Jewish Mindfulness Center of Washington










selected-national guide slingshot-14-15The JMCW @ Adas offers programs and workshops to help deepen our experience of the spiritual, and create connections to foster a vibrant, diverse spiritual community. Experience Jewish Meditation, Yoga, Mindful Learning, and spirited Shabbat & Holiday programs… all within a uniquely Jewish context.

“The beginning of our happiness lies in the understanding that life without wonder is not worth living.”  ~Abraham Joshua Heschel

Welcome to the Jewish Mindfulness Center of Washington. Whether you are returning for our third year or just stumbling upon this page for the first time I would like to welcome you.  The JMCW offers meditation, yoga, soulful Shabbat services and a space to openly approach the multiple spiritual dimensions of the Jewish tradition.  We seek to open ourselves to wonder, awe, and mindfulness as we journey through life.  Whether you have been a practicioner of meditation for years or are trying yoga for the first time, you are always welcome at the JMCW.  Wishing you all a sweet new year and a year full of wonder.  


~Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt (


JMCW Wins the Slingshot Award!

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Adas Israel's JMCW has been named one of America's
Top 82 Innovative Jewish Organizations

Click Here to Learn More and to View the 1 Minute Entry Video
Selected from among hundreds of finalists reviewed by 112 professionals with expertise in grant-making and Jewish communal life, the then annual Slingshot Guide says that the JMCW is “altering perceptions of synagogue life and engagement and is a model for other communities on what it means to be a catalyst for change.” Vist


Weekly Meditation Sessions @ JMCW

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Tuesdays at 7:30pm 
Weekly Jewish Meditation sessions on Tuesday evenings at 7:30pm, led by Rabbis Gil Steinlauf, Lauren Holtzblatt, Gilah Langner, and Ben Shalva.  Sessions include silent meditation and an exploration of Jewish meditation techniques followed by refreshments. Beginners are most welcome!


November is Mindfulness Month!

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November @ Adas is all about Mindfulness. 
Brought to you by the Jewish Mindfulness Center of Washington, Adas Israel’s MakomDC will offers ongoing programs and workshops designed to help deepen our experience of the spiritual, and uncover the inherently “mindful” spiritual toolkit embedded into almost every aspect of Jewish life, learning, and ritual. We invite you to participate in person and online as Adas Israel’s clergy and guest teachers explore Jewish Meditation, Yoga, Mindful Learning, and spirited Shabbat & Holiday programs.  See below for more information & see the full schedule HERE.


Mikvah Mondays!

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Oct 27, Nov 24, Jan 26, Feb 23, Mar 30, Apr 27, May 18
From 8:45-9:45am

The Mikvah opens its doors for questions, curious visits, comments and a safe place to discuss preconceived notions about what the Mikvah is and who uses it. Join us for coffee and bagels, while you chat, read Mikvah ceremonies created for different life cycle events, including childbearing, infertility, and other life transitions. The goal of Mikvah Mondays is to demystify the Mikvah and offer Gan parents an awareness of how Mikvah is relevant to their lives. For more information, contact


Mindful Yoga @ JMCW

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Wednesdays (8-9:15pm) & Sundays (10-10:45am & 11am-12:15pm)
Join us three times a week for yoga rooted in Jewish spiritual concepts. Classes will invite us to “embody” Judaism and can include explorations of poses, meditation, and chant. 

View & Download our full 2014-2015 JMCW Yoga Calendar HERE!

Dress for movement; Mats provided
Yoga beginners welcome!


Return Again to Shabbat

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With Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt & Elie Greenberg. 
The Shabbat experience you cannot miss!… In the style of our innovative outdoor Kol Nidre Service. Join us for a reflective journey into the power of Shabbat. Featuring seasoned musicians and a spiritual, personal excursion into prayer & song. Followed by a festive Israeli tapas-style feast. See our Musical Moments Program for dates & registration!

Soul, Music & Tapas. For All! 
Join as we dance, sing, and discover the deep
shabbat within us all.


The Kavanah Experience for YP's

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Join us on November 19!
Find your Kavanah (spiritual intention) with an evening of fully embodied Jewish practices, as we sample a taste of Jewish yoga, meditation, and Kirtan (call and response music). Try a bit of it all in a relaxed, welcoming environment. Followed by an organic tea sampling to the tunes of zen-like Jewish music! Free & open to all! 


Bodies of Water: Honoring Our Jewish Bodies

Pick A Sunday:
New dates TBD - Join us for an afternoon of interactive learning about Jewish approaches and Mikvah spirituality for promoting a positive body image. Open to women and girls, ages 10 and up. Come with your daughters, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, or friends for an extra special experience!

Mussar Study with Rabbi Feinberg


Adas Israel is pleased to offer two innovative courses: Mussar in Action and Taste of Mussar with Rabbi Feinberg. As with all Mussar study, the aim of these programs is to help individuals find balance and strength in key inner traits that are essential for leading a fulfilling life, in worldly as well as spiritual matters.  The goals of our courses are to equip individuals with the tools of Jewish spiritual practice – the centuries-old Mussar practices that purify and elevate the traits of the soul, to create a local spiritual group in which participants can share and explore together, and to strengthen the place of spirituality in the local Jewish community. 

