewish Spiritual Director recognizes the spiritual hunger of contemporary Jews. Throughout Jewish history, mentors such as the mashpia, chaver or mashgiach, provided spiritual guidance for their settings and eras.
Drawing on our heritage to create a contemporary model of spiritual companionship, a Jewish Spiritual Director helps people to connect experiences of the holy to Jewish vocabulary and tradition, explore Jewish pathways that sustain the inner life, panimiyut, and inspire participation in kehillah, spiritual community.
What is Lev Shomea?
Lev Shomea is a unique training program for lay and professional Jewish spiritual leaders who seek vocational growth and personal transformation. As members of an evolving spiritual community, participants will engage in text study, prayer and various forms of spiritual practice and experiential learning.
Lev Shomea is a two-year program that involves diverse educational modalities:
- Two intensive week-long retreats each year
- Ongoing contact with the instructors between retreats
- Receiving and offering Spiritual Direction in one’s home community
- Directed reading and writing of refl ection papers
- One-on-one supervision or participation in a peer supervision group
- Regular contact with a chaver or chevra—spiritual “buddy” or group—for study, support and attention to individual spiritual development
Opportunities for earning a Doctor of Ministry degree are available in partnership with the Graduate Theological Foundation.
The Lev Shomea curriculum also incorporates contemplative movement, dance, chant, poetry and visual arts. Participants are pioneering new ways to integrate arts and body awareness into the practice of Spiritual Direction.
For more information, visit the Lev Shomea website.
Rabbi Howard Avruhm Addison, PhD serves as Assistant Professor of Humanities at Temple University and is rabbi of Cong Melrose B’nai Israel Emanuel in Cheltenham, PA. Certified as an Enneagram teacher by Helen Palmer, he is a Shalem Institute Fellow in Contemplative Group Leadership. Ordained by JTS and possessing thirty five years experience in the active rabbinate, Avruhm is the author of several books on Kabbalah, the Enneagram and interfaith traditions of Spiritual Guidance.
Barbara Eve Breitman, DMin, LCSW, is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Counseling and Director of Training for the Spiritual Direction Program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Bobbi has devoted her life’s work to healing as a psychotherapist, pastoral counselor, spiritual companion and writer. Given the title Mashpia Ruchani by Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi and Eshet Hazon by her community, Bobbi is an innovator in developing a contemporary practice of Jewish Spiritual Direction. She, together with Addison, is co-editor of Jewish Spiritual Direction and a contributing author to Jewish Pastoral Care.
Ann Kline, a long-time spiritual director, author and hospice chaplain, has spent much of the past decade facilitating, teaching and promoting group spiritual direction. A contributing author to Jewish Spiritual Direction, and The Lived Experience of Group Spiritual Direction, Ann has led workshops and retreats for the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Direction, and a host of Buddhist, Christian and Jewish organizations.
Julie Leavitt is a registered Dance/Movement Therapist and practices body-centered psychotherapy and spiritual direction in Newton, MA. She has taught Sacred Movement classes at Elat Chayyim and the Aleph Kallah and serves on the core faculty of the Lev Shomea spiritual direction program, teaching movement and body-centered knowing to spiritual directors-in-training. She has taught Movement and Healing classes at Lesley University for the past 22 years. In 2004, Julie’s community, B’nai Or of Boston, honored her with the title Eshet Hazon: Miyaledet Ruchanit, Woman of Vision: Spiritual Midwife.
Registration is now open for Lev Shomea: Week Four.
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 Lev Shomea is $737.50 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.
Come early for Torah Yoga!
Lev Shomea: Week Four starts on Wednesday, February 13, but if you would like to arrive on Sunday, February 10th, and participate in the first three days of Torah Yoga with Diane Bloomfield, which features Sfat Emet text study and Iyengar Yoga, please select that additional option when you register.