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UCJF Day of Jewish Learning
UCJF Day of Jewish Learning
UCJF Day of Jewish Learning
UCJF Day of Jewish Learning
UCJF Day of Jewish Learning
UCJF Day of Jewish Learning




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Renee Finkelstein will lead this session. Shir Yaakov Feit was called out of town and is not able to be with us.
Morning Service

Join the leaders of Kol Hai for a musical and meditative morning practice. Take time to chant selections from the Siddur (“prayer book”) and luxuriate in deep listening to wake up our bodies, open our hearts, and clear our minds towards living a soulful and connected day. No meditation experience or Hebrew knowledge required — just a willingness to slow down and open up. The service will include Mourner’s Kaddish.

Rabbi Shir Yaakov Feit engages Jewish, multi-faith, and non-affiliated people around the world, building spiritual communities, facilitating and inspiring communal music, and helping people connect with their inner wisdom and truth. Shir founded Kol Hai after serving as Creative and Music Director of New York City’s Romemu, the world’s largest Renewal synagogue. He was ordained by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and the ALEPH Ordination Program, is a Wexner Graduate Fellow, and serves as a facilitator of the Zen Peacemakers Bearing Witness Retreats in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Renee Finkelstein is an interdisciplinary artist, a Hebrew Priestess, and an internationally known sacred musician. Distributed by White Swan Records under the artist name Radharani, her latest album topped billboard New Age charts. Renee is a graduate of Cornell University who spent several years in India and Tibet studying meditation and music. She has led tours to sacred places in India and has taught sacred music, breathwork, and meditation to many students. She has been a part of the musical and spiritual leadership of Kol Hai since 2017.

Judy Kerman
Jewish Fables – stories from the Talmud and Midrash

Everyone probably knows some of Aesop’s Fables. But few people know that similar odd stories (sometimes even the same stories!) can be found in the Talmud and Midrash. Rabbi Manes Kogan. who leads the Hillcrest Jewish Center in Queens, compiled and annotated a book of these, illustrated by the brilliant Dominican artist Marcelo Ferder and published by Woodstock’s own Mayapple Press. In this Zoom presentation, Judith Kerman will read some of the fables and share illustrations from the book. We will have time for audience discussion of their own interpretations and Rabbi Manes’s annotations.

Judith Kerman is a poet, musician and artist who runs Mayapple Press in Woodstock.

Rabbi Victor Gross
Expanding the Jewish Way of Eating-(Kosher) to Eco-Kosher

From the Torah through the Talmud to the Codes and to today there are laws governing what Jews eat. The intent is somewhat hidden and the system certainly was designed to separate Jews from non-Jews; there are also economic implications. In recent years the concern for ethical considerations has arisen. This eco-kosher approach will be explored in this session.

Rabbi Victor has been a congregational rabbi, educator, and for 19 years a founding member of the ALEPH Ordination Program where he served as a Director of Studies and instructor in Jewish History and Jewish Philosophy.
Victor studied at the University of Judaism, JTS, and the Hebrew University. He completed his Ph.D at the University of California, Berkeley in the Philosophy of Education, writing his dissertation on A.J. Heschel.
Rabbi Gross has been married for 48 years to Rabbi Nadya Gross and they have raised four adult children and many dogs and cats.

For 20 years he has served as the mashgiach, kosher and eco-kosher supervisor for Jewish organizational retreats at retreat centers and hotels. Recently he has taught principles and application of eco-kashrut to various rabbis and certified food factories and products that meet the emerging standards of eco-Kosher.

UCJF - Yael RomerRabbi Yael Romer
The 72 Names of God and Their Place in our Theology and Our Lives

Rabbi Yael Romer has been the spiritual leader of Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley since 2001. She completed her BA from Brandeis University in 1983, her MA of Hebrew Literature from HUC-JIR in 1986, received “Smicha” rabbinic ordination from HUC-JIR in 1988, earned a Doctor of Divinity in 2016, and was certified as a spiritual director in the Bekhol Levavkha training program in 2017.

