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

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 …

“In The Tent of Abraham: The Mystical Heart of Islam, Christianity and Judaism” begins this coming Tuesday, November 15!

Dear Friends, Just a brief note today to remind you all about the course that I will be co-teaching with inspiring colleagues at the WJC beginning this coming Tuesday, November …

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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 …

On Gratitude

V’achalta v’savata u’veirachta You shall eat, and be satiated, and give thanks (Deuteronomy 8:10) As some of you may know, those three Hebrew words – V’achalta v’savata u’veirachta – comprise …

Korach: Demagogue

Dear Friends, I composed this piece a year ago, highlighting Judaism’s insistent and insightful understanding of the dangers of demagoguery. A year later, sadly, tragically, dangerously, the demagogue who was …