“What we’re trying to do, on one level, is renew rabbis, cantors and educators whose jobs just drain them,” says Rabbi Rachel Cowan, the institute’s director and one of the founders of the spiritual retreat program. “It gives them rest and companionship. They’re really quite lonely.”
In the process, Cowan says, retreat participants report back that they are better at their jobs.
“Rabbis need to be genuinely present in people’s lives at times of pain and joy, not coming in with a formula,” she says. “What blocks them from doing that is overwork and emotional burnout.”
Simply put, the Institute for Jewish Spirituality retreats helped me find God (again). Important work. I miss it. Hopefully this summer I will be able to return for a retreat.