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Our Vision

Shma Koleinu began with a focus on prayer, and it retains that focus today.  However, we have come to recognize that participants need not only to cultivate the skills and practices related to niggun (melody), kavanah (intentionality), and content.  They also need a solid intellectual foundation infused with high-level knowledge of textual sources and religious philosophies, as well as tools for analyzing, drawing connections, and internalizing sophisticated concepts within contemporary economic, cultural, and societal contexts.  Equally important is the development of a genuine and active appreciation of those around us.  A spirituality that lacks an interpersonal or ethical dimension borders on narcissism.  When we approach prayer with this enhanced, practice-based spirituality, it can suffuse and be infused by our attempts to inhabit life more spiritually in all realms. 


Limudei Halev (Learning of the Heart)

We employ cutting-edge technologies to deliver interactive online courses.

Our beit midrash model fosters interpersonal and intrapersonal conversations as we examine texts that help us reflect on the human condition.  

Shma Koleinu mindfully incorporates selected poetry, literature, philosophy, art, and diverse spiritual traditions, which enrich participants’ experience of Hasidic works, rabbinic literature, medieval and modern Biblical exegesis, Jewish thought, Kabbalah, and liturgical texts. We allow texts to “read” us – awakening, challenging, and expanding our horizons.

Participants engage the mysteries of their own Jewish living, explore novel paths to prayer and spirituality, and learn with individuals they otherwise might never have met. 


Pnei Shabbat (Shabbat's Visages)

Shma Koleinu's experiential arm, offers live encounters with an emphasis on music and song, including:

* Spiritual preparation for an elevated Shabbat experience in Jerusalem

* Melavei malka (Saturday night programs)  

* Shabbatonim (full Shabbat experiences) throughout Israel.


Programs include participatory learning, liturgical singing, and wordless niggunim, designed to help open our hearts to the sacredness of time, of space, and of that which dwells in others and within ourselves. 

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