We Are Building American Buddhism

Institute for Jewish Spirituality

330 Seventh Avenue, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Telephone: (212) 774-3608


Description of Organization

The Institute for Jewish Spirituality (IJS) was founded in 1999 in response to a challenge by then President of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Charles Halpern, to help Jews find greater access to the deep wisdom of the Jewish spiritual inheritance and to help them build lives of vital and engaged practice. Rabbi Rachel Cowan, then Jewish Life Program Officer at the Foundation, gathered a small group of colleagues who worked together to create an intensive, practice-based model of Jewish spiritual learning and exploration.  In January 2000, IJS launched its first programs: an eighteen-month, retreat-based learning and practice program for rabbis and a similar year-long program for lay leaders. IJS believed that professional and lay Jewish leadership needed to work together to create structures of learning and exploration for Jews seeking a serious, contemplative, practice-based Judaism grounded in mindfulness meditation for the sake of transforming the world.

Grant(s) Awarded

In 2010, a grant in the amount of $10,000 was awarded to Institute for Jewish Spirituality to support the Jewish Mindfulness Teachers 16-month training program. 
In 2017, A grant was awarded in the amount of $10,000 to continue their Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training course. The program consists of three intensive retreats (18 days total over 15 months), as well as a curriculum of weekly study with a learning partner and monthly assignments and check-ins with a faculty mentor. Each month of the curriculum features a theme for investigation through an integrated path of study and practice. This includes readings from Jewish and Buddhist sources; practice instructions and guidance for integration of Jewish thought, language, and mindfulness; and pedagogic instruction and practice.
In 2018, A grant was awarded in the amount of $10,000 to support two online offerings: a month-long Elul Intensive Program, an intensive meditation program during Elul with the goals of helping new and experienced meditators deepen their practice and prepare meaningfully for the coming holy days and the Weekly Meditation Series.

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