Two grassroots Jewish organisations, the Wellspring Project and Yelala have joined forces to create an online course series that will bring together participants who are curious about Jewish folk customs and rituals, and how to apply them to modern Jewish life.
Cottage in the Woods will meet from November 2022-February 2023, with a new weekly course available each month, on Sunday evenings. Participants will be able to choose whether to attend a single course, or be part of a select cohort who will spend the whole Winter learning and developing skills together. Through the study of antiquity, Torah, Talmud, anthropology, and folklore, students can explore include bereavement and grief, astrology, pregnancy and midwifery, and kitchen remedies,
The course will be led by Yelala’s Kohenet Rachel Rose Reid, with special guest teachers from a variety of different Jewish backgrounds, including Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers of Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue, and Kehillat Nashira’s Rabbi-in-Training, Miriam Lorie.
Spearheaded by Rabbi Miriam Berger, Senior Rabbi of Finchley Reform Synagogue, The Wellspring Project plans to build a centre in London where people of all genders and all faiths and none can benefit from complementary therapies, including the provision of pools for the powerful ritual of mikveh.
Speaking about Cottage in the Woods, Rabbi Berger said “It’s wonderful that this nourishing programming can be experienced before our four walls exist. Working with Yelala is one of many collaborations which will enable Wellspring to enrich the lives of British Jewry, and make prioritising wellbeing a new and important normal”
Co-founded by Kohenet Rachel Rose Reid, and Student Rabbi Kohenet Yael Tischler, - both ordained by the USA’s Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, - Yelala has worked across denominations, facilitating life cycle rituals, courses and retreats that renew, reveal and share the customs, prayers, rituals, and stories of Jewish women, in particular.
Speaking about Cottage in the Woods, Kohenet Reid said “We are excited to collaborate with Wellspring, as we can highlight how their interest in mental and emotional wellbeing has been a fundamental concern in Jewish communities, even to ancient times. These oral traditions are sometimes left behind as our ancestors have been driven through the diaspora. We are excited to re-examine them in the company of our cohort of scholars.