Retreat for Jewish Environmental Leaders: Kayaking in Alaska July 22-29, 2012

New York, NY
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Retreat for Jewish Environmental Leaders: Kayaking in Alaska July 22-29, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012 - Sunday, July 29, 2012

Institute for Jewish Spirituality
330 7th Avenue
19th Floor
New York, NY 10001

For the past ten summers, IJS has taken groups of Jewish leaders to Alaska for a week of wilderness kayaking and contemplative silence, exploring the crucial link between Jewish life, spiritual practice and environmental stewardship.  This experience is for you whether you work for a Jewish organization or not, whether you are a professional or a volunteer, whether you are religious or not. 

This retreat was designed for Jewish leaders with a deep interest in environmental sustainability and justice. It will integrate Jewish spiritual practices –  meditation, reflection and  contemplative prayer –  with kayaking in order to provide a deep experience of this exquisite Tongass wilderness,  to  sustain you as you carry on  the hard work ahead and to give you resources for making your leadership even more  effective.  Together we will harness the power of contemplative silence to illuminate the essential role of a robust inner life in service of tikkun olam, the restoration of our world.  The retreat is not totally in silence – there will be time for conversation, relaxation, group reflection and studying the environment.  And it is important that you are comfortable with being in  extended periods of silence.

Trip Leaders:
Kurt Hoelting will serve as our Head Guide on this kayaking retreat. A wilderness guide and mindfulness teacher, Kurt is intimately acquainted with the terrain.

Rabbi Sheila Weinberg has for years introduced meditation into the Jewish world as a form that can enliven and illuminate Jewish practice and community.

Rabbi Lisa Goldstein is the Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, and has led Jewish meditation 
circles in a variety of contexts over the last decade.

Retreat Fee: Because of a grant from supporters of the Institute’s mission, we are able to reduce the trip fee from $2,000 to $900 with scholarships available.  The costs cover 7 days lodging and meals, kayaks, our teachers and guides - and an unforgettable, transformative experience. Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements and costs to and from Petersburg, Alaska from the Lower ‘48. You should arrive in Petersburg on or before July 22nd. Lodging will be provided that first night of July 22nd at the Scandia House in Petersburg, but meal costs in Petersburg are not included.

Applications Due:  Applications are due by April 6th, we'll notify you of your status by April 25th.

For more information: About the Insitute, please visit; about Inside Passages and Kurt Hoelting please visit


Contact Information

  • If you have any questions, please contact:

    Esther Smigel (questions about logistics)

    Rachel Cowan (questions about program content)

    or Lisa Goldstein (questions about program content)

Payment Instructions

  • To pay by check:  

    Please complete the full application and select "pay by check" at the end.  Mail your check for $30 to

    Institute for Jewish Spirituality
    330 7th Avenue, 19th Floor
    New York, NY, 10001 

    Please write your check to "Institute for Jewish Spirituality" and note "JMTT2 application fee" in the memo line.  Please direct any questions to Esther Smigel at

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