Teaching

The following are four broad areas of teaching for in-person Scholar-in-Residence Weekends and Full-Day Workshops.  Each engagement is created to meet the specific needs and interests of a particular community.

Becoming Pursuers of Justice
We know that the Torah commands us to be pursuers of justice.  How do we do this in a way that is Jewishly informed and consistent with a range of Jewish values?
Making Community Work When We Don't All Agree
Jewish tradition has trained us to treasure robust engagement on subjects that matter.  But today, many communities believe they must choose between conflict avoidance and explosive, destructive argument.  In this weekend, we explore and practice the middle way — the Jewish way — machloket l’shem shamayim (“disagreement for the sake of heaven”).
Living the Torah of Kindness
The Rabbis tell us that the Torah is a book of lovingkindness from start to finish.  Yet the world we live in seems to be more antagonistic than ever.  In this weekend, we harness the power of ancient texts and practices on lovingkindness to transform our lives: as individuals, in families, workplaces and communities, and in our public lives.

Spiritual Living in Tumultuous Times

It seems that hate and anger are ubiquitous, and we sometimes despair of sustaining ourselves in healthy ways, not to mention making a difference in our world.  In this weekend, we practice a number of Jewish spiritual practices and explore middot/qualities of being that can support us in living healthy, sacred, and productive lives in these troubled times.

1.Becoming Pursuers of Justice   

We know that the Torah commands us to be pursuers of justice.  How do we do this in a way that is Jewishly informed and consistent with a range of Jewish values?   Through a combination of text study, guided group discussion, and experiential exercises, this weekend will help us probe what is required of us as Jews in our time.  This will include balancing the demands of justice, the need to pursue peace in our relationships, and humility in our souls.  We also explore helpful ways to talk about social justice in politically heterogeneous communities.

 

Sample Weekend Sessions:
 

  • Social Justice Matters

  • Can we talk about Social Justice in shul?

  • Wrestling with Racism as Jews

  • How much is enough in our work for social justice?

  • Loving our Neighbor as We Work for Justice

  • What’s Israel Got to Do with our Justice Work?

 

Workshop Day

The day begins with a dialogue between Jewish texts on the pursuit of justice and our own experiences as lovers of justice. We proceed to segments on racial justice and on immigration—studying current realities and deepening our sense of what we can do to help dismantle injustice.  Toward the end of the day, we turn to issues of personal practice in justice work:  How much is too much and how much is enough?  How do we ground our work in love rather than in hate?  What supports do we need to sustain our justice work?

 

The day can also be specifically focused on the topic of “Wrestling with Racism as Jews,” diving into the particular complexities of anti-racism work for us as Jews.

 

Credit: Spiritual Directors International www.sdiworld.org

 

2.Making Community Work When We Don’t All Agree

Jewish tradition has trained us to treasure robust engagement on subjects that matter.  But today, many communities believe they must choose between conflict avoidance and explosive, destructive argument.  In this weekend, we explore and practice the middle way — the Jewish way — machloket l’shem shamayim (“disagreement for the sake of heaven”).  We study a sampling of texts on “sacred argument” and on constructive feedback, and we engage in experiential exercises that help us navigate difference and conflict in our relationships, in our community, and in our public lives.

 

Sample Weekend Sessions
 

  • Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace

  • The Jewish Path of Sacred Argument ()

  • The Jewish Art of Arguing Well

  • The Mitzvah of Challenging Conversation

  • Relating to our Enemy: Challenges, Complexities and Paths to Healing

  • The Practice of Peace:Training the Heart and Mind for Peace

  • What’s Love Got to Do With It?

  • for Living with Difference and Conflict

  • Building Communal Infrastructure for Loving Difference

 

Workshop Day

The workshop day begins with an overview of the theory and practice of “mahloket l’shem shamayim.”  We proceed with a sampling of Jewish texts and experiential exercises that demonstrate best practices in living with difference and conflict—in relationships, in community, and in society. We conclude either with thoughts on spiritual practice to sustain this work or structural interventions to build capacity for “sacred disagreement” in community.

 
 

3. Living the Torah of Kindness

The Rabbis tell us that the Torah is a book of lovingkindness from start to finish.  Yet the world we live in seems to be more antagonistic than ever.  In this weekend, we harness the power of ancient texts and practices on lovingkindness to transform our lives: as individuals, in families, workplaces and communities, and in our public lives.

