Our Teachers

Core Faculty

Dr. David Sanders

david sanders headshot 2020

Dr. David Sanders, Founder and Spiritual Director of Kabbalah Experience, combines over thirty years of experience as both a psychologist and Kabbalist helping guide people to deeper awareness and fulfillment in their lives. His transformation from religious studies to mysticism intrigued him to broaden the study of Kabbalah to practical spiritual growth. Transformative Kabbalah combines traditional mysticism, contemporary psychology and quantum physics.

It is David’s joy to help others challenge their views of themselves and the world. Through study and practice, students regularly change their perceptions and choose to alter or modify their behavior – which in turn brings positive change to their relationships, community, and finding greater and more fulfilling expression of their life purpose. He is the author of 2 books on mysticism and language, and is currently writing a book on MASKS, the subject of one of KE's most popular courses.

David maintains an active therapy practice, specializing in working with couples and families. He sees psychological and spiritual growth as a continuum of learning and becoming more aware of the self and others. His creation of Kabbalah Experience is a way to enter into people’s lives from a different premise – spiritual learning and guidance that does not have a starting point of “my problem.” Basing the methodology of study at KE on adult centered learning, everyone is linked in the awareness work together, the teacher becomes the student and the student becomes the teacher.

David considers it his fortune to live with and learn from his wife Rita every day. With two sets of twins and an eldest son, life is rich for the whole family.

Melanie Gruenwald

Melanie Gruenwald, Executive Director of Kabbalah Experience brings over 25 years of non-profit leadership and community-organizing to her position.  Engaged with senior citizens, families, college students, and teens, Melanie has extensive professional experience with communal leadership and informal Jewish education.

Melanie is energized by building relationships, understanding people's needs and finding ways to connect them to one another. She loves the balance of organizational leadership and teaching which she engages on a daily basis at Kabbalah Experience.

She earned her B.S. in Psychology from Binghamton University (S.U.N.Y), and  Masters in Social Work and Certificate in Jewish Communal Service from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University. Melanie has pursued additional Judaic and spiritual studies at  the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, the Conservative Yeshiva, and most recently, Kabbalah Experience.

Melanie is married to Rabbi Salomon Gruenwald, Associate Rabbi at the Hebrew Educational Alliance, and is mom to three children, Koby (z"l), Hannah, and Micah.

Rabbi Benjamin (Jamie) Arnold

Rabbi Benjamin (“Jamie”) Arnold has been a student of mysticism, Buddhism, meditation and Kabbalah and the teachings of Mussar for more than 25 years. He has served as a congregational rabbi and teacher since 1997, and came to Congregation Beth Evergreen in Colorado as their first full-time rabbi in 2005.  Originally from Western New York, he also served as Rabbi at Temple Sinai in Amherst, New York.

Rabbi Jamie’s teaching draws on his experience as a spiritual practitioner, intensive learning with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, talent as a musician and writer, and a deep-rooted commitment to fostering spiritual connections between us all. He is active in building bridges between communities as a member of the Evergreen Interfaith Group and past President of The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado. Rabbi Jamie is a graduate of Kenyon College (1992) and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (1999), a husband, a parent of three young adult children, and an avid skier and mountain biker. He brings a caring heart, consummate knowledge, spirituality and passion to every class he teaches at Kabbalah Experience.

Adjunct Faculty

Rabbi Sara Brandes

Rabbi Sara BrandesOrdained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Sara Brandes is a writer, teacher and healer who makes her home with her family in the north of Israel. Past Executive Director at Or HaLev: Center for Jewish Spirituality and Meditation, Sara teaches Judaism as a world wisdom tradition. A certified yoga instructor and mindfulness practitioner, Sara is author of Magical World: Stories, Reflections, Poems

Summer 2020: Awakened Body

Winter 2021: Morning Meditation: Finding Light in Darkness

Spring 2021: Kabbalah of Love: Readings in Song of Songs

Luke Colaciello

Luke Colaciello is academically trained as a physical chemist. He brings his study of the chemical nature of the material realm to his personal understanding of spirituality. Luke takes a pluralistic approach to soulful practice, integrating Jewish theology with more esoteric traditions such as Tarot, astrology, and Kabbalah. He enjoys engaging in the creative and intuitive arts and has recently begun offering Tarot and natal chart readings to anyone interested. He believes in the inseparable nature of the learner-teacher duality, knowing that any opportunity to teach is really an opportunity to learn a little more about this world and the stories of those who shape it.

