January 2022

The Pedagogy of Blessing/Berakhah

Lisa Goldstein
Rabbi, Teacher, Coach
Self-Employed New York, NY
Lisa is a master teacher and facilitator with almost 25 years of executive experience. Educated at Brown University and Hebrew Union College, she has worked as a congregational rabbi, the director of Hillel of San Diego, and most recently, as the Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. In addition to teaching Jewish mindfulness meditation, prayer and other Jewish spiritual practices at in-person retreats and groups, she has helped create and implement online learning programs, including self-paced highly produced courses. In recent months, she has been developing materials about spiritual qualities that help cultivate resilience. She lives in New York City with her husband and foster son.
Offering each other blessings has the power to transform both the one who blesses and those who receive it.

The pedagogy I am proposing is that of berakhah, the practice of offering a spontaneous, specific blessing to students at the end of each session as a way of developing a capacity for love and awe. The blessing offers a moment of reflection, connection, and holiness at the conclusion of a class. It may address the collective needs and aspirations that have arisen during the class. It may also be a way of translating the intellectual content of the class into a more emotional or soulful integration. The blessing may be given by the teacher. Over time, students may be invited into the practice as well.

Lisa Goldstein.mp3

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