 

Sample Weekend Sessions
 

  • Torah of Lovingkindness

  • Self-Love and Kindness toward Others

  • Kindness toward Friends and Enemies

  • The Role of Lovingkindness in Community

 

Workshop Day

This day is a spacious exploration of the Buddhist practice of metta/lovingkindness meditation.  The day begins with a sampling of Jewish texts on the power and beauty of kindness, and an overview of the practice itself.  Throughout the day, participants are guided to explore recitation of phrases of lovingkindness, directed toward self, loved ones, familiar strangers, difficult people, and the world.  Brief periods of meditation alternate with teachings and small-group discussion.  Over the course of the day, concentration grows stronger, and the heart begins to fill with the benefits of the practice.  No prior meditation experience needed, just an interest in cultivating a more loving heart.

 

4. Spiritual Living in Tumultuous Times

So many of us feel weary, beleaguered, and frightened by the changes in our country and in our world.  It seems that hate and anger are ubiquitous, and we sometimes despair of sustaining ourselves in healthy ways, not to mention making a difference in our world.  In this weekend, we practice a number of Jewish spiritual practices and explore middot/qualities of being that can support us in living healthy, sacred, and productive lives in these troubled times.

 

Sample Weekend Sessions
 

  • Spiritual Practice for the Work of Peace and Justice

  • The Revolutionary Art of Pausing

  • Sustaining Ourselves and Others through Mindful Speech

  • for Troubled Times

 

Workshop Day

The day begins with an overview of the power and potential of spiritual practice to help us achieve more balance and well-being in these troubled times.  Next, we explore Shabbat as a core Jewish practice that can bring us nourishment in this historical moment.  The day proceeds with an introduction to Jewish mindfulness practice and the art of mindful speech.  The remainder of the day is devoted to studying and contemplating middot (qualities of being that are a focus of reflection in the Mussar tradition) that need to be cultivated to strengthen our capacity to be our best selves even when times are hard.

Praise for Rabbi Eilberg's Teaching

"You are a dazzling teacher and an inspiring presence. Thank you for the gift of your class today - radiant at every level."  

 

                                                                    Rabbi Brad Artson, American Jewish University, Los Angeles, CA

 

"Gratitude overwhelms me-Rabbi Amy Eilberg facilitated a conversation about Israel-Gaza today at Shir Tikvah that invited people to share, listen, weep, hope, and trust. She-and the 70+ people who participated-are a gift. Amidst a raging war, we took one small, imprecise, imperceptible step towards wholeness and healing. And, I pray, peace. Thank you!"

 

                                                        Rabbi Michael Adam Latz, Shir Tikvah Congregation, Minneapolis, MN

 

"Rabbi Amy Eilberg has a crystal clear voice, and a very inspiring way of teaching, and of effortlessly and artlessly imbuing a room with spiritual awareness. She has so much to teach, both by personal example and with her extensive knowledge."

 

Etz Chayim Congregation, Palo Alto, CA

 

"Such important work and done so expertly! You are such a treasure of mind and heart and teaching skill. Your presentation of this material is high art."

 

House of Hope Presbyterian Church, St. Paul, MN

 

"Your presentation last night was both powerful and understated. If your goal was to capture people’s attention and to plant one BIG seed, you were successful. There was much gentle wisdom, both from the sources you quoted and from your own commentary. There was, I’d say, an “invitation to reflect” that came out of your presentation. I felt that you had provided a clarion call for kindness and compassion, but without exaggeration or hyperbole. In short, thank you for what you are doing. There is no work, no service, greater than what you are doing."

 

University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN

 

"I am still basking in the glow of your being with us and your presentation on training the heart and mind for peace.  I continue to hear complioments about how meaningful it was for folks who attended.  Thank you, again, for sharing you giftedness with us."

 

Sacred Ground Center for Spirituality, St. Paul, MN

 

"There was this divine hush that came over the group when you were sharing. I knew that heads and hearts were open and receiving."

 

Melrose Center for Eating Disorders, Minneapolis, MN

FOLLOW ME

  • Facebook Classic
  • Twitter Classic
  • LinkedIn App Icon

© 2014 by Rabbi Amy Eilberg

Website design by Jonah Newman