Rabbi Yael has served congregations in New Jersey, Canada, New Hampshire and Israel. She was the third female congregational rabbi in Israel and served a congregation in the Northern Galil for 10 years where three of her five children were born.

Today Rabbi Yael lives in Rhinebeck with her husband and is the proud mother and grandmother of five extraordinary adult children and one delicious grandchild, serves the congregation as full time senior rabbi, and maintains a spiritual direction private practice.

Julia Indichova
irth Your Next Creation and repair the earth: An introduction to the fertile heart Birthing Practice 

“…every little deed counts, every word has power, and we can, each of us, do our share to redeem the world…” Abraham Joshua Heschel

The longing to use our gifts and make a contribution that serves the greater good, springs from the deepest, most truthful place within us. Whether one yearns to birth a baby, a book, a relationship, a healthier body, a business, or a peaceful world, the process remains the same: conception, gestation, labor, and finally birth.

Through experiential processes we will:

  1. place our creation into a context of Tikkun Olam
  2. understand Bereshit as a blueprint of the creative process
  3. introduce the concepts of the Fertile Heart Birthing Practice
  4. recognize the “Catch 22” of longing to create
  5. enhance our ability to receive trustworthy inner guidance
  6. experience creation as a conscious revelatory process

Julia Indichova is the author of Inconceivable, The Fertile Female & One-Heart Revolution. Her work has been featured on, NPR’s 51%, Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey ShowDiscovery Health, Tablet Magazine, Huffington Post, The Forward and more. She is the founder of FertileHeart.com and FertileHeartedHuman.org 

UCJF - Sarah Litvin
 Sarah Litvin
Jewish Stories of Sewing in Kingston (and beyond!)

Reher Center Director Dr. Sarah Litvin and surprise special guests will share Jewish stories of Sewing in Kingston as a preview of the Sewing in Kingston exhibition, which will open at the Reher Center Gallery in May, 2022. We'll start--as so many American-Jewish stories do--in New York City, and discover when and why garment manufacturers chose to relocate to Kingston in the early 20th century. The industry--and the Jewish owners and workers in it--shaped and responded to transformations in the industry over the next hundred years. Join us to discover some of these stories, and share your own!

Sarah Litvin, PhD, is Director of the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History. She was formerly on the curatorial team of the New-York Historical Society’s Center for Women’s History, a researcher and guide for Turnstile Tours, and the exhibits and education teams at the Tenement Museum from 2008-2013. She came to Kingston in 2019 to become the Center's first director after completing her PhD in U.S. history with a dissertation on how women used the upright parlor piano to pursue their far-flung ambitions and expand women’s roles at the turn of the twentieth century. When not talking history, Sarah enjoys running and cycling in the natural beauty of the Hudson Valley.

Rabbi Jonathan Kligler
Revisiting the Covenant: What Is Our Commitment as Jews?

Numerous times in the Tanach (Hebrew Bible) our bond with the Creator is described in terms of covenant, a sacred, reciprocal and committed relationship. Mount Sinai is the peak experience (pun intended) of our affirmation of this core commitment of being a Jew. In this class we will explore some of the key covenanting episodes in the Torah, and then reflect upon how our lives can be affected and made more meaningful if we reaffirm our covenantal bond.

Jonathan Kligler has been the rabbi of the Woodstock Jewish Congregation since 1988.



UCJF - Carol Fox PrescottCarol Fox Prescott

“Our every breath is surely a wonder.”
……P’nai Or Religious Fellowship 1989

Yes, we know this to be true. After all, our breath is what gives us life and keeps us alive, which we might say is wonder enough. But as part of this sacred journey of life, let us explore, in good company, how and why this wonder works through us; enhancing the life it brings us, not scientifically, but experientially and metaphorically.

Working through various versions of English translations and adaptations of this, our sacred prayer of breath and spirit in the celebration of the Divine, we will intuit and grow in awareness of who we are in relation to this “wonder.”

With her special combination of theatrical skill, teaching experience, and devotion to Torah, master acting teacher and performance coach, Carol Fox Prescott, is beautifully attuned to lead you into practical, creative and spiritual applications of the wonder of breath.


Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend!