Self Renovation | Livnot U'Lehibanot
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Self Renovation

May 7-12, 2018

Give yourself the opportunity to take a deeper look into yourself and into your Judaism – Embrace your heritage and make it truly your own – At your stage and at your pace.

Incorporate the elements of the Four Worlds:
Emanation | Creation | Formation | Action.

Apply the Kabbalistic principle of cultivating wholeness in all dimensions of our lives.

Since you have a great deal of real and valuable life experience, we are using the term Self Renovation to show that we can build upon the past, finding what areas can use reinforcement, thereby strengthening ourselves for the future.

This program takes advantage of the gifts that the city of Tzfat offers: spirituality, community, creativity and natural beauty to provide an experience that will touch your soul.

We bring to bear Livnot U’Lehibanot’s 37 years of educational experience as well as the wisdom of leaders in the fields of Jewish mysticism, art, culture, and community service.

תמונה 6

The program offers a range of challenging and inspiring activities for refreshing and renovating our spirit based on the Four Worlds:

Emanation

Spiritual Practices, including authentic Jewish meditation and in-depth study of our spiritual heritage

Creation

Hiking the mountains and waterfalls of the northern Galilee, connecting with nature and ourselves through the wisdom of our Sages

Formation

Art projects and Music experiences guided by talented instructors of the Tzfat Art and Music community

Action

Community Service, providing meaningful and necessary assistance to segments of the community who are in need

Exploring personal connections to Judaism for adults, open to men and women of all ages and backgrounds.

 

Livnot U’lehibanot Testimonials

Additional Info

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Staff

Rabbi Meir Sendor

Rabbi Meir Sendor, Ph.D., serves as the facilitator for Tal Orot and an educator for Livnot U’Lehibanot. After serving as the rabbinic leader of the Young Israel of Sharon for thirty-two years, Rabbi Sendor and his wife Anne have moved to Tzfat, Israel in the summer of 2016. With rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University and a doctorate from Harvard University in medieval Jewish history, with special expertise in the history of Kabbalah and Jewish philosophy, Rabbi Sendor teaches a wide range of subjects, from kabbalah, philosophy and hasidism to talmudic and biblical commentary, halakhah and ethics. He uses his three decades of experience teaching Torah and meditation in the Sharon and the Greater Boston area to implement this program in Israel.

Anne Sendor

Anne Sendor is the Executive Director of Tal Orot, and also serves as a teacher in Livnot. A teacher for over forty years, with a background in Jewish studies and social psychology from Clark University, Torah studies from Shapell College for Women, and experience in programming and administration for educational non-profit organizations, Anne brings a wealth of resources to the development of Tal Orot as a dynamic society contributing to Israeli and Jewish culture worldwide.

Schedule

Monday:

Evening arrival (Public Transportation available from Carmiel Train Station)

 

Tuesday:

Morning Options: Meditation session / Prayers / Learning

Breakfast

Where are we – Acclimatization Tour

Community Service project in the community

Lunch / Afternoon free

Late afternoon meditation sessions

Dinner

Musical Evening with Tzfat musicians from the Maqamat Middle East Music Academy

 

Wednesday:

Morning Options: Meditation session / Prayers / Learning

Breakfast

Hiking Day; connecting with and learning from nature; wear sturdy shoes!

Late afternoon cleanup and rest

Dinner

Evening: Meeting with Fascinating Tzfat residents who have been instrumental in helping  shape city

 

Thursday:

Morning Options: Meditation session / Prayers / Learning

Breakfast

Art Tour and projects; bringing out the artist in each one of us

Lunch / Afternoon free

Late Afternoon Meditation

Dinner

Evening: Music; Visit to one of Tzfat’s music venues, such as Mystic Mountain or Cafe Michael

 

Friday:

Morning Options: Meditation session / Prayers / Learning

Breakfast

Shabbat preparations, including challah baking in our own 16th century oven, Words of Wisdom

Holy Sites Tour – Connecting with the Torah and Traits of the Tzadikim of the area

Free Afternoon

Candle Lighting / Kabbalat Shabbat – prayer options at various synagogues

Festive Group Shabbat meal

Oneg Shabbat

 

Shabbat:

Morning open to explore local synagogues or private time

Early Kiddush

Home Hospitality – Lunch with local Tzfat residents

Shabbat Minucha – time to rest

Afternoon visit at the Livnot Beit HaKahal, a National Heritage site from the 16th century –  archaeological finds and their significance

Third Meal/Havdallah – Fire, Wine and Spice to bring in the new week

Farewell Melave Malka

Closing session

 

*The schedule is subject to change

Extension Option: An additional two-day intensive workshop in Jewish Meditation with Rabbi Sendor, May 13-14, 2018

Extension Option

Livnot U’Lehibanot Self-Renovation Two-Day Extension

Jewish Meditation Workshop

For those interested in deepening their spiritual renovation, we offer a two-day intensive workshop in authentic Jewish meditation practice.  

