Rabbi Jonathan is away this week! In lieu of a Torah teaching, he has asked us to share the following press release about his exciting upcoming workshop with Dr. Melila Hellner-Eshed, PhD. We hope you can join us!
Shabbat Shalom,
WJC Staff

The Lev Shalem Institute (LSI) of the Woodstock Jewish Congregation (WJC) is offering a new weekend workshop, “Awakening: Preparing Ourselves for a New Year” with Dr. Meilila Hellner-Eshed.

The workshop begins on Friday, September 1 at 5 pm at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation, continues all day Saturday and concludes at 2 pm on Sunday, September 3. As with all LSI courses and workshops, this course is open to all, Jew and non-Jew.

A riveting presenter and expert in Jewish mysticism, Dr. Hellner-Eshed combines an encyclopedic knowledge of classic Jewish texts with the heart of an artist and the perspective of a citizen of the world. Like all great teachers, Melila guides students to where the ancient tradition and their own lives intersect. The course will weave interactive text study, lecture, song, creative writing, reflection and deep sharing.

“Melila is truly one of the leading teachers of Judaism in the world today,” said WJC Rabbi Jonathan Kligler. “I am honored to be one of her students, and honored to call her a friend. We have ample opportunities for the community to learn with Melila in sessions both open to the public and those that are just for workshop participants. It’s a rare opportunity to learn with her in an intimate setting at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation.”
Friday evening and Saturday morning activities will be open, free of charge, to the entire community, WJC members and non-members. Beginning with Shabbat lunch on Saturday and continuing through Sunday lunch, Dr. Hellner-Eshed will lead a workshop that requires participants to register in advance and pay a tuition fee.

Weekend Schedule

Friday, September 1

5 pm Registration and greeting for weekend workshop participants
6 pm “First Friday” pot luck Shabbat Dinner OPEN TO ALL
7:30 pm Teaching with Dr. Hellner-Eshed OPEN TO ALL

Saturday, September 2

10 am Shabbat morning service, led by Rabbi Jonathan, with Torah teaching by Dr. Hellner-Eshed OPEN TO ALL
12:30-8 pm Workshop begins with lunch for the participants, followed by
learning sessions, afternoon break, dinner and havdalah service.

Sunday, September 3

9:30 am-2 pm Workshop continues, and concludes with lunch and farewells

Workshop Registration and Information


$150 General; $75 WJC Members

If tuition costs are prohibitive, contact Dee Graziano at WJC for a confidential conversation.


$70 (Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner, and Sunday lunch, plus snacks; most dietary needs can be accommodated)
Participants are also welcome to bring their own dairy/vegetarian food if they do not want to sign up for the meal plan.

Online registration is available through the LSI website:

Register Online

Dr. Melila Hellner-Eshed teaches Zohar, Jewish mysticism, and Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is also a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute.
For the past two decades, Dr. Hellner-Eshed has been a central figure in the renaissance of the study of Jewish texts by Israeli adults from all paths of life, as well as teaching and working with Jewish communities all over North America, Europe and the former Soviet Union. At the Shalom Hartman Institute, she initiated and directs the Rabbinic Students Seminar, a program for rabbinic students from all denominations spending a year in Israel. In this capacity she has influenced a generation of young rabbis from around the world. Dr. Hellner-Eshed is also the coordinator of the Maskilot Program, which provides outstanding female doctoral students with an edge in completing their Ph.D.’s and pursuing their rightful place in Israel's elite circle of Jewish studies academics.
Dr. Hellner-Eshed is active in ‘Sulha’– a reconciliation project that brings together Israelis and Palestinians. She is the author of And a River Flows from Eden - On the Language of Mystical Experience in the Zohar (2009), and Seekers of The Face - From the Secrets of the Idra Rabba in the Zohar” (2016).