• Applied Jewish Spirituality
  • Applied Jewish Spirituality

    ©2020 by Applied Jewish Spirituality, A Project of Or HaLev. Calendar image by Federico Parolo used with permission of Deuteronomy Press. Tree of Life image by David Friedman of Kosmic Kabbalah.

    Rabbi Dr. James Jacobson-Maisels

    Rabbi Dr. James Jacobson-Maisels is the founder and spiritual director of Or HaLev: A Center for Jewish Spirituality and Meditation and the founding Rosh Yeshiva of Romemu Yeshiva. 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 Ruth Gan Kagan

    Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagan is a dynamic and innovative teacher of Torah, who teaches Kabbalah and Chasidut in Israel and internationally. She is the founder and spiritual leader of Nava Tehila, a Jewish Renewal community in Jerusalem and is deeply interested in the field of prayer, whether private of communal. Ruth has co-authored, with Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi, the Hebrew book Jewish Renewal - Integrating Heart and World (2006), and is especialy grateful for the technology that allows her to teach students from all over the world from her Jerusalem home.

    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). He received rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in New York. His recent teaching clients include the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Nishmat, IDC Herzliya, Romemu Yeshiva, the Conservative Yeshiva and the Orthodox Union. 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, which is a collaboration between the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and the Awakened Heart Project.

    Dr. Mira Neshama Niculescu

    Dr. Mira Neshama Niculescu is a Paris-born scholar and teacher of Jewish spirituality and meditation. She earned a Ph.D. in Sociology of Religion at the ‘Ecole de Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales’ (EHESS) in Paris, researching contemporary Jewish spirituality. She learned Torah as an Art Fellow at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Studies and as a Yesod Fellow at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, where she received a certificate in Experiential Jewish Education. A licensed Jewish Mindfulness Teacher with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality (IJS), she currently lives in Jerusalem where she teaches Jewish meditation at Pardes and with Or HaLev, and learns as a Fellow at Yeshivat Har’El. The founder of Neshama and co-founder of B.E.S.T, two Paris-based Jewish spirituality organisations, and a regular contributor to French Jewish media, she travels regularly Europe and in the United States to lecture and offer workshops on Jewish spirituality and meditation. 

    Rabbi Ami Silver

    Rabbi Ami Silver is a teacher, therapist and writer living in Jerusalem. He has spent years devoted to the inner world of Torah in study and practice. Ami received ordination from Yeshivat Sulam Yaakov, and is a Clinical Social Worker (MSW) with a background in various experiential and body-centered therapy modalities. Ami’s teaching brings a deep familiarity with traditional Jewish texts and practices together with an understanding of the world of human emotion, the body and mind, and the practice of personal growth and transformation. Ami served as a community Rabbi at Cornell University and in Boulder, Colorado; and has taught at Yeshivat Sulam Yaakov and Shaarei Shalom in Jerusalem. Ami creates Torah content for Aleph Beta, and his teachings on Chasidut are featured on the “Awakening”podcast from the Shefa Podcast Network.

    Yiscah Smith

    Yiscah Smith is a Jewish educator and spiritual activist who addresses the spiritual practice of encountering the Divine spark within, the foundation of authentic living. She employs her personal story of the joys and struggles with her spirituality, gender identity and commitment to authentic living. As a spiritual trailblazer, she exemplifies what it means to carve one’s own path: understanding one’s inner being and cultivating the integrity to remaining faithful to that understanding, unapologetically. Yiscah encourages, ennobles and empowers others to do the same. Yiscah teaches Jewish spiritual practice and supportive texts at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and in her home in Jerusalem. She provides as well spiritual guidance to individuals seeking an awareness of the Divine spark within. Yiscah is also a public speaker, both in Israel and abroad.