The Elat Chayyim Meditation Retreat

at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center
116 Johnson Road
Falls Village, CT
More Info / Registration



The 2015 Elat Chayyim Meditation Retreat

with Rabbi Jay Michaelson, Beth Resnick-Folk, Rabbi Naomi Mara Hyman, and Shir Yaakov Feit

This retreat was so deep and amazing. I”m coming back every year! The food, the prayer, the teachers, the whole experience was transformative and wonderful!

—2014 Participant

Insight meditation — the practice of quieting the mind to directly observe the basic facts of our human existence — has had a major impact on Jewish spirituality for over thirty years. Blending practices from Buddhist traditions with those of Judaism has deeply enriched the lives of countless individuals, congregations, and communities. In particular, insight meditation and mindfulness can bring about greater peace of mind, compassion, and open-heartedness, even in difficult times. Joined with practices such as prayer and contemplation, they can deepen your Jewish spiritual life.

This is a weeklong silent meditation retreat: an opportunity to slow down, to live simply, and to explore the fullness of your own being. Each day will include several hours of formal sitting and walking practice, contemplative morning davenning (chanted prayers) in a Jewish Renewal style, group interviews, yoga, and instructional periods with opportunities to ask questions.

Led for the second year by Shir Yaakov Feit, Naomi Mara Hyman, Jay Michaelson and Beth Resnick, the retreat includes nightly talks by the teachers drawing from Jewish contemplative traditions and Dharma teachings, and supports participants to navigate the range of their experience on retreat. Still maintaining the silence of the retreat, we will celebrate Shabbat joyously together, with Kabbalat Shabbat and Saturday morning davenning, including a Torah service led by Rabbi Phyllis Berman.

For beginners, this retreat is an excellent opportunity to explore meditation in a supportive, warm, and non-judgmental environment.  Although spending a week in silence can seem intimidating, the Elat Chayyim community is warm and welcoming, the food is delicious, and the natural beauty of the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center provides inspiration and comfort.   And for more advanced practitioners, Beth, Jay, Shir, and Naomi are committed to the principle that meditation practice can deepen and develop in profound ways, and this retreat is designed to help you take the next steps that are right for you.

We welcome those with traditional Jewish observance, no Jewish observance, and those entirely new to Judaism; those with serious Dharma practice and those with no interest in Buddhism; and those of all ages, gender/sexual, racial/ethnic, and religious/cultural identities. We have found that meditation enriches all of these expressions of our spiritual and personal diversity.