Liberating the Voice: Niggun as Prayer

New York, New York
Sunday, June 03, 2018
Liberating the Voice: Niggun as Prayer
Sunday, June 03, 2018 - Friday, June 29, 2018

Institute for Jewish Spirituality
121 West 27th Street #404
New York, New York 10001
United States

Last day to register is May 28!

Does your prayer life need a boost? Could you use support, guidance, community and/or teaching to help you engage a richer and more meaningful prayer practice? Then consider joining our month-long prayer intensives!

These 30-day modules are designed to help you focus on cultivating a specific modality of prayer practice. Offered online, you choose the time that's most convenient for you to watch the weekly half-hour teaching video, engage in the brief but focused daily practice, and post your questions and reflections. Optional participation in a weekly processing group to reflect on your practice and receive real-time guidance from the instructor will be available on a first-come, first-serve registration basis, for an additional fee.

Month-Long Prayer Intensive: $100
Month-Long Prayer Intensive Plus Weekly Live Processing Group: $125

Partial financial aid may be available by application only. Financial aid application details will be included in registration confirmation email - you must register before applying for financial aid.

Any financial aid awards will be granted as a rebate to your registration fee.

Want to sign up? Click REGISTER NOW on the top right of this page!
Last day to register is May 28!

Liberating the Voice: Niggun as Prayer
Aviva Chernick and Rabbi Sam Feinsmith
June 3-29, 2018

So many of us struggle with the language of Jewish prayer - Hebrew. Even if we feel comfortable with liturgical Hebrew, we may still feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of words that characterizes Jewish prayer. Then there’s the issue of holding back our free expression for fear of judgment or ridicule. In an effort to decode the prayers’ meanings, “get it all done,” and avoid shame, we may get stuck in the mind, losing our authentic connection to the heart, the body, and our spiritual core. The practice of niggun (wordless chant) can reawaken that connection and provide us with a strong base of prayerful energy, intention, and presence to call upon as a companion - or alternative - to traditional Jewish prayer. During this four-week practice intensive, we will study the spiritual underpinnings of the practice of niggun through hasidic text. We will use what we learn to develop our capacity for receptively paying attention to the body and heart as we chant so that our vocal expression might flow freely and authentically from our inner lives. We will use attention and voice to cultivate heart-opening emotions such as awe, compassion, yearning, gratitude, and love. We will sing niggunim as both a companion to traditional Jewish prayer and a way into some of its words. No prior experience with Jewish prayer, singing, text study or mindfulness meditation is required.

Aviva Chernick is a Ba’alat Niggun (niggun expert), award-winning musician, cantorial soloist, and mindfulness educator based in Toronto. For the past twelve years, alongside an active performing and touring career, she has served in and around Toronto and as a guest in communities across North America leading and teaching about the voice in prayer. Aviva has completed her training as a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and is the founder of two mindfulness programs in Toronto — the Mindfulness Minyan, and the sitting and singing community called neySHEV. Aviva facilitates adventures for freeing the voice at home in Toronto and with diverse communities while on her many travels.

Rabbi Sam Feinsmith has been immersed in the world of Jewish contemplative living, learning, and teaching for over fifteen years. Serving as a consultant on a number of cutting-edge projects related to prayer, spirituality, and education, he has conducted Jewish meditation workshops and retreats for young children, teens, and Jewish educators and community leaders. Raised by a classical musician and composer, he composes devotional music and sacred chants as keys to open the heart to the Oneness of Being. After fourteen years of teaching Jewish mindfulness to teens and educators in NY and Illinois, Rabbi Feinsmith currently directs the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Educating for a Jewish Spiritual Life pilot for Jewish day schools and summer camps and co-directs the Clergy Leadership Program. He lives in Evanston, Illinois, with his wife Sarah-Bess and his daughter Elanit Shefa. 

Cancellation Policy:  

Cancellations made more than 7 days before the start date of a module will be given a full refund minus a $35 cancellation fee. No refunds will be given once the module has started.
All refunds will be paid via check.

Want to sign up? Click REGISTER NOW on the top right of this page!
Last day to register is May 28!

Contact Information

  • Nancy Flam
    Senior Program Director
    Institute for Jewish Spirituality

Payment Instructions

  • We can only accept credit card payments for this program.

    Please continue to the end of the registration process to submit your payment information.

    When your registration is complete, you will receive a confirmation email from RegOnline.
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