July 17 to 23, 2017

Cultivating Compassion In Our Hearts and In Action

with Rabbi Ari Lev Fornari, Rabbi Dev Noily and Rabbi Jeff Roth

at Mount Eden Retreat, Washington, NJ

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A Six Night Jewish Contemplative Retreat

Sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace & The Awakened Heart Project

July 17th to 23rd, 2017


We are living in a time when many of us feel called to connect to our highest sense of possibility and responsibility to all life and to the planet we live on. We aspire to  act out of deep connection to wisdom and compassion, kindness and justice. Many of us have seen the benefit of cultivating a rich contemplative practice that can nourish our souls, keep open a heart of compassion and help us discern the most helpful ways to be activists in the world.

The practice of Jewish mindfulness/heartfulness is such a practice and a retreat format is a tremendous opportunity to see deeply the obstacles to keeping our heart/minds open and seeing with clarity.  This retreat is designed to teach and deepen our practice allowing us to renew our energy and commitment to the world.

One does not need to be Jewish to attend or to gain from this practice. While the framework comes from Jewish practice, the content is universal in its applicability. Every effort will be made to accommodate people of diverse financial resources.

Join us for a six-night Jewish mindfulness/heartfulness meditation retreat in New Jersey.

Rabbis Ari Lev, Dev and Jeff will be offering the opportunity to experience these life-enhancing practices. Participants will enhance their skills in a range of meditative techniques. These include concentration techniques, open awareness, daily contemplative liturgical chanting, mindfulness/heartfulness meditation, the path of blessing, walking and eating meditation and practices that cultivate joy.

This retreat is designed to show experientially how a regular Jewish meditation practice can help cultivate awareness in all aspects of daily life. The program will present a model for using contemplative practice to awaken the possibility of connection to All Being in every moment, with space for each person’s particular relationship to Nature/ Love/ Truth/ Oneness /Divinity /Reality /Mystery.


Structure of the Retreat

The retreat is conducted in social silence which means refraining from conversation with other participants at all times. There will be group times for questions and answers. The teachers will provide instructions for all practices as well as present relevant didactic material.

The silence of these retreats allows for a settling of the mind as well as an in depth look at one’s experience of life in each moment. In meeting the present moment with an open heart/mind, the opportunity to see, that which usually causes to shut down and become defensive, confused or angry begins to lose its power over us.


Registration Information

Fees for the retreat cover room and board only. The teachings are offered freely. We will welcome donations to support the teachers, and the administrative costs which include a generous financial aid policy for this retreat.

We hope you will support this model of charging only the actual costs to participants, as this allows us to offer these retreats regardless of ability to pay the full cost.

Register Now.


Financial support is available through The Awakened Heart Project.

Contact Jeff@awakenedheartproject.org with requests for aid, or with other questions.
Contact Ilana Lerman at ilana.lerman@jewishvoiceforpeace.org with questions about the work of JVP.


The retreat will be held at:

Mount Eden Retreat, 56 Mill Pond Road, Washington NJ, 07882 (http://mountedenretreat.com/).

All meals are vegetarian. Space limited to 50 people.

Mount Eden Retreat is a 189 acre hilltop farmstead in scenic Warren County, New Jersey. They are a non-profit organization dedicated to land preservation, Holistic education, individual and community transformation.

Register Now.

Room & board costs

Costs for room and board for the six nights are:

Tent or Commuter — $490

Dorm Occupancy — $780

Triple Occupancy — $880

Double Occupancy — $980


Faculty Biographies

Rabbi Ari Lev Fornari has been cultivating an insight meditation practice for over ten years. He came to meditation to help him heal from PTSD after spending a summer doing solidarity work in Palestine. The dharma has been both his medicine and his potion. He has taught mindfulness and meditation in prison and integrated it into his prayer leading. Ari Lev is the rabbi at Kol Tzedek Synagogue in West Philadelphia. He is a White, queer, trans person, of Ashkenazi and Italian descent. Ari Lev is a member of the JVP rabbinical council, and was ordained by the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in 2014.

Rabbi Dev Noily has been practicing meditation for over ten years, and loves the quiet, stillness and wholeness of the practice. Dev leads a weekly meditation group at Kehilla Community Synagogue in Oakland, where they serve as rabbi, and is in the current cohort of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training (JMMTT). Dev is a member of the JVP rabbinical council, and was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2009.

Rabbi Jeff Roth, D. Min. is the founder and Director of The Awakened Heart Project for Contemplative Judaism. He was the co-founder of Elat Chayyim where he served as Executive Director and Spiritual Director for 13 years. Currently on the faculty of Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training program, he is an experienced meditation teacher and the facilitator of over 190 Jewish meditation retreats.

Register Now.


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