Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center and the Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality
Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality

Kol Zimra—Chant Leaders Training

The powerful ecstatic practice of chant with rigorous attention to detail and expansive enjoyment of its transformative effects.

Kol ZimraProfessional Chant Leadership training for Rabbis, Cantors Healers, Artists of Ritual and Lay Leaders, Meditation Teachers, Rosh Chodesh Leaders, Healers, Prayer Leaders, Support Group Facilitators and Artists of Ritual.

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.


First Retreat: July 10-16, 2006

Forming the container for Sacred Work, Clarifying our Intention. The Basics of Chant — Exploring the Uses of a Sacred Phrase and the Variables that Effect Consciousness. Cultivating midot, qualities of Presence.

Second Retreat: January 15-21, 2007

Discerning and Practicing the Eight Functions of Consciousness in a Spiritual Group. Exploring the "shadow" as it arises in group dynamics: where it comes from, why it is inevitable, and creative ways to deal with this powerful force.

Third Retreat: August 6-12, 2007

The Uses of Chant in the Exploration of Sacred Text and in preparing a spaciousness for prayerful silence. Constructing a chanting service. The use of chant in ritual and life passages.

Fourth Retreat: January 21-27, 2008

Chant as a Healing Modality. Sustaining a personal practice and ongoing spiritual group. Instruction in voice, rhythm and maintaining the energy body.

Resource Materials

Trainees will receive a curriculum guide and CD of chants, specially developed for this course and not available to the public. Faculty will provide ongoing support and mentorship.

To Apply

E-mail an application 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.

Co-sponsored by Elat Chayyim and C-DEEP, Center for Devotional Energy & Ecstatic Practice: A Project of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal.

Call (800) 398-2630 ext. 307 to register or for more information. Also check out

"Rabbi Shefa knows how to contact the deep patterns of soul growth. She does that in the dimensions of sound, meditation, movement, and devotion. Her great strength is midwifing transformation for people. Her Center will serve those who are tired of doing only the beginner's work."
—Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi


Rabbi Shefa GoldRabbi Shefa Gold is the director of C-DEEP: The Center for Devotional, Energy and Ecstatic Practice in New Mexico.

She received her ordination both from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. Shefa composes and performs spiritual music, has produced nine albums, and her liturgies have been published in several new prayerbooks. She teaches workshops and retreats on the theory and art of Chanting, Devotional Healing, Spiritual Community building and Meditation.

Shefa combines her grounding in Judaism with a background in Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, and Native American spiritual traditions to make her uniquely qualified as a spiritual bridge celebrating the shared path of devotion.

Rachmiel O'Regan, M.A.Rachmiel O'Regan, M.A., Co-Director of C-DEEP, is a long-time teacher, singer, musician, yoga teacher and holistic health practitioner. He has been a masters level counselor for over 15 years.

Rabbi Phyllis BermanRabbi Phyllis Berman is an inspirational leader of services and was the Elat Chayyim summer program director from 1993-2003. She is the founding director since 1979 of the Riverside Language Program in NYC. She is the co-author of A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven and Tales of Tikkun.

Back to top

Registration Information

Single Room

w/ private bath & queen-sized bed


w/ private bath


w/ shared bath & queen-sized bed


w/ shared bath


w/ hall bath

Double Room

w/ private bath & queen-sized bed


w/ private bath


w/ shared bath & queen-sized bed


w/ shared bath


w/ hall bath

Triple Room

w/ private bath


w/ hall bath

Children (Ages 3-14)

per night


Training Institute Tuition

The tuition for this institute is $1,400 ($900 deposit) and does not include the cost of Room and Board (see table on the right). Listed room and board fees are per week.

Room and board includes housing, meals, Shabbat services, evening activities, hot tub, yoga, meditation, and full use of our facility. All rooms are air-conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter.

Financial assistance for graduate students in rabbinic, cantorial, or Jewish education are eligible for aid through a generous grant provided by The Lasko Family Foundation of Philadelphia. Click here to apply.

Limited financial aid is also available through the Elat Chayyim scholarship fund.

Arrival and Departure

Please arrive between 2pm and 5pm on the day your retreat begins. Retreats end with brunch at 11:30am on the last day of the retreat.

Room and Board Cancellation Policy

The Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality reserves the right to cancel any program at any time. In this event, you will be given a complete refund.

For transportation: A full refund of transportation fees is available if you cancel at least three days (72 hours) in advance. No refund is available if less than three days notice is given. For more information on getting here, please visit our Travel & Transportation page.

Tuition Cancellation Policy

In case of cancellation of the entire Institute, Elat Chayyim retains a $200 enrollment deposit, plus tuition for any weeks attended or partially attended. Any tuition paid in excess of these amounts is refunded.

Register now!

Back to top