Judaism has its own rich meditation tradition that is central to Kabbalah and Hassidism. These meditation practices help us cultivate the full potential of our consciousness to enhance our spiritual development. We will practice a set of traditional Jewish meditation techniques designed to expand and focus consciousness and deepen our moral and spiritual awareness. Each day includes morning and afternoon sessions, each of which is devoted to developing a specific skill set, along with study of the sources of the techniques and related theory.

Day One: שתיקה והתפשטות  — Silencing and Stripping Away

We practice a basic hasidic technique for quieting verbal thinking and opening consciousness to global awareness. Once this method is mastered, we introduce the next step in quieting consciousness known as Stripping Away. Developed by Rabbi Avraham Abulafia in the thirteenth century and used in the rabbinic and kabbalistic traditions, this method employs vocalization to bring our consciousness to a high level of clarity. Both methods are gateways to all further meditation methods. We will also bring our enhanced awareness to conscious walks in the forest of Tzfat, a traditional practice of the kabbalists of Tzfat since the sixteenth century.

Day Two: דבקות  —  Constant Awareness

One of the goals of traditional Jewish meditation is devekut – constant awareness of God. We will practice a powerful meditation method described by Rabbi Yitzhak of Acco, kabbalist of the thirteenth century, in his commentary Meirat Einayim. This method is for all levels of students and serves as an introduction to the practice of Yichudim, unifications based on divine Names, that has become a central technique of Lurianic kabbalah to this day.

Accommodations

The Livnot U’Lehibanot campus is located in the ancient city of Tzfat high atop the hills that make up the Upper Galilee. Rooms are designed for 3-5 people, with air conditioning, bathrooms and single beds. All bedding and towels will be supplied.

The facilities include a kitchen, dining room, library, meditation room, activity spaces, an amazing terrace, and wifi.

To view more on Livnot’s Facilities please click here

For alternative accommodation options (i.e B&Bs) please contact Anne at [email protected] 

Tuition

5-Day Spiritual Rennovation program = $1200

2-Day Intensive Meditation Extension = $500

 

What’s included:

  • Accommodations at the Livnot Campus
  • Upgraded accommodations at nearby tzimmers–boutique hotels– available at additional charge)
  • Two group meals daily
  • Site entrance fees, activity costs and programming
  • Local medical insurance (not including pre-existing conditions)
  • Many opportunities for new friendships, appreciation for our traditions, and meaningful experiences

What’s not included:

  • Flights to/from Israel
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Meals not marked as included in itinerary
  • Incidentals

Cancellation and Refund Policy:

If, for any reason, you must cancel your registration, a reimbursement of  tuition, excluding the $500 non-refundable deposit, will be given according to the following schedule:

If cancelled by March 31 you will be refunded 100%

If cancelled by April 30 you will be refunded 50%

If cancelled after April 30, no reimbursement shall be given.

Really Good Questions

Will everyone be doing meditation? Studying? How much text study?

There will be an opportunity to try meditation daily, but it is optional. Text study will accompany our activities to enhance the meaning and Jewish message, and should be viewed as a resource for self-development. All Hebrew texts will be translated, and there is no previous knowledge necessary.

What if i’m not artistic?

This is an opportunity to find the artist within you! We will explore many kinds of media, including creative writing and Mindful Photography, which are accessible to all. One of our group projects will be to create a group journal, including personal observations, photos, and any other visual representation that you want to share with the group.

How strenuous will the hiking be?

We will offer different levels of hiking to accommodate our variety of levels. Also, if you do have any mobility issues, please let us know so we can adjust our programming accordingly. Please do note that Tzfat itself can be a challenge to walk! If you have lightweight hiking or walking sticks that you can bring with you, we highly recommend doing so!

