Taproot Community Ritualist Training Program

How can we support community healers and ritualists in regenerating ceremony for this time? What would it look like to intentionally empower our Jewish spiritual leadership and care outside of professional clergy? How might doing so strengthen our communities, our movements for justice, our selves?

Our answer to the above questions is to host a year-long (Dec 2020- Dec 2021) learning journey for Jewish leaders looking to deepen their own practice, weave their justice work and spirituality together, and gain the skills needed to offer meaningful, Jewishly-sourced ritual and spiritual care in their own communities, movement organizations, families, and daily lives. 

The structure of the program will include:

  1. Group Spaces:
    1. Rosh Chodesh Learning Gatherings for the entire cohort, together attuning to the lunar month and sharing relevant teachings such as “The Deep Structure of Jewish Prayer”,  “The Movement of Teshuvah”, “Roots of Jewish Ritual”, “The Medicine of Purim” and “On Angels, Dreams, and Divination”
    2. Quarterly virtual Taproot Ritual Offerings for a broader public, led by members of the Cohort and Stewardship Team.
    3. An in-person gathering in 2021, if possible.
    4. Monthly Reflection Pools: Time for learning and reflection in smaller cohorts
    5. Guest Teachers: bringing in other teachers for wisdom transmissions.
  2. Individual Support:
    1. 1:1  monthly mentorship/spiritual direction sessions with rabbinic faculty
    2. Individualized learning plans and personal practice for cohort members
    3. Optional additional learning companionship & chevruta study

This program is for you:

~ If you have the time, energy, and enthusiasm to commit to two group calls each month, individualized support sessions, and the co-creation of celebratory community spaces. Taproot is adapting to ever-changing conditions, and we seek folks who are eager to help us birth our next iteration.

~ If you are yearning for Jewish spiritual resources for human being and human doing, especially if you come from a community where those resources are harder to come by.

~Wherever you’re coming from, and especially if you come from a rural community, a Southern or Midwest community, a place without a big radical Jewish community, a poor or working-class community.

~Whatever identities you hold and especially if the Jewish offerings you see are often inaccessible to you because of disability or chronic illness, because of your experience with ritual/synagogue or lack thereof, because of the cost, because of your values, because of your queerness.

~If you feel “not Jewish enough” or “too Jewish.”

~If people naturally come to you for physical/mental/spiritual support, and you are seeking guidance, spiritual formation, and practice to honor this role and sustainably embody it.   

A little bit about race and this program: Our stewardship team is composed of white Jews. Over the years of offering Taproot programming, we’ve found that our niche is in supporting white and Ashkenazi Jews in particular to do deep work around the spiritual and cultural loss that prevents them from being co-liberators in movements for racial and economic justice. We welcome Jews of all racial and ethnic identities, AND we feel it is important to be transparent about the work that is ours to do as white and Ashkenazi Jews. In naming this as our work, we also acknowledge the importance of entering into partnerships of accountability with Jews of Color and Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews, and we continue to develop those partnerships as our programming grows and changes. (If you are interested in having a conversation with someone from the Stewardship Team about this, please reach out!)


Know someone who this program is for? 


When: Applications are due Oct. 19th and the Cohort will be announced by Nov. 9th. Our first Cohort virtual gathering will be Nov. 22nd.

Cost: As part of our commitment to centering the margins and making this training program financially accessible, we are asking for a sliding-scale donation for this year of $250-$2000.   If you are offered a place in the cohort, we’re asking for a deposit of 25% of what you plan to pay to reserve your spot.  We trust participants to gauge their own access to wealth, and know this is but one way to contribute to this program.  If we are able to gather in person, there may be additional associated costs also on a sliding-scale. We are committed to redistributing at least half of this tuition to POC-led efforts. Our cohort, stewardship team, and accountability partners will have input into where this money goes.

Who We Are:

Rabbinic Faculty: Rabbi Diane Elliot, Rabbi Eli Herb, & Rabbi Irwin Keller 

Stewards: David Bronstein, Adam Horowitz, Rachel Milford, Rachel Plattus, & Oren Slozberg
Questions? You’re welcome to reach out directly to us at Taproot@commonweal.org