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Showing up, KE Style

What would it look like to you, if you found new ways to show up?
What would it look like in your life, if you showed up in new ways at Kabbalah Experience?
What would it look like, if Kabbalah Experience showed up in new ways in your life?

In the spring of 2017, I began taking classes at Kabbalah Experience, with my son, Koby, who was living with a brain tumor. He was not able to attend school full-time, and he loved Jewish learning. KE was a powerful place for us, where Koby and I could learn, share, and connect spiritually, beyond various treatments and therapies. We met people that weren’t in our everyday network and we were able to take on different ‘masks’ as we explored the layers of Soul and Mystical Hebrew Letters together. As Koby became more ill, and passed away in January of 2018, Kabbalah Experience became my constant. It was the place where I knew I could show up, and just be- be present in my grief, be present in my brokenness, and be present in my quiet connection with others. Kabbalah Experience gives me the space to show up for who I am, and where I am, even if it is in complex waves and layers.

As I became a member of the faculty and shifted into my role as Executive Director several weeks ago, I have had the opportunity to take classes and find the layers pulled back further, to explore the themes across our classes, and reflected in life experiences.

In the Leonard Cohen class that I am taking, I was moved by the intense awareness of our wholeness and brokenness that Cohen writes about:
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in…”
~ Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”

I have learned about Leonard Cohen’s struggles with depression and alcoholism. He writes frequently about light in darkness, holiness and brokenness. Cohen’s themes are reflected in our principle of “holding opposites”— and reverberate in what we are teaching in Soul, about finding light in darkness— and in Brene Brown about perfectionism and shame. There’s a crack in everything— and that’s how the light gets in.

The awareness that grows in our classroom expands into the greater consciousness of our students, and, as a result, into our community. Not only do we hear conversations continue as people leave the building, they are carried into homes and workplaces. And hopefully, the ripples of Kabbalah Experience expand beyond our awareness, as well. Quite simply, it is transformational.

Kabbalah Experience is in an exciting time. I am grateful to be part of its transformation and have the opportunity to expand on an already successful and established institution. I am grateful to Dr. David Sanders, our Spiritual Director, for his presence, leadership and mentorship— and his continued presence and engagement at KE and in the community.

Kabbalah Experience is in its third week of classes for the summer, and it has been exciting to have our physical space abuzz with new and returning students, and the energy of ‘hot topics’ like The Choice/ Free Will, Masks of Shtisel, Dreams, Reincarnation, Leonard Cohen, and Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection. We’ve launched the first evening class we have held in some time, and are introducing several “one time” events over the course of the summer. We had a lovely concert with Julie Geller last week and look forward to welcoming Rabbi Dr. Tirzah Firestone back to our space on August 21.

The Fall schedule is just about finalized- and will be announced by the end of the month. You will be pleased to see our core curriculum and its offerings, led by Dr. Sanders, Rabbi Jamie Arnold and me— as well as ‘adjunct faculty’ and special classes, like “Tree of Life Yoga” with Talia Salzburg Horowitz and a four week mini-mester with Ariela Halevi “Preparing Your Heart for the High Holy days: A Journey Home to Your Soul.”

Several weeks ago, our Board of Directors welcomed four new members.

Thank you to our 2019-2020 Board of Directors:
Joe Costello
Gwen Crawford
Ken Diamond
Michelle Friedman
Bettina Kurowski
Phil Mason
Martin Morris
Sharon Sagel
Morgan Sicklick
Michelle Saxer (returning Jan. 2020)
Amy Topelson

We are grateful to Bettina Kurowski and Ken Diamond for serving as our new Interim Co-Presidents. We extend deep gratitude to Mel Wernimont, who recently stepped down after finishing his term as the KE Board President.

The Board is creating committees for fundraising and marketing, and is eager to welcome students from across the community for the input and support as we work to increase engagement.

Our charge is clear- meet people where they are, in order to build community and support personal transformation. Kabbalah Experience intends to engage many new students each semester, and reach hundreds of students on a weekly basis.

We intend to expand our online presence as we continue to welcome students from around the globe. Dr. Sanders has created a high-quality ‘self-study’ series of streaming classes, which we are looking to launch in innovative ways. These are perfect for individuals who would like a ‘brush-up’ on core topics, or to have exposure to a class that they might not have time to join us for in-person. They are also an accessible tool for adult learning communities around the world- who might like access with a ‘master teacher’ and a shared learning experience.

Kabbalah Experience is about community. And being in community means stepping up, and showing up. It also means being seen and finding connections.

Whoever you are, you are welcome here. We have students of all ages, abilities, and faiths. We welcome LGBTQA individuals, partners and friends. We welcome you!
Kabbalah Experience is a growing center for adult spiritual education in our community. While we have a strong presence in Denver and Boulder, we are expanding our presence on a national and international level. Please join us in this growth in the ways that you can!
Join Kabbalah Experience for classes, join committees, give your advice, feedback, and support. Introduce your friends to Kabbalah Experience, and invite them to try classes. We want each of you to be part of the conversation.

If you’re currently active with Kabbalah Experience- thank you.

If you are thinking about returning after a hiatus, or have danced around the idea, but never actually shown up- now is the perfect time. We look forward to welcoming you, for who you are, and building Kabbalah Experience together.

How do you intend to show up? Please let us know by clicking here!

with gratitude,
Melanie

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Comments 3

  1. Melanie, no one could be a more powerful and beautiful example of Kabbalah Experience than you.

  2. Chez artist currently has a movie out about his life…Marianne and Leonard : words of love

  3. An advocate of a supranational government agency to replace obsolete nation-states and transformation of the military into a national service corps, psychiatrist Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled, etc., argues that physical and spiritual salvation no longer can be separated. The only way to combat the public apathy and “”militant ignorance” that allow the arms race to continue lies in grass-roots propagation of the community ideal, which the church and government have lost, argues the author. Individualism plus groupand self-acceptance, good communication and joint commitment are essential to building a true community whatever its membership and interests. Peck foresees a new era of integration favorable to a community movement that calls for universal application of the personal principles of tolerance and love. Renouncing both policies of appeasement and deterrence, he proposes a “peace through weakness” strategy that dares us to “empty” ourselves of outmoded ideas of security to the extent of facing the economic consequences of eliminating the arms race. His book,’The different drum”,is exactly what we are doing with all the classes…

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