Margot is a social worker, grief counselor, and teacher of mindfulness and resilience skills. She was trained through the Institute for Jewish Spirituality's JMMTT program and participated in several other IJS retreats. She has served as an educational advocate for families with children with special needs 18 years, is a certified yoga instructor, bereavement counselor, and a meditation group leader at BJBE.



Sam Feinsmith has been immersed in the world of Jewish contemplative living, learning, and teaching for over a decade. He seeks to transform the landscape of Jewish life in Chicago and beyond by teaching mindfulness in a Jewish framework to promote self-care and a deepening of wisdom and compassion. He has served as a consultant on a number of cutting-edge projects related to prayer, spirituality, and education and has conducted Jewish meditation workshops and retreats for young children, teens, and Jewish educators and community leaders. Sam currently directs the Center for Jewish Mindfulness at Orot, and the Educating for a Jewish Spiritual Life pilot at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. He lives in Skokie with his wife Sarah-Bess and his daughter Elanit Shefa.



Is Director of Regional Programing for the Institute for Jewish Spirituality (New York) and is a co-founder and director of the Center for Jewish Mindfulness in Chicago. Jordan was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2008, after which he served as rabbi at Aitz Hayim Center for Jewish Living in Glencoe, IL. Prior to pursuing his rabbinical studies, Jordan studied Conservation Biology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, spent several months at Zen centers in California and France, and studied Jewish text at the Conservative Yeshiva and Machon Pardes in Jerusalem. He lives in Deerfield, IL with his wife Yael and their three children.



Rabbi Lauren Henderson is the Jewish Emergent Network Rabbinic Fellow at Mishkan Chicago. She finished rabbinical school a year ago at the Jewish Theological Seminary, with a Masters in Midrash and a Certificate in Pastoral Care. She's taught Torah and led prayer in a wide variety of settings such as IKAR in Los Angeles, the Pelham Jewish Center in New York, and Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in Cleveland, and also served as a chaplain with DOROT and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.

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Jacob is a proud parent, lawyer, real estate developer, artist and all around adventurer. He was also a co-founder of the Center for Jewish Mindfulness with Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell in 2011.



David Gottlieb first studied meditation in the Zen tradition, and has more recently studied with Rabbi Sam Feinsmith and Rabbi Jordan Bendat Appel in Jewish contemplative practice. David is a PhD candidate in the History of Judaism at the University of Chicago Divinity School.



Roberta is a neurosurgeon, teacher, mother, wife, rabbinic student, and pursuer of peace.

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Amy is a wife, mother, grandmother, business owner and consultant to family businesses. In addition, she is a committed member of the Lomdim Jewish Community and a serious student and practitioner in the tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh for over 5 years. She serves as adjunct faculty at the Center for Family Enterprise at Kellogg School of Management, and she is a lover of yoga, qigong, open sky, playtime.

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Aviva Katzman earned a Bachelors and Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. After ordination and completing a Master of Sacred Music from the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in 1987, Aviva became the Cantor of Temple Sholom of Chicago where she served for 28 years. Cantor Katzman completed Jewish Mindfulness Teachers Training with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and Bekhol Levavkha, a two-year training offered by Hebrew Union College to become a Jewish Spiritual Director.



Deb Wineman is an experienced and celebrated yoga instructor who has earned certifications in movement and meditation from a variety of traditions since 2008. Her own spiritual practice of yoga and study of yogic philosophy inspired her study of Torah and integration of Jewish prayer in her daily practice. Deb leads engaging classes and workshops that provide embodied explorations of Jewish themes and teachings in a spiritual language that resonates with our Jewish souls. Through balanced, breath-focused yoga practices infused with philosophy, ancient wisdom and beautiful music, Deb helps students of all levels feel awake and whole.



Artist Judith Joseph's paintings, woodblock prints and calligraphy (ketubot) are in numerous public and private collections. She exhibits widely across the U.S. and Canada, and she is a two-time recipient of the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Award. She is on the art faculty at the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Art Center, Highland Park and she co-teaches the Artists' Beit Midrash at NSS-Beth El with Jane Shapiro. She is passionate about helping people explore and express their Jewish heritage through art.



Ellen Rosen Kaplan is a licensed clinical social worker in practice for 35 years. She received her masters degree from Yeshiva University and has a well established psychotherapy practice. Ellen has decades of experience practicing meditation and studying spirituality. In 2015, Ellen became a certified Mindfulness Meditation teacher through The Institute of Jewish Spirituality. Ellen's passion is integrating the applications and wisdom in Jewish sources into her meditation and psychotherapy practices.



Born, raised and educated in Chicago, Laurie attended Northwestern University as a Communication Studies major and the University of Chicago, earning a Master's degree in Social Service Administration. Laurie lived, worked and studied in Israel for three years. Currently, she is a psychotherapist in private practice. Over the past twelve years, she has practiced and taught yoga and meditation as well as completed the Institute for Jewish Spirituality's Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Instructor training program in 2015.