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

Who We Are

The Elat Chayyim Staff

Ari Weller

Director, Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality
Associate Director, Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center

Ari WellerAri is the Director of the Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality at Isabella Freedman. He comes from a successful career as a holistically focused personal trainer in New York City. He created Integrative Movement Conditioning, a complete training philosophy focused on physical fitness and mental well-being.

Ari’s integrative body methodology establishes a balance of strength and flexibility while cultivating a peaceful frame of mind. In addition to the range of disciplines he teaches Ari also co-created Embodied Judaism, an innovative class taught at Elat Chayyim and other Jewish organizations. Embodied Judaism is a spiritual and physical practice that is grounded in traditional Jewish teachings about the sanctity of the physical body and the natural world.

New York Magazine named Ari one of the city’s top five ‘Guru’ trainers and W Magazine called him the leader of “a new minimalist exercise movement.” Ari also brings to Isabella Freedman a background in advertising, and a passion for self-discovery. He graduated from the University of Arizona and will live in Falls Village, CT, with his wife and young son.

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K'vod Wieder

Program Director, Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality

Kvod WiederK'vod Wieder, M.A., received his masters degree from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto. K'vod has been teaching classes, leading retreats, and counseling students in meditation, prayer, and creative forms of Jewish spirituality in the United States for over twelve years. He has served as the assistant director of Chochmat HaLev — a Jewish meditation center in Berkeley, program director for Sonoma County Jewish Federation, and director of the B'nai Tzedek Teen Philanthropy Program for the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Currently, K'vod is a student at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism.

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Tamuz Shiran

Retreat Manager

Tamuz ShiranTamuz Shiran hates writing about herself in the third person.

That’s all I’m keeping from the first bio I wrote a year ago – it’s incredible how much this alleged self keeps shifting. So much so that I’ve been sitting here for the last five minutes actually not knowing what to say about myself. Which I suppose is a good thing. I’m content, mostly loving this job and deeply grateful to be living here, getting back into classical music, still processing Burning man, looking forward to six weeks of silence in November, transitioning from a year of intense external exploration of relationship to internal, all and none of the above, plus coffee at Toymaker's on Saturdays.

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Jonas Zev Amberger

Administrative Assistant / Yoga Teacher

Jonas Zev AmbergerJonas received an advanced degree in Ayurvedic Medicine (science of longevity and rejuvenation) from the Kalidas Sanskirt University in Nagpur, India under the tutelage of Dr. Sunil Joshi and has been studying the healing system of Ashtanga Yoga since 1996. He has successfully founded and directed two schools of Ashtanga Yoga in Portsmouth, NH and Great Barrington, MA. and continues to share his understanding and passion for holistic wellness. Currently, his interests include Jewish studies, learning Hebrew, trail running, listening to the sounds of nature and making the practice of yoga accessible and enjoyable for all levels of ability.

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Sam Feinstein-Feit

Designer / Webmaster

Shir-Yaakov Feinstein-FeitSam dreamed up the new ECCJS four-worlds logotype and has handcrafted the webpages of since June 2005. When not doing visual arts, he makes music.

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Tara Tayyabkhan


Annie GilbertI have worked as a photographer, set designer, scenic artist, technical writer, professor, and statistician. Somewhere on this crooked path, I stumbled upon a clearing, in the form of a 7-day silent retreat at Elat Chayyim. It changed everything. Currently, I am a beginner again, and utterly delighted to have landed in the Elat Chayyim office. In addition to my work here, I garden, cultivaterelationships, and strive to bring mindfulness to each moment. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve here at Elat Chayyim.

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