Announcing Mitsui Collective’s
Justice & Embodied Jewish Practice Kollel!

This is a unique paid opportunity for a select group of embodied Jewish practitioners to gather in a weekly community of practice over the course of the Omer — the seven weeks from Passover to Shavuot — to learn, share, research, and workshop together with a particular eye towards work centering justice, equity, anti-racism, addressing ancestral trauma and healing, and catalyzing the leadership of both Jews of Color and Allies.

Meet the Inaugural Spring 2021 Kollel!

Applications are now closed for our 2021 pilot program. To stay informed of future programs and opportunities, please sign up for the mailing list (bottom of this or any page) and follow us on social media (Instagram and/or Facebook).

More information on the Kollel can be found further down on this page. Please email kollel@mitsuicollective.org with any additional questions.

Our pilot Justice & Embodied Jewish Practice Kollel is supported through funding from Rise Up, an initiative of The Nathan Cummings Foundation.

What to expect
Program structure & Content

Our pilot Justice & Embodied Jewish Practice Kollel takes place online via zoom, through seven weekly sessions aligning with the Omer (Passover to Shavuot) April 1 – May 13. The program will culminate with a public closing symposium May 18 through which participants will share research and learning through a variety of teaching formats.

Weekly sessions are three hours long (including breaks) and include: a) model Jewish embodied practice led by participants in a rotation; b) workshopping both in small groups and as a whole to develop and evolve practices; c) text + discussion based learning and sharing to augment embodied work; d) guest faculty. All Kollel members will be expected to teach, observe, learn, give feedback, and participate fully in the community of practice.

Dates & Schedule

Weekly sessions take place on the following Thursdays from 1-4 pm EST: April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; May 6, 13

Program commitments and honorarium

Kollel members will be expected to teach, observe, learn, give feedback, and participate fully in the community of practice and in the closing symposium. Members may also prep & (co-)lead one theory & discourse session for the group; and to write up and/or lead up to two brief public embodied Jewish practice sessions during the Omer.

Kollel members receive an $1,800 honorarium for their time and contributions.

Guest Faculty

Please stay tuned for more info as we confirm our guest faculty. We will share here as we have updates.

frequently asked questions
what is Justice- and equity-oriented embodied Jewish practice?

Embodied Jewish practice brings the tools of embodied experience — movement, breathwork, song, prayer, nature connection, food, music, art, and ritual — into the experience of Jewish life & learning through our bodies. A justice-and-equity-orientation focuses additionally on the healing-centered work of addressing how our experiences of Judaism and Jewish community are impacted because of the bodies we are in. It addresses the corollary impacts and root causes of racism, ancestral trauma, and oppression in our bodies; and moves us forward into collective healing pathways for those of all backgrounds and identities.

Who is this program for?

The Justice & Embodied Jewish Practice Kollel is for experienced professionals whose teaching and practice lay at the intersection of embodiment, equity, and Jewish learning and expression. Participants may be movement teachers, musicians, healers, somatic therapists, artists, nature educators, ritualists, and more.

We are particularly looking for those whose work centers the body and do their work through a Jewish lens. For example, a teacher who uses the language of movement and dance to unlock creative Jewish expression; a mental health professional who uses breathwork or movement therapy approaches to address ancestral Jewish trauma; a musician who guides participants in the somatic experience of making music together in order to connect more fully within and between our bodies and souls; a nature educator who infuses the rhythms of Jewish time and ritual into direct physical, sensory connection with nature and place.

Likewise we are looking for practitioners who bring the lenses of justice & equity to their work in meaningful and tangible ways. This includes but is not limited to areas of racial equity, gender & sexuality, class privilege, and/or disability justice.

We are not looking for practitioners whose work is exclusively or predominantly performance-based. Rather, performance may certainly be an element of your creative work, but at the core of your work you are also a teacher, facilitator, and/or relational practitioner. Neither are we looking for those who engage with justice and equity issues from a predominantly cognitive and/or intellectual position. Certainly we will engage with ideas and theory, however our focus is on navigating these challenges, impacts, and healing solutions through the work of body-centered practice.

ages of participants

As this is a paid experience, participants are expected to be 18 years or older, though interested teens with the requisite background and experience should certainly be in touch! There is no upper age limit for participation; we hope this will be a nourishing multi-generational cohort of practitioners.

IS THERE A COST TO participate?

There is no cost for participation in this program. We do ask Kollel members to fully commit to the program. You will also need to have the space and equipment to both learn and teach via zoom.

What is a kollel?

A Kollel is a community of practice engaged in Jewish learning, sharing, and applied enrichment. Traditionally, a kollel is an institute for full-time, advanced study of Jewish text (particularly Talmud and rabbinic literature) in which participants are often compensated for their time and learning. While traditionally focused on text study and limited in participation to married and traditionally-observant Jewish men, we join a number of folks who are reimagining both the learning contexts and equity practices of what, at its core, is a rich model of learning and community building.

where will the program take place?

Online! While we acknowledge that teaching and learning embodied practice through a virtual space isn’t exactly ideal, for the time being this is still the safest and most effective platform to continue learning and growing together. From our end, we will do everything we can to create a supportive and learningful environment for participants. On your end, we ask that you are prepared as best you can to learn, teach, and create community through virtual means. One day in the future we absolutely hope to run in-person communities of practice that build off this foundation!

WHAT IF I CAN’T fully participate in every session?

We understand that folks everywhere are navigating multiple personal and professional obligations that may conflict with full participation. As a rule, we ask that participants only apply if they are able and excited to fully participate in the entirety of this program. Please contact us if you have limited conflicts with any of the dates listed or concerns about fulfilling other expectations of the program, but can otherwise fully commit.

I have a full-time day job — how can I convince my employer to let me do this?

Yup, we get that! Folks have a whole range of flexibility (or not) when it comes to arranging their work schedules. If you’re unable to adjust your working hours, or even if you are, we also recommend that you approach this as a professional development opportunity — which it absolutely is, because every member of the Kollel will learn a *lot* throughout this experience. If your day-work is not directly tied to embodied Jewish practice and/or equity, we welcome you to be in touch to chat about other connections that can help make the case.

DO I NEED TO BE JEWISH TO PARTICIPATE?

Mitsui Collective does not discriminate on the basis of religion or creed. You do not need to be Jewish to participate. We do expect applicants to speak to how Jewish ideas, traditions, concepts, and practices are integral to their work and welcome any and all applicants, regardless of religious identity, who are deeply engaged in these questions.

What can I expect to get out of this experience?

This Kollel is for practitioners who are excited to be in a community of practice to grow, strengthen, and deepen their individual work and the collective body of justice- and equity-oriented embodied Jewish practice. In addition to the honorarium, we hope and expect that participants will leave this experience with an abundance of new practices to explore, ideas to consider, frameworks to integrate into their work, and relationships to deepen and sustain their community and their practice.

Contact

Email: kollel(at)mitsuicollective.org