Workshops, seminars and courses that inspire full-hearted living


Shalom & Welcome

The Lev Shalem Institute (LSI) is the center for inspiring full-hearted living through the wisdom, joy, and gifts of Judaism. Participate for a day, a weekend workshop, or even longer intensive retreats at our beautiful synagogue surrounded by 34 acres of fields, ponds and forest, in the storied arts and music community of Woodstock, New York. Join our email list. Follow us as we grow.
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LSI News

WJC Is Engaged with Our World

Dear Friends, As the headlines swirl, and our heads along with them, I wanted you to know that we are doing all that we can at the WJC to remain …

The 100th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration; More on Our Vibrant Community

Dear Friends, On November 2, 1917 the British Government decided to endorse the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of that declaration, known …

Honoring our Chesed Volunteers at our “First Sunday” Brunch, Sunday, August 6, 11am-1pm

Lots of good friendship and good food this weekend at the WJC –Join us! Tonight, Friday, August 4: Tot Shabbat Service at 5pm, followed at 6pm by our “First Friday” …

Awakening: Preparing for a New Year: Dr. Melila Hellner-Eshed is our Scholar-in-Residence September 1-3, 2017

Dear Friends, I am thrilled to let you know that my dear friend Dr. Melila Hellner-Eshed, one of the leading teachers of Judaism in the world today, and a wise …

Ulster Immigrant Defense Network

Dear Friends, At our monthly WJC Board of Directors meeting last night, I brought to the Board’s attention the work of a new grassroots organization in our area, the Ulster …

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Upcoming Programs

December 10, 2017—January 28, 2018
Meets 4 Sundays from 3-6pm: Dec 10 & 24, Jan 14 & 28
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Read the LSI blog

A Teaching for Chanukah

Dear Friends, I wrote the following Chanukah teaching several years ago, and want to share it with you again today. I also want to let you know that I will …

A Powerful Thanksgiving Service with the Woodstock Interfaith Clergy Council

Dear Friends, This past Monday the Woodstock Jewish Congregation had the privilege of hosting the annual Woodstock Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. This year’s gathering was so stirring and inspiring that I …

On the History and the Meaning of Kol Nidre

Every year at least a few perplexed people come up to me and ask, “wait a minute, what is going on in the Kol Nidre prayer? How can anything we …

“The Morally Disengaged Life Is Not Worth Living” A Yom Kippur Teaching for 5778

The Children of Israel are assembled at the foot of Mount Sinai. Until this moment, Moses has been YHVH’s spokesman, relaying YHVH’s messages to both the enslaved Children of Israel, …

Radical Hospitality – A Rosh Hashanah Teaching for 5778

Hachnasat orchim – hospitality, in English – is considered to be one of the most important mitzvot in Jewish life. Welcoming wayfarers, guests and strangers falls into a category of …