Dec 27 - Jan 17, 2016

Three Week Jewish Meditation Retreat

with Rabbi Jeff Roth, Sheila Katz and Brian Arnell

at Am Kolel Sanctuary outside of Washington, DC

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“The long silent retreat at Am Kolel was among the absolutely most amazing experiences of my life. Rabbi Jeff and his team are wonderful teachers and retreat managers, the grounds are lovely, and the food topnotch at “normal” consciousness, let alone as one’s senses become more and more heightened. The sitting periods are nicely varied with walking meditation, chanting, instructions, yoga, eating, and rest periods. Even now, ten months later, I still experience life more deeply and clearly than I did before the retreat.” 
- Emunah

We are very excited to be holding a three-week meditation retreat. Discover the many benefits to an extended period of retreat practice. This opportunity is a unique one in the Jewish world. 

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Using the vehicle of silence, and a variety of Jewish meditation approaches, this retreat will help you to look deeply into your own life. The retreat includes daily periods of prayer, chant and yoga. Daily instruction in meditation will help guide both beginning and advanced practitioners into the sacred space of the retreat process. Throughout the retreat we will maintain social silence. There will also be times for questions and answers, as well as private interviews with the instructors.

Our hope is that a significant number of people will want to sit for all three weeks. Preference will be given to those interested in sitting the entire period – one week periods will be considered only when space permits. The retreat will be limited to 24 people.

Registration Information

The costs of the retreat include room and board and an administrative fee to cover the other retreat costs. The teachings are presented without fees included to support the teaching staff. Donations to support their work will be discussed at the end of the retreat.

Costs for the retreat are:

Quadruple room with shared bath: $1100.00
Double room with shared bath: $1600.00
Single room with shared bath: $2100.00
Single Rooms are very limited – Please contact Brian before you sign up for one.


Register Now

Financial support is available through The Awakened Heart Project. Contact ( Jeff (at) awakenedheartproject (dot) org with requests for aid.

For questions about registration or for additional information contact ( brian (at) awakenedheartproject (dot) org


The retreat will be held at:
Am Kolel Sanctuary and Renewal Center, 19520 Darnestown Road, Beallsville, MD 20839 (

All meals are vegetarian, with some fish. Space limited to 24 people.

Facilitators of the Retreat:

Rabbi Jeff Roth 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. He is the co-leader of the Jewish Mindfulness Teacher Training program and has facilitated of over 90 Jewish meditation retreats. He is the author of, Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life, from Jewish lights Publishing.

Sheila Katz, Ph.D. teaches Contemplative Practice and Middle East History at the Berklee College of Music and at Nishmat Hayyim Jewish Meditation Collective. She has studied contemplative practice with Rabbis Jeff Roth, Alan Lew (z”l), Shefa Gold, Sheila Weinberg, David Cooper, and with Shoshana Cooper, Sylvia Boorstein, Zoketsu Norman Fischer, and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. She leads weekly, monthly, and annual sits, retreats, comtempletive services, and Shabbatons. She is author of Women and Gender in Early Jewish and Palestinian Nationalism and A Century of Palestinian-Israeli Joint Nonviolence, forthcoming University of Texas Press, Fall 2016.

Brian Arnell re-connected with Judaism in the late 70’s when he joined a Jewish renewal community in Portland Oregon. In the ‘80’s he was one of the founders of P’nai Or of Porland, a renewal congregation. In 1998, he moved full-time to the Elat Chayyim retreat center in New York’s Hudson Valley and began intensive study of Jewish contemplative practice. He left the retreat center in 2006 and moved to Philadelphia. He practices as the senior Teacher and Director of Springboard Meditation Sangha, and offers Mindfulness-Based Counseling to individual clients and students.


More information about Am Kolel Sanctuary is available at:


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