Click Here to learn more about which course is right for you!


Jewish Mindfulness from the Rabbis

Jewish Mindfulness Resources from our Clergy and Guests:

The Jewishness of Jewish Mindfulness
By Senior Rabbi Gil Steinlauf

What is Jewish Meditation?
By Rabbi Gilah Langner

Why Jews Should NOT Believe in God
Rosh Hashanah 2013 Sermon by Rabbi Gil Steinlauf

Claiming the Space
Rosh Hashanah Sermon in the new Biran Beit Midrash
by Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt

November is Mindfulness Month @ JMCW! 

Featured Speaker: Rabbi James Maisels-Jacobson

Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels teaches Jewish thought, mysticism, spiritual practices, and meditation across the globe.  He will join us November 14 & 15 for an amazing weekend of Jewish mindfulness! Learn More.

How To Series: How To Daven & Have It Be Meaningful

Join Senior Rabbi Gil Steinlauf for a special workshop designed to bring meaning and mindfulness to your prayer practice.  You don't want to miss this one! Learn More.

Mindful Yoga @ JMCW

Join us for yoga rooted in Jewish spiritual concepts. Classes will invite us to “embody” Judaism and can include explorations of poses, meditation, and chant. Yoga beginners welcome! Learn More.

Morning Awakening

Come join JMCW for an uplifting 45 minutes of mindful prayer and song as we start the day together. Learn More.


YP Kavanah Experience

Find your Kavanah (spiritual intention) with an evening of fully embodied Jewish practices, as we sample a taste of Jewish yoga, meditation, and Kirtan (call and response music). Learn More.

Make Real and Lasting Change One Week at a Time with Mussar Yoga

Join Edith Brotman, author of Mussar Yoga on Nov. 9 @ 10:30am for a workshop at which you will learn more about this artful blend of an ancient, Jewish spiritual practice of self-inquiry and change with Patanjali's 8 Limbs of Yoga. Learn More. Register Here.


Weekly Jewish Meditation

Led by Rabbis Gil Steinlauf, Lauren Holtzblatt, Gilah Langner, and Ben Shalva.  Sessions include silent meditation and an exploration of Jewish meditation techniques followed by refreshments. Beginners are most welcome! Learn More.

Mindful Parenting with Rabbi Holtzblatt

An exploration of loving, giving, teaching, disciplining, and growing our children from a Jewish perspective, led by Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt.  Parents with children ages 0-10 are encouraged, all are welcome! Learn More.

Return Again To Shabbat

In the style of our innovative outdoor Kol Nidre Service. Join us for a reflective journey into the power of Shabbat. Learn More.


Mikvah Mondays

The Mikvah opens its doors for questions, curious visits, comments and a safe place to discuss preconceived notions about what the Mikvah is and who uses it. Learn More.


Downtown Study Group

The Downtown Study Group meets (mostly) the second Tuesday of the month over lunch at a convenient downtown location to study texts and grapple with powerful Jewish issues. Learn More.

Meet our Jewish Meditation Leaders!

Senior Rabbi Gil Steinlauf is one of the leading experts of Jewish Mindfulness in th eNation today. He joined Adas Israel as our senior Rabbi in August 2008. Rabbi Steinlauf had been the Rabbi of Temple Israel in New Jersey since 2001. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University (1991), studied at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, received an M.H.L. from the University of Judaism in 1994, and received Rabbinic ordination as well as an M.A. from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York in 1998. Rabbi Steinlauf was also the assistant Rabbi at Congregation Tifereth Israel in Columbus, Ohio. Currently, Rabbi Steinlauf is on the boards of the Washington Chapter of the American Jewish Committee, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. He also sits on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He is an alumnus of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, and a member of the Center for Jewish Learning and Leadership’s Rabbis Without Borders program.​
Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt is the director and curator for the JMCW and MakomDC programming in the Biran Beit Midrash at Adas Israel, ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, serves as our Director of Lifelong Learning & Programs developing and directing the Biran Beit Midrash/MakomDC; The Jewish Mindfulness Center of Washington, coordinating our adult education programs; teaching; and developing the Return AgainShabbat experience. She has served as the Hillel Foundation Director of Campus Initiatives and as associate rabbi at the Yale University Hillel. Rabbi Holtzblatt was a rabbinic fellow at B’nai Jeshurun in New York. 
Rabbi Gilah Langner has built her rabbinic practice around healing, spirituality,  and community learning. Born and raised in Montreal, Rabbi Langner has been an active teacher in the Washington DC Jewish community for over twenty years.  She is currently an adjunct instructor at the Catholic University of America and at The George Washington University, and teaches small group study sessions in the Jewish community. She serves as the visiting Jewish Chaplain at Georgetown University Hospital, directs the Washington Jewish Healing Network, and serves as a rabbinic resource to the Shoreshim community in Northern Virginia.  She is the co-editor of the journal Kerem: Creative Explorations in Judaism.  Rabbi Langner has long been affiliated with the Fabrangen havurah and is a member of Tifereth Israel Congregation and Adas Israel Congregation.
ben shalvaRabbi Ben Shalva has served as rabbinic advisor for the Harvard University Hillel, Assistant Rabbi for Congregation Olam Tikvah