Kivvun 5 Application Form

Kivvun 5 Application Form

Kivvun Program - Cohort 5

From Institute Participants 

“The richness of new ideas has been constantly thrilling. I like the true intelligence brought to bear both by the teachers and by the members of the group.”  

“Now I listen with much less judgment, leaving myself open to insight and connection that wasn’t possible before. I am more patient, more loving, and more kind.” 

“The IJS program helped to make prayer a meaningful and personal practice. . . . I feel very grateful to have had the time and space to slow down, experience silence, and to feel my spirituality more fully.”

Kivvun: Direction, Alignment, Intention

  • Access your deepest wisdom
  • Live with greater calm and clarity
  • Enrich your Jewish life
  • Learn experientially in a community of fellow-travelers
  • Become a more effective leader
  • Bring new skills back to your community
  • Live with greater confidence, strength and joy
Judaism as Spiritual Practice
Kivvun is an intensive, retreat-based learning program for Jews seeking to engage in life guided by deepening Jewish spiritual wisdom. This program will help participants discern for themselves, supported by Jewish text, tradition and practice, how to direct their lives in alignment with a deep sense of wisdom. 

Kivvun provides an opportunity unique in the field of adult Jewish education: deep and continuous Jewish study over eighteen months, integrated with spiritual practice in a dedicated group of teachers and fellow students. It offers training and support in a number of practice modalities (Jewish text study, prayer, Mussar, meditation, yoga, spiritual direction and retreat), based on the understanding that different people will resonate with different practices. It helps participants integrate such practices and apply them to their everyday lives of work, relationships, and social action. These practices help people to develop their inner resources for dealing with loss, grief, stress and fear, and for cultivating the capacity for greater joy, courage and gratitude.

Kivvun was created by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality to educate, inspire and nourish those who can bring spiritual, emotional and intellectual vigor and vision to Jewish life. Since 2000, the Institute has pioneered retreat-based educational experiences for more than 400 rabbis, cantors and educators, as well as hundreds of lay learners. The rabbis, educators and academics who founded the Institute did so because they felt that, for millions of Jews, contemporary Judaism had lost its spiritual heart, and that attention had to be directed back to cultivating the inner life and to nourishing the practices and the communities that support it. The Institute helps participants and alumni renew the vibrancy and relevance of contemporary Judaism itself.

Community of Practice
The Kivvun program provides participants with a community of practice, led by brilliant teachers of Torah, Tefillah (prayer), meditation and more. Within this warm and supportive community of learners, nurtured by ongoing study and individual spiritual counseling and guidance, participants experience profound personal growth while gaining skills to bring back to their home Jewish communities.

The program will be taught by the Institute’s core senior faculty members: Rabbis Lisa Goldstein, Myriam Klotz, Marc Margolius, and Jonathan Slater, each recognized nationally as leaders in their fields. They will be joined at specific retreats by scholars and practitioners who are on the cutting edge of contemporary Jewish religious thought and practice: Rabbi Nancy Flam, Melila Hellner-Eshed, Ph.D, Rabbi David Ingber, and others.

Retreats and Program 
The program includes four retreats, meeting in the early spring and fall seasons, beginning in April 2018. Participants will engage in interim text study and spiritual practice each week, and will receive monthly spiritual guidance by phone with one of the core faculty members. Each retreat’s theme is integrated within the primary practices of Torah study, prayer, meditation and embodied awareness in movement. The Kivvun application process gives future participants a chance to reflect on their own spiritual strengths and challenges, and on expectations for ways that this program might help them take their next steps personally and in their roles as Jewish leaders.

Program Details
Kivvun is an eighteen-month program.  The program includes: 
  • four 6 day/5 night retreats in beautiful settings with  private rooms and Kosher meals; 
  • three trimesters of supported Jewish study and spiritual practice between retreats; 
  • curriculum and support for weekly hevruta study; 
  • periodic conference calls and/or webinar teachings; 
  • personal monthly spiritual guidance; 
  • ongoing support and connection with the faculty.
Participants enroll in the entire four-retreat, three trimester program. Program costs break down as follows: 
  • Room and Board for 4 retreats:                  $5,400.00 
  • Tuition for retreats and 3 trimesters:        $6,600.00 
  • Charitable Contribution:                             $10,000.00

The total cost of the Kivvun program over eighteen months is $22,000.

Our retreats will take place:
April 9-15, 2018 / American Jewish University Brandeis-Bardin Campus (Simi Valley, CA)
October 23-28, 2018 / Guest House Retreat Center (Chester, CT)
March 26-31, 2019 / American Jewish University Brandeis-Bardin Campus (Simi Valley, CA)
September 3-8, 2019 / Guest House Retreat Center (Chester, CT)

Our facilities are kosher, under the supervision of Rabbi Jonathan Slater and local

The success of this program depends upon our creating a hevrah: a community of individuals who experience their inner lives as real and important, who are committed to deepening and developing the spiritual dimensions of their being, and who are able to share this endeavor honestly with others.  This hevrah will form the foundation for our study, practice and spiritual growth.

We ask you to please consider the following questions submitting no more than 500 words per question:
  1. What are some of the greatest sources of nurturance for you in your spiritual life?
  2. Describe some of the greatest challenges to your spiritual life and how you might work on them.
  3. In what ways do you hope that participating in Kivvun might benefit you and/or the Jewish communities of which you are a part?
  4. Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
Please compose your responses in a word document. When you have completed your responses, then proceed to click the “Apply Now” button on the top of your screen.

After that you will have the opportunity to import your responses to the registration form. The process concludes with payment of the $50 application fee at the end of the form. Thank you for your interest in our program.


Contact Information

  • If you have any questions, please contact:
    Rabbi Marc Margolius, Kivvun Director
    (646) 461-6499 x006

Payment Instructions

  • There is a $50 application fee, which must be paid with a credit card at the end of this form.

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