Home Resources L’Shem Yichud: A Pedagogy For the Sake of Integration
January 2023

L’Shem Yichud: A Pedagogy For the Sake of Integration

Rabbi Jesse Paikin
Executive Director, Base
L’shem Yichud: For the Sake of Integration is a pedagogy based on an ancient practice of intention setting.

L’shem Yichud: For the Sake of Integration is a pedagogy based on the Kabbalistic/Hasidic ritual of l‘shem yichud – an ancient practice of intention setting. The pedagogy balances the heavily cognitive, rational, and behavioural orientation of much of adult Jewish education with a uniquely Jewish spiritual framework. When students and educators are able to think, feel, and speak about the spirituality of their learning in particular and precise Jewish language, they can better articulate a strong sense of purpose, understand their spirituality journeys as Jewish, and motivate outward action. This pedagogy offers: (1) Design-phase prompts for educators to reflect on the orientation and spiritual purpose of their teaching. (2) A framework for a kavvanah (ritual intention-setting) at the beginning of learning. (3) Insight Cards: a tactile resource for students’ and educators’ contemplative reflection on the orientation and purpose of their learning. Each card shares a Jewish spiritual insight and vocabulary to enable educators and students to describe the impact of their learning using intrinsically Jewish language.

Rabbi Jesse Paikin is a teacher, spiritual leader, and strategic thinker. Most recently, he served as a rabbi with the Jewish Emergent Network - a group of seven path‐breaking Jewish communities revitalizing the field of Jewish engagement through traditionally rooted, creative, rich, and meaningful Jewish practice. He has worked as a Jewish educator across North America, Europe, and Israel with a focus on Talmud, mussar, Jewish spirituality, and 20s/30s education. He has trained in psychotherapy and spiritual care at Toronto’s University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital, and regularly studies chassidut and mindfulness with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Jesse has studied at York University, the University of Toronto, New York University, Yeshivat Hadar, and the National Theatre School of Canada. He’s also a lover of Canadian public radio, the hidden FedEx arrow, and plaid shirts, and is the host and producer of Shoot!, a podcast of big Jewish questions.


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