Kol Zimra: Chant Leader’s Professional Development
A Two-Year Training Program
Led by Rabbi Shefa Gold and Rachmiel O’Regan
In the West assisted by: Judith Dack and Yaffa Schnitzer
In the East assisted by: Rabbi Phyllis Berman and Carl Woolf
Co-sponsored by C-DEEP: Center for Devotional Energy & Ecstatic Practice
A Project of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal
The Kol Zimra Chant Leader’s Training has been specifically designed as a professional development program for Rabbis, Cantors and Lay Leaders, Meditation Teachers, Rosh Chodesh Leaders, Healers, Prayer Leaders, Support Group Facilitators, and Artists of Ritual.
Write to Rabbi Shefa (through the Contact Us page) to request an application or for more info. After receiving the application, send the completed application by e-mail directly to Rabbi Shefa Gold. Your letter should include a one paragraph description of your personal practice, current role in community, your background and training to date and your aspirations for this training.
About Kol Zimra Leadership Training
Chanting, the melodic and rhythmic repetition of a sacred phrase, is a way of transforming the words of liturgy and Torah into doorways to expanded states of consciousness. The chant can attune us to ever-deepening levels of meaning, unlock the treasures of the heart, and give us an opportunity to generously serve each other. This Chant Training will be an opportunity to explore this powerful ecstatic practice with both rigorous attention to detail and expansive enjoyment of its transformative effects. Participants will be asked to organize a chanting group in their own communities in order to develop and refine the skills of chant and group energy. We will learn about the dynamics and potential of a spiritual group, using our own group as a living laboratory.
At Kol Zimra, we build a Mishkan for spiritual work. The sacred phrase becomes the tool of that building project. By using that tool, we are gradually initiated into an intimate relationship with text. The sacred text becomes our modality for… healing, community-building, deep inner exploration, the doorway into meditative states, cultivating midot, connection with the ancestors, with God and with our deepest truth.
The sacred phrase becomes the doorway into greater awareness, deeper love and the kind of connection with community and God, that can sustain us in our practice and in our leadership. We study the text and we study the many dimensions of intention that fuel and animate the text.
We engage in ritual and then we reflect on what exactly did that ritual accomplish; what doors were opened; what were the components that effected transformation.
Using the laboratory of our own community, we explore the “shadow”, and our own resistances to intimacy with each other, God and spiritual practice. We learn how to dedicate our practice in service, and bring awareness to what keeps us from that service. We support each other in growing our leadership, crafting practices that will sustain us in leadership.
We explore the power of breath, melody, harmony, rhythm, and tone to bring Life to the sacred phrase so that it can become a transformative tool. This is how liturgy comes off the page and into our hearts. This is how Torah becomes a Living force.
We learn the art of stereoscopic consciousness (keeping a dual awareness on the group energy AND our own deepest presence). We learn to ground energy and open to guidance. We study the functions of liturgy. We learn to inquire into the nature and purpose of ecstatic states, so that our awareness might become a bridge to access those states when needed. We explore the geography of The Heart.