Food options/issues

At Livnot, we have a kosher kitchen, and the communal meals will all be kosher. Over the years, we have been able to handle a variety of food allergies, limitations, and special diets. If you do have any specific issues, please let us know so we can be prepared.

Time off during the day?

We have built into our schedule some time off in the afternoons so you can pursue some personal goals, or enjoy a good nap! If you are meeting friends and want them to join us for a program, please let us know beforehand so we can figure out what works for all of us.

Shabbat observance and religious expectations

We aim to build on our own experiences, and broaden our sense of exploration and wonder. There is no religious prescription or hidden agenda. During times of prayer service, there is no expectation of participation beyond what you want to experience. Tzfat is a modern Jewish city, with a mixed population of native-born Israelis and immigrants from Russia, Ethiopia, North Africa, and Anglo communities. The city itself is secular with a large traditional population. The Old City where our campus is, is mostly composed of Orthodox or Hasidic Jews, and you should take that into consideration during your stay. This means respecting the Sabbath in all public areas, as well as more modest dress when visiting with local families.

Is Tzfat a safe place?  Should we be concerned about security?

Tzfat is as safe as any other place in the world, and much safer than many places in the world.  The old city of Tzfat (where we will be most of the time) has existed, largely intact, since the Medieval Period. It’s a very special, HOLY place, and the people there know – and treasure – that. That doesn’t mean that anything can’t happen there; everything can happen there. It has a peaceful vibe. For those of you who need more reassurance, Livnot is connected to a vast network of people (Israeli intelligence, the government, the army, the national security monitors) who keep tabs on everything going on within the country all the time and do everything to keep us as safe as possible.  They issue status reports on a regular basis of anything going on throughout the country that might impact us.  Whenever we travel together, we use our own chartered busses, and we will employ guards and medics as needed.  Israelis are hyper vigilant about security, so let’s let them worry on our behalf and free ourselves to enjoy.

Suggested Packing List

You can never have too many shoes, but that doesn’t mean you need to bring all of them with you on your Israel journey.

We often hear people groan under the weight of heavy luggage, “I wish I had packed lighter!”  Pack all items in a bag you are able to lift by yourself.  Suitcases should ideally have wheels but there are a lot of stairs in Tzfat.  Tip: You will leave with more than you brought, so save some space in your bag.

 

Clothes can be washed or worn again, and we have laundry facilities on campus.  Israel’s arid climate makes for warm days and chilly nights, so dress in layers when possible.  Bring mostly informal clothing, with at least one or two outfits (or layers) that can get very dirty – even paint or clay dirty.  A nice outfit is needed for Shabbat or going out (by nice we mean not shlumpy…but not formal either).  Emphasize comfort over style with everything you bring.  There is no dress code on campus.  But when we go out into town, to locals’ homes, or to volunteering activities, please plan to dress more modestly, meaning pants, below-knee skirts, shoulders covered.  Bedding and towels are provided.

 

Basic packing checklist:

Clothing:

  • 4 t-shirts
  • 2 pairs of jeans/pants/sweats
  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 1 sweater, sweatshirt or mid-weight jacket
  • Swimwear
  • Sleepwear
  • 5 pairs of underwear
  • 5 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of water/shower shoes
  • 1 pair of hiking boots or supportive sneakers with good tread
  • 1 pair of nicer shoes (for Shabbat).  Sandals are fine but high-heels not recommended—they get stuck in the cobblestones!
  • 1 long skirt (women) / nice khakis (men) (for Shabbat)
  • 1 nicer blouse or shirt (for Shabbat)
  • hat for hiking
  • “Going out” outfit (for free evening)
Miscellaneous Items:

  • Passport
  • Backpack/daypack that can hold at least 2 liters of water, food and misc. Items for hiking
  • Medicines
  • Water bottle
  • Camping towel for hiking (room towels not to be taken off campus)
  • Prescription glasses/contact lenses, case and cleaning solution
  • Camera with charger/batteries
  • Adapter/converter for electrical appliances (220v, Western European—two round prongs)
  • Mini flashlight or headlamp for night hikes, reading in bed, etc
  • Plastic bags for wet or dirty clothes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Toiletries (deodorant, toothbrush, etc.)
  • Travel alarm clock
Health Insurance

In order to be accepted onto our program you must have medical insurance that will cover you in the case of an emergency whilst you are on our program. We provide comprehensive medical insurance free of cost if you do not have your own.

Terms and Conditions

For the ‘fine print’ on payments, security, and more, click here