Summer 2021: Deal Me In: The Kabbalistic Roots of Cards and Tarot Readings

Fall 2021: The Torah of the Stars: An Introduction to Kabbalah and Western Astrology

Rabbi Dr. Reb Mimi Feigelson

Rabbi Dr. Reb Mimi (Miriam Sara) Feigelson, is the first female Orthodox rabbi post-shoah. She is an international teacher of Chassidut, Spirituality and a story teller. Reb Mimi formed and created, as an Israeli-Modern-Chareidi-Chassidic-Rabbi the role of the Mashpiah Ruchanit (spiritual mentor) in non-Orthodox Rabbinical Seminaries in the United States since 2001, and in Yerushalayim, since her return in the summer of 2017. Prior to Los Angeles (2001), Reb Mimi was the associate director of the Yakar Institute for Tradition and Creativity, and director of the Women’s Beit Ha’midrash. She was adjunct faculty at the Ma’aleh Film College and published regularly in the Ha’aretz Literary Supplement. Reb Mimi’s doctorate “On the Cusp of Life: From Scared to Sacred” is an exploration and redefining of Jewish funerals.

She is the blessed and proud soul-mother to over a dozen children.

Winter 2020: Prayer and Chasidut

Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, PhD

Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, PhD, is an author, Jungian psychotherapist, and founding rabbi of Congregation Nevei Kodesh in Boulder, Colorado. She is a leader in the international Jewish Renewal Movement and a renowned Jewish scholar and teacher. Tirzah has taught nationally for over 30 years about body-mind psychology, Kabbalah, feminist mysticism, ancestral healing and other modern applications of ancient wisdom. www.tirzahfirestone.com @tirzahfire

Fall 2019: Repairing the Soul: Intergenerational Healing and Kabbalistic Wisdom

J. Ruth Gendler

Writer and artist J. Ruth Gendler is interested in living in a world where people are more compassionate, creative, and lively. She is the author of three books: the award winning Notes on the Need for Beauty, the anthology Changing Light, and the long-time bestseller The Book of Qualities. Her art work, including paintings, drawings and monotypes, have been exhibited nationally. Gendler has worked as an artist in the schools and led creativity workshops for children and adults in a variety of venues for thirty years; she is an articulate spokeswoman for the importance of the arts in daily life and in education.

Summer 2020: The Wisdom of Beauty

Sue Parker Gerson

Sue Parker Gerson is a Senior Associate Director for the ADL Mountain States Region serving Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. Prior to joining ADL, Sue worked in the field of Jewish Education and served for many years as the Colorado director of the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School and for four years as a Melton Regional Director. She earned her MA from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and is the co-author of Teaching Jewish History.

Summer 2020: Pirkei Avot and Social Justice

Fall 2020: Tikkun Olam

Winter 2021: Introduction to Zohar: Uncovering the Mystical Secrets of Familiar Torah Passages

Spring 2021: Introduction to Zohar, Part II

Fall 2021: Exploring the Torah through a Hasidic Lens

Rabbi Nadya Gross

Rabbi Nadya Gross transmits the mystical teachings passed down from her grandmother in a two-year wisdom school: Secrets My Grandmother Told Me. She is a co-Director of the Sage-ing® Legacy Program, and serves on the faculty of the Anamcara Project of the Sacred Art of Living, Center for Spiritual Formation in Bend, OR. She is the co-author, with Rabbi Malka Drucker, of: Embracing Wisdom: Soaring in the Second Half of Life. In 2017, she and her husband, Rabbi Victor Gross, co-founded Yerusha (Heb: legacy), an organization dedicated to furthering the legacy of Reb Zalman, her Savta Rivka Davidson, and others who inspired their lives and work. (www.yerusha.org)

Summer 2021: Aging and Sage-ing® in the Four Worlds

Susan Kaplan

Susan Kaplan, MSW, MPA, RYT, has an integrative social work practice, Listening & Leading From Within, LLC, where she provides coaching, training and facilitation. She works with individuals, families, teams, organizations, leadership and staff development, and community groups. She is a Certified Nonviolent Communication Trainer, a Courage & Renewal Facilitator (Parker Palmer’s work), a life long Jewish mystic, Hatha Yoga Teacher and a Professional Storyteller. Susan has had a variety of personal losses and has experienced the power of collective grief rituals, valuing mutuality, healing, and the collective practice of loving kindness and open heartedness.

Summer 2020: Walking with Grief mini-retreat

Winter 2021: RMCCN And Kabbalah Experience Present: The Inner Journey of Racial Healing

Elisa Robyn, PhD

Elisa Robyn, PhDElisa Robyn has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and two Master’s degrees, one in Geology and one in Jewish Spirituality, and is a trained astrologer. She recently transitioned from a 20-year career as an Academic Dean into private consulting practice. Dr. Robyn is currently a radio host on KUHS Denver streaming radio, has an active blog, and has published two books, with her second novel due out in 2021. Her website is https://elisarobyn.com/.

Fall 2021: The Torah of the Stars: An Introduction to Kabbalah and Western Astrology