Rabbi Dr. James Jacobson-Maisels
Rabbi Dr. James Jacobson-Maisels is the founding Rosh Yeshiva of Romemu Yeshiva and the founder and spiritual director of Or HaLev: A Center for Jewish Spirituality and Meditation. He has been studying and teaching meditation and Jewish spirituality for over twenty years. He received his PhD in Jewish Studies from the University of Chicago and rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Daniel Landes, the Rosh Yeshivah of Pardes. He has taught Jewish thought, mysticism, spiritual practices and meditation at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Haifa University, Yeshivat Hadar and in a variety of settings around the world. He strives to integrate his study and practice and to help teach and live Judaism as a spiritual discipline.
Rabbi Daniel Raphael Silverstein
AJS is primarily driven by Rabbi Daniel Raphael Silverstein, faculty member at Or HaLev. Daniel is first and foremost a spiritual seeker and student of life whose twenty years of studying and teaching have brought him to Buddhist retreat centers, Chi Kung courses and six years of study in Orthodox yeshivot (rabbinical seminaries). His recent teaching clients include the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Nishmat, IDC Herzliya, Romemu Yeshiva and the Orthodox Union.
Daniel's love for Torah is rooted in its practical application in the embodied experience of our everyday lives. He learns and teaches a Torah of self-awareness and compassion where no part of our experience is excluded and nothing is taboo. He regards it as a profound privilege to empower people to each play their own part in the continuing evolution of Torah, our Tree of Life.
Daniel regularly teaches meditation classes and retreats and his guided meditations have garnered thousands of plays on the popular Insight Timer app. He has completed the Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Course, a 16-month journey through a diverse range of meditative and pedagogical practices, which is a collaboration between the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and the Awakened Heart Project.
Daniel was selected by the Jewish Week as one of the 36 young leaders “remaking the Jewish community." His previous roles include Director of Hillel's Culanu Jewish student center at the University of Cambridge (UK) and Director of Jewish Life and Learning for Hillel at Stanford University (USA). As an artist-educator, Daniel has performed and facilitated for myriad Jewish institutions across the globe. He has also brought this work to many Christian, Muslim, interfaith and secular venues, including dozens of music festivals. His songs and videos have attracted tens of thousands of hits on YouTube.
While living in London, Daniel co-founded Lines of Faith, a Muslim-Jewish hip hop and poetry collective that uses performances and workshops to challenge prejudice and build meaningful bonds across communities. The group has run hundreds of programs throughout the UK, Europe and the USA. Daniel also co-founded Moishe House London, a successful experiment in post-denominational Judaism that has helped to breathe fresh life into the London Jewish community.
Daniel studied Literature and Social & Political Sciences at Cambridge (BA), and International Relations at Warwick (MA). He has studied for three years in Israel, at Yeshivot Ein Tzurim, Shvilei HaTorah and Maale Gilboa, and received his ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School.
Testimonials for Rabbi Daniel's Teaching
Rabbi Daniel is a deep, learned and creative teacher of Jewish meditation, spirituality and texts. He brings his broad knowledge and years of study and practice to help awakens people’s hearts and souls.
– Rabbi Dr. James Jacobson-Maisels, Founder and Spiritual Director, Or HaLev
Rabbi Daniel weaves together in his teachings his knowledge of torah and his deep practice of mindfulness, his commitment as an orthodox Jew and his openness as a human being involved in the world. I'm glad to see him among the new generation of emerging rabbis and Jewish meditation teachers.
– Dr. Mira Niculescu, Neshama
Learning with Rav Daniel is a wonderful experience. In his classes he brings an extraordinary range of texts from our tradition and makes them meaningful for our lives today. His deep personal integrity, wisdom and spirituality constantly inspire me to walk the Jewish spiritual path and help me with my own awakening and development.
– Rabbi Danny Newman, Founder and Director, HaMakom
Rabbi Daniel approaches life with a wisdom, kindness, humility, and clarity that elicits joy from everyone he encounters. Learning with him is deeply opening yet gentle - he is able to hold the student with care, while also seeing beyond them to what is possible. It is a true gift to have a teacher with such a passionate commitment to bringing Jewish text to life, guided by an ethics and vision which I trust.
– Yael Roberts, UK Faculty and Director of Strategy and Development, HaMakom
As the world of Jewish meditation and contemplative practice grows, it's crucial that people can turn to teachers who hold the dual commitment of Torah and Avodah, deep learning of the sources along with the spiritual practice and cultivation which brings them to life. R' Daniel is such a teacher, an ever encouraging and buoyant, honest presence, he lives these two paths - many years of deep learning, heartful seeking, and earnest practice manifest in a teacher of kindness, erudition, humility, care, humor, insight, and love. I'm grateful we have him.
– Danny Cohen, Teacher and Counselor, The Living Heart Life