About 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!

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

About the Kollel
Program structure & Content

Our pilot Justice & Embodied Jewish Practice Kollel took place online via zoom, through seven weekly sessions aligning with the Omer (Passover to Shavuot) April 1 – May 13. The program culminates with a public closing symposium June 7th 5-7pm ET through which participants will share research and learning through a variety of teaching formats.

Weekly sessions were three hours long (including breaks) and included: 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.

Program commitments and honorarium

Kollel members were expected to teach, observe, learn, give feedback, and participate fully in the community of practice and in the closing symposium.

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

Dates & Schedule

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

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.

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.

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 were 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 were 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 were 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 were 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.

Email: kollel(at)mitsuicollective.org