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Ruach Chayim Institute 1998-99

Third weekend of Jewish Spiritual Exploration

Brought to you by the Hillel Foundation at the University of Florida through a very generous grant by Medical Manager

Table of Contents

  1. Who are our master teachers?
  2. What's happening Friday night?
  3. What about Saturday?
  4. Is there really a JAM session?
  5. Is there more on Sunday?
  6. Can I get individual sessions with the master teachers?   How can I get involved?

Who are our master teachers?

Rabbi Marcia Prager and Cantor Jack Kessler will be joining us for the weekend.  Rabbi Prager is a teacher, storyteller, artist, and therapist. A graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, she also holds the personal smicha (rabbinic ordination) of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, serves as rabbi-haver of a synagogue in Philadelphia as well as a founding rabbi in a congregation in Princeton, New Jersey.  She teaches in many different Jewish and interfaith settings, offering the wisdom of Jewish tradition as a path of personal growth and world healing. She and her husband, Jack Kessler, a traditionally trained cantor and director of two Jewish music ensembles, often lead workshops and retreats together.

Here are some words about Rabbi Prager:

"Marcia Prager gives voice to the the urgings of the Shekhinah, the feminine aspect of God. You will draw inspiration and guidance from her teachings, which will lead you from level to level up the ladder of consciousness. Watch out! You are dealing with highly transformative material." --Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi, Aleph Alliance for Jewish Renewal, and World Wisdom Chair, Naropa Institute

"Marcia Prager offers us an exhilarating adventure of the spirit. Six seemingly ordinary Hebrew words become luminous gateways into the inner riches of ancient and modern Jewish wisdom." --Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, Congregation Beth El, Sudbury, MA, author of Invisible Lines of Connection (Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT)

"This is a wonderful presentation of how the practice of blessing is a continuous connection to wonder. In a literate and engaging way, it combines deep and inspiring scholarship with complete accessibility for all readers." --Sylvia Boorstein, author of That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist.

"Rabbi Marcia Prager brings profound meaning and vitality to the Jewish mindfulness practice of offering blessings throughout the day. She draws from a deep well of talmudic and hasidic teachings to illuminate a vast array of mystical treasures that can be gleaned from a few essential Hebrew words. This gem of a book is essential for anyone interested in spiritual Judaism." --Rabbi David Cooper, author of God Is a Verb

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What's happening Friday Night?

We begin by planning for Shabbat together and joining together to welcome the Sabbath Bride.  Join us for some delicious GOURMET KOSHER food as well.

5:30 PM – Transforming Friday Night Into Shabbat: A Primer for Shabbat 1000
(A special meeting with the student leaders of Shabbat 1000, by invitation)

6:30 PM – Kabbalat Shabbat services

8:00 PM – Gourmet Kosher Dinner, $6 for students, $10 for community or out-of-town guests. Please make reservations by contacting Hillel.

9:15 – 10:30 PM – Singing and learning session

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What about Saturday?

Saturday is a busy day of Jewish Spirituality.   It begins at 10 AM, so follow the schedule below for easy access to all of the day's events.

10 AM – 12 Noon – Shabbat morning services with P’nai Or, held at the United Church of Gainesville (1624 NW 5th Avenue). Services will be followed by a potluck lunch and teaching session. For more information, contact Renee Hoffinger, 374-4478.

6:30 – 8 PM – Meal and learning session

8:30 PM – Havdalah under the stars – meet at the Plaza of the Americas on the campus of the University of Florida.

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Is there really a JAM session?

Yes, Virginia, there is a JAM session.  At 9 PM on Saturday night, there will be an open JAM session, featuring Cantor Kessler at Hillel.  So bring your guitars, drums, clarinets, and other instruments for an evening of “Instant Jewish & Klezmer Music.”

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Is there more on Sunday?

Absolutely!!  Sunday starts off with a bang!

9:30 – 10:30 AM – Creative morning services

10:30 AM – 12:15 PM – Workshops:

-- “Making Services Come Alive Through Music” with Cantor Kessler
--“The Inner Life of Prayer” with Rabbi Prager

12:30 – Lunch

1:30 – 3:15 PM – Workshop facilitated by Rabbi Prager

7 PM – Potluck dinner and program sponsored by Lilith, the student organization for Jewish feminism.

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Can I get individual sessions with the Master Teachers?  How can I get involved?

Boy are you in luck.  Rabbi Prager is available on Monday for individual or group consultations or learning sessions.   Here's the schedule for Monday.

*Monday, April 12

10 – 11 AM – Individual or group consultations with Rabbi Prager (call Hillel to schedule appointments)

11:45 AM – 1:30 PM – Rabbi Prager will speak on topics from her book The Path of Blessing, Ruth McQuown Room, 219 Dauer Hall on the campus of the University of Florida. Lunch and arrangements provided by the Center for Jewish Studies. Call 392-9247 to make lunch reservations.

2:30 – 5 PM - Individual or group consultations with Rabbi Prager

All sessions are open to UF students and Gainesville residents and will be held at the Hillel Foundation, 16 NW 18th Street, unless otherwise noted. For questions or directions, please call Hillel at 372-2900.

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Brought to you by Hillel at the University of Florida
Copyright [UF Hillel]. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 21, 1999.