Jewish Renewal Leaders Focus Retreat in Scotland February 24-27


Two major teachers of the Jewish Renewal movement will co-lead a retreat in Scotland 24-27 February with a Scottish Sufi. For those interested in interfaith dialogue and inter-spiritual experiences, this is an invaluable opportunity to experience the heart of Jewish spirituality from two of the close students of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal Movement. The retreat is part of the 2nd Edinburgh International Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace.

The Jewish Renewal Movement seeks to enliven the spiritual heart of Judaism in way both authentic to the tradition as well as deeply mystical, inter-spiritual and relevant to everyday life. Rabbis Arthur Waskow and Phyllis Berman are the authors of many books, including the recent A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven (Farrar Straus Giroux 2003), which is the first that integrates the newer ceremonies created during the last half-century (brit for baby girls, weaning, bat mitzvah, menarche and menopause, egalitarian and gay weddings, mid-life transformation and retirement) into the whole life-path of Jewish ceremony, expanding on and renewing the classic and ancient ceremonies. Rabbi Arthur Waskow is also the author of Godwrestling (1978) and Seasons of Our Joy (1990), and is active in interspiritual peace and justice work through the Shalom Center (

Both rabbis are in the UK next year as part of the Edinburgh Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace.They will be co-leading “Seasons of Renewal: A Retreat in Jewish and Sufi Spirituality” the weekend of 24-27 February (Thurs eve - Sun lunch) at Wiston Lodge nr Biggar, Scotland with Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti (Neil Douglas-Klotz), author of a number of books on Middle Eastern spirituality including The Sufi Book of Life (Penguin March 2005) and a teacher in the Sufi Ruhaniat International.

The retreat will use ritual, chant, meditation and sacred movement, including Dances of Universal Peace, to explore the shared resources in Jewish and Sufi spirituality for renewing life in harmony with the seasons of nature. The leaders say, “In both the mystical traditions of Judaism and Islam, nature expresses the beautiful face of the Holy One, rather than a flawed, lesser reality. Listening to the rhythms of nature allows us to take time for renewal, healing and rededication to the joy of life. During the retreat, we will share spiritual practices that help us appreciate this blessing as well as better understand the shared heritage of the ‘Tent of Abraham.’”

Information about the retreat and online registration are available at the website of the Abwoon Study Circle: ( More information about the Edinburgh Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace can be found at: