A Little about Me
I was raised in a “Conservadox” Jewish home. My first forays into chanting and making up harmonies took place in ‘Junior Synagogue.’ While that foundation continues at my core, I have explored and participated in many other forms of spiritual practice, from learning Transcendental Meditation in college, through Women’s Spiritualty circles, Buddhist meditation, and sitting with Hindu guru Ammachi. While chanting in other languages, I would often “see” the words as if written in Hebrew, or would sometimes translate the meaning into Hebrew wording.
In the mid-70’s, when I moved to the Bay Area, I discovered the Jewish Renewal movement, through the Aquarian Minyan. I was delighted to find in my own spiritual home a revitalized approach that brought forth and polished the spiritual essence of Judaism and introduced me to the mystical profundity of Kabbala. In the mid-90’s, I became part of Chochmat HaLev (Wisdom of the Heart), in Berkeley,which began as a Center for Jewish Meditation and has since become a Center for Jewish Spiritualty. I studied in intensive training courses, including a year-long Jewish Spiritual Leadership Program, a one-year Jewish Meditation Instructors Training, and after a three-year Jewish Meditation Teachers Certification Program, I received certification as a Morah L’Hitbodidut/Jewish Meditation Teacher.
Since 1998, I have been leading a monthly chanting meditation group, Kol HaLev/Voice of the Heart. The sound “kol” is a homonym depending on its Hebrew spelling, and can also be heard as “all” of the heart. Each session, I weave together a theme with chants that enhance the personal experience of the theme. We alternate chanting with silent meditation, and conclude with a healing circle. Participants express feeling refreshed, both more energized and peaceful. LINK LINK TO MONTHLY CHANTING GROUP
I am a psychotherapist with a private practice in Oakland, CA. My approach is holistic, which holds and focuses on body, heart, mind and spirit. To learn more about my therapy, supervision and consultation practice, you can visit www.oaklandholistictherapy.com, or contact my office @510-835-3232.
I am the clinic manager of the California Institute of Integral Studies Center for Somatic Psychotherapy, in San Francisco. Prior to this, I served for 18 years as clinical director of the John F. Kennedy University Center for Holistic Counseling, in Oakland.
David Rosenfeld, producer, runs CreativityIsVital Studios, where he helps artists bring forth their most expressive and engaging sounds. He offers tasteful arrangements and added instrumentation to manifest shimmering state-of-the-art recordings.
Jen Miriam Altman has been a professional drummer and artist for the past 20 years. She has studied percussion with master percussionists from all over the world and specializes in rhythms of the Middle East. She is currently the drummer in the band Octopretzel and has played in other popular local bands including, Hamsa Lila, Zatar, Mozaic, and The Sippy Cups.
Mike Perlmutter performs klezmer, Balkan, and Jewish ritual music on clarinet, bass clarinet, and saxophone for Chochmat HaLev, Saul Goodman’s Klezmer Band, and Inspector Gadje. Mike seeks to connect his music to the full range of feeling and expression of spirit, mind, and body – from the deeply contemplative, to the ecstatic. Outside of music he is committed to his family, the environment, and his work supporting volunteer efforts to clean, green, and beautify the City of Oakland. He’s also known for his pickling.
Issa Nessim A native of California, Issa spent 10 years between CA and Turkey as a young adult, focusing on studying the rich tradition of Turkish/Ottoman Classical music. Throughout his time in Turkey, Issa also studied Turkish Sufi music in the centuries-old Sufi lodges of Istanbul. He plays tanbur, a traditional long-necked lute, as well as lavta, a shorter lute, rebab, a Turkish spike fiddle, and cello.