JUNE 2015



 June 21 - 28, 2015

"Silence and Transformation: A 7-Day Silent Meditation Retreat"  

Teachers: Rabbi David Cooper, Shoshana Cooper, Eliezer Sobel, Naomi Hyman and Beth Resnick

St. Francis Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Once again, this coming summer, Rabbi David, his wife Shoshana, Eliezer Sobel, along with new teachers who assisted last year, Naomi Hyman and Beth Resnick, will be offering a week-long, silent meditation retreat for beginning and advanced practitioners who seek to deepen their contemplative practice.

This years retreat again will be held at the St. Francis Center for Renewal in Bethlehem, PA, a lovely retreat center, which provides a more intimate setting for a smaller group of attendees.

Meals will be vegetarian, but not kosher. David, Shoshana and Eliezer have been offering this retreat format for over a dozen years in different parts of the world, and have dramatically influenced the development of Jewish Meditation in the USA.

(To register, send $200 deposit by check, credit card or Pay Pal)

Single and Double private rooms, (shared bath) are available: $650 double, $950 single. A $200 deposit (non-refundable after May 15th), is required to hold a space. If mailing a check, send to: David Cooper, 11905 Sara Rd., Unit 84-172, Laredo, TX 78045.

(Check the Let's Shop button on the homepage of this website for easy, direct payment) 

If paying via credit card, see the Cooper Store pages for submitting the deposit (which can be made any time prior to mid-May, if you wish). We do at times run out of rooms, so if you want to be certain of space, do not delay. If we run over, we may have a waiting list.

Donations: The fees shown above cover room and board. We do not charge fixed tuitions at our retreats; however we do request a "free will" offering of any amount at the end of each retreat.

To learn more about our retreats and the teachers, please read what follows:

Background Information About Weeklong Silent Retreats

A weeklong silent retreat is one of the essential and most important practices for any spiritual aspirant. Each spiritual discipline and many teachers have unique practices, schedules, relationships between the teachers and students along with other nuances of the training. The retreats offered by the Coopers have their own flavor.

On our retreats, the silence we emphasize has two important qualities: 1) it is "friendly," that is to say we do not have to cut ourselves off from other retreatants—a smile or small gesture may be used as long as there is no demand for reciprocation, and 2) the focus of our silence is on "inner" rather than outer plane.

So in our “silence,” we actually chant and sing together every morning. In some instruction periods, questions or comments are invited from the audience. Retreatants have opportunities to engage teachers, either one-on-one or in small groups. All this is considered part of the silence of social conversation.

Therefore, in our silence we are committed not engage one another on a social level. We do not have mundane conversations. We do not greet one another verbally. Why is this so important? The answer is that something happens deep within each of us when we maintain an outer silence as described. An inner silence for practitioners on our retreats arises after a few days. It is a spaciousness that makes itself known on a very deep level. We experience an ease that is uniquely satisfying and deeply content on some kind of soul level that is inexplicable. We begin to feel profoundly connected with others around us, even though we are not speaking. And we begin to experience a fascinating integration with our surroundings, nature, life.

It is true that initially, for the first few days, the experience may feel a bit strange. We are social beings. But we are also very adaptable and soon we begin to realize the extraordinary wonder of the possibility of a moment-to-moment connection with what is happening right now--the magic and mystery of the unfolding NOW. When this happens, the silence becomes a precious gift. Indeed, on our retreats, after the third or fourth day, retreatants love the silence so much they want it to last as long as possible.

 About Rabbi David & Shoshana Cooper

         Rabbi David A. Cooper is an author, lecturer, teacher and meditation guide. Shoshana Cooper is an artist, Tea Ceremony teacher, meditation instructor, composer, and ex-Nursing Instructor. In earlier years, David was a successful businessman, a student of both Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, a sailor and a world traveler. His best selling book, GOD IS A VERB, has been translated into a number of different languages and has sold over 125,000 copies.

         Rabbi Cooper and Shoshana have been leaders in the growing popularity in Jewish Meditation. They taught at the Jewish Renewal Kallah for twelve years and they lived in the Old City of Jerusalem the previous eight years.

Rabbi Cooper has written many books on the subject of contemplative Judaism, including: THE HANDBOOK FOR JEWISH MEDITATION PRACTICES (Jewish Lights), THREE GATES TO MEDITATION PRACTICE (Skylight Press); A HEART OF STILLNESS: A Complete Guide to Learning the Art of Meditation (Skylight Press); and SILENCE SIMPLICITY & SOLITUDE: A Complete Guide to Spiritual Retreat.

         In addition, Rabbi Cooper has recorded a best selling series with Sounds True called: THE MYSTICAL KABBALAH. An additional set, SEEING THROUGH THE EYES OF GOD is also available. Cooper has authored two new books, each with a CD included: ECSTATIC KABBALAH and INVOKING ANGELS, published by Sounds True.

The Cooper’s and Eliezer have produced a very popular CD: SONGS OF PRAYER AND SILENCE, which includes many of the melodies they use in the morning prayers on retreat. Much of the music was composed by Shoshana. For over a dozen years they guided programs for beginning and advanced meditators at the Jewish Retreat Center, Elat Chayyim, in upstate New York, which recently became part of the Isabella Freedman Center. They have taught together or individually at Omega Institute in New York, Mt. Madonna in California, the Open Center in New York City, Chochmat HaLev in Berkeley, Yesod in Colorado, Hollyhock in British Columbia, Rowe Conference Center in Mass., as well as in Holland, Germany, Israel, Poland, Australia and New Zealand.

Rabbi Cooper has been the keynote speaker at a half-dozen conventions on meditation, and he has lectured at dozens of courses in both meditation and Kabbalah. He has taught in 40 states. Cooper has been interviewed on nationwide radio, NPR, as well as TV and has appeared in dozens of newspaper articles. A television documentary of him was telecast in Europe and Israel. The Coopers currently reside in Colorado and Mexico.


Rabbi Naomi Hyman

Drawing on teachings both ancient and modern, Rabbi Naomi guides her students in spiritual practices that awaken the soul, including sacred text study, meditation, ritual and prayer. Rabbi Naomi was ordained by Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal in 2003.  She also received a private contemplative ordination from Rabbi David Cooper in recognition of both her rabbinic studies and intensive meditation training under his guidance.  She is the editor of Biblical Women in the Midrash: A Sourcebook (Jason Aronson, 1997) and co-editor of Trees, Earth and Torah: A Tu B’Shvat Anthology (Jewish Publication Society, 1999).  Learn more at www.rabbinaomihyman.com.

The fees for retreats are for room and board only. There is no tuition for teachers, however, free will donations for teachers are welcomed at the end of each retreat.