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Living a Life That Matters

Interest: Advocacy, Education, Events & Celebrations, Human Need, Living Judaism
Audience: B'nai Mitzvah, Teens, College Students, Adults, Older Adults, Intergenerational, Families, Singles

Living a Life That Matters: Bearing Witness to the Oneness of Life, A Day with Zen Master Bernie Glassman - March 8, 2014

$3,349 Raised out of $5,744
39 Funders
0 Days Remaining

What are you going to do?

Our rabbi had a dream. He wanted to create a container through which our members could deepen their learning by being exposed to teachers beyond the four walls of our community; and through which, at the same time, we could reach out to and attract the unaffiliated Jewish population. And because, at our synagogue, Jewish meditation is part of our spiritual  practice, he thought that our community would be a great fit for those unaffiliated Jews that might have migrated to Buddhism or other far-eastern practices. He dreamed that we could create a Shabbaton event and invite a great Jewish teacher that would be the bridge between the two spiritual communities. He prayed, and he chanted, he meditated and prayed some more. And then the answer came: A Jewish Buddhist Master whose life and teaching has been dedicated to practicing Tikkun Olam.

We have the place. We have the date. We have the teacher.
All we need is your help to make our rabbi's dream a reality.

We would call it:
Living a Life that Matters: Bearing Witness to the Oneness of Life
A day with Zen Master Bernie Glassman

We would have it:
March 8, 2014 - 10AM to 4PM

Here is what we would say about it:
Across all faiths traditions, all cultures, and all levels of belief or non-belief, one yearning unites us all: the deep desire to make things better, to make a difference, to live a life on purpose. But, how do we do that?

Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue is proud to welcome Bernie Glassman. Born in Brooklyn NY, of Eastern European Jewish immigrant parents, Bernie became a Zen Master and founder of the Zen Peacemakers. World-renown pioneer in the American Zen movement , Bernie Glassman is a spiritual leader, published author, accomplished academic, and successful businessman with a PhD in Applied Mathematics.

Evolving from a traditional Zen Buddhist monastery-model practice, he has become a leading proponent of social engagement as spiritual practice; Zen Master Glassman has been named one of the most creative forces in Western Buddhism, creating new paths, practices, liturgy and organizations to serve the people who fall between the cracks of society. His latest book, NY Times Best Seller, "The Dude and the Zen Master" was co-authored with Jeff Bridges.

Throughout this day Bernie will trace his evolution from his Jewish roots to the dharma hall to blighted urban streets, and lay out for us the practices and principles he has developed to teach service as spiritual action and to create sustainable, major service projects; in other words: Tikkun Olam. He will share the insights, revelations, personalities and personal experiences that have influenced his life and development, and present some of his unique innovations, such as Bearing Witness Retreats, living on urban streets and gathering for a week at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Most importantly, he will talk about the future of socially engaged spiritual practice.

Come to listen, meditate, and participate in this critical conversation about making your life, a life that matters.

 We are counting on you to make our dream come true.

“When we bear witness, when we become the situation — homelessness, poverty, illness, violence, death — the right action arises by itself.” 

                                                                              Zen Master Bernie Glassman




Olivier BenHaim
Shellie Oakley
Executive Director, Bet Alef
Tracy Wellens
Member, Bet Alef
Sharon Elsayed
Bet Alef Member

About Olivier BenHaim

Rabbi Olivier has been a student of Torah and of the Jewish way for most of his life. He lived in Israel for close to 10 years, where he studied in Jerusalem with many teachers of the Jewish spiritual path, both in Yeshivas and scholarly circles. Rabbi Olivier is a teacher of non-dual Judaism, anchored in Jewish tradition. He approaches Torah as a paradigm for spiritual awakening. He is an integrally informed teacher who promotes a Jewish spirituality supportive of an integration of mind, body and spirit, awakening for each individual practitioner, expressing in community, and manifesting in our world. More information at www.betalef.org, or www.meditationandkabbalah.com

About Shellie Oakley

Shellie has been actively working to build Jewish Community for over 20 years, the last 5 at Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue and previously at Temple B'nai Torah. With great passion for spiritual journey and tikkun olam, her journey included travels through many eastern practices before returning home to Judaism, adding to the excitement for this project. Striving to live a life that matters, Shellie is blessed to share it with her husband Randy and children Jeff, Emily, Doug, and daughter in law, Michelle!

About Tracy Wellens

Tracy is a new member at Bet Alef and is excited to support this event because she wants all of us to “live a life that matters.” Bernie Glassman’s techniques for a socially engaged spiritual practice help us make things better and to make a difference in our community. Tracy holds a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from NYU, she is the mom of two teenagers and 5 dogs, she is the Founder and Research Guru of a marketing research company, and a Board Member of the 5th Ave Theater.

About Sharon Elsayed

Sharon is an enthusiastic member of Bet Alef, embracing its strong sense of community and social service, as well as its deepening aspects of meditation, music, and prayer. That each individual can explore their own path within the embrace of a supportive community, meaningful traditions, and insightful teaching is profoundly empowering. Sharon works in the fields of research ethics and mediation; has two "children" in college; and loves the meditative practice of rowing a single racing shell. She is SO looking forward to a day with Bernie Glassman!!