The Kohenet Training Intensive seeks to revitalize the Jewish connection with the Divine feminine and to reclaim the ancient role of women as facilitators of sacred experience. Kohenet trains women to identify traces of the Divine feminine within Torah and tradition and to create Jewish rituals and sacred experiences embodying this wisdom.
The Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Training Intensive gathers for four weeks over one and a half years. Sessions will take place in summer and winter at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, Connecticut, under the auspices of The Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality. Specific winter and summer dates are announced no later than nine months prior to sessions.
Each day of each retreat week focuses on a netivah, a path of Jewish priestess work. Weekdays open with feminine-inflected prayer and include study sessions on sacred text; experiential sessions that awaken the soul; spiritual crafts such as amulet-making, dream-work, and chant; and opportunities to share and discuss important issues facing Jewish women. A guest teacher may give a session on music, midrash, archaeology, peacemaking, or another critical topic. Each week culminates in a celebratory Shabbat experience centered on the Divine feminine.
We will cultivate our connection to the Divine feminine through stories of our journeys and the journeys of our foremothers, we will explore the Maiden, the Midwife, the Prophetess, and the Fool.
We will explore how to nurture and heal ourselves and our community, employing tools to strengthen our creativity and honor our connection to the sacred. We will engage the archetypes of the Mother, the Lover, the Wise Woman, and the Keeper of Sacred Space.
Deepening our inner strength, our insight into the hidden world of the spirit, and our visions of the Shekhinah, we will embrace the Matriarch, the Spirit Walker, the Seeker, and the Woman Who Comforts.
Weaving the insights of our two years of study and experience, we will create our ceremony of initiation, and embody the energy of the Weaver, the one who winds our paths into a tapestry of light.
Kohenet participants also engage in monthly phone calls to check in, learn about the Jewish holiday cycle, and cultivate their home spiritual practice. Conference call sessions serve to deepen our learning and strengthen our community. There are 8-10 phone sessions per year.
Participants are expected to participate fully in each in-person gathering and in all phone sessions.
Priestesses-in-Training are expected to:
During your scheduled phone conversation with a Kohenet facilitator, be prepared to discuss your application essays and ideas for an individual project.
Kohenet recommends beginning and intermediate Hebrew classes at a university or synagogue as most useful, but suggests Prayerbook Hebrew The Easy Way (a book series available on Amazon) or FoundationStone.com’s Online Hebrew Tutorial as alternates for those who cannot take a Hebrew class.)
At the culmination of the two-year Kohenet Intensive, trainees who have attended at least 3 retreat sessions out of 4 and have fulfilled the course requirements will have the opportunity to engage in initiation as a Tzovah, a keeper of sacred time and space, with the blessing of their community. Tzovot will be invited to continue for a two year advanced training toward a deeper Kohenet/Priestess Ordination, to move more fully into teaching and training others.
The program cost for the two-year Kohenet Intensive is $1400, payable to Elat Chayyim (if you are accepted to the program, you must go to www.jewishretreatcenter.org to register).
The fee scale for room and board during the retreats can be found online at http://isabellafreedman.org/kohenet. Some financial aid may be made available by Elat Chayyim for those who need it.
To apply for Kohenet, please complete the following application and send to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you at the Kohenet retreats and share this new-ancient tradition with you!
Kohenet Application Form
Hebrew Name (if you have one and wish to share it):
Please describe what led you to apply to the Kohenet program.
Include a description of your spiritual path up to this point as well as your current spiritual practice.
Please describe your Jewish background (family experience, education, etc.) and your current relationship to Jewish community, Jewish religious practice, etc.
Please briefly describe ways you serve or have served your community, and also ways you care for yourself as a spiritual person.
With which of the thirteen priestess-archetypes do you most resonate and why? Which one seems most foreign or frightening to you? Which one would you like to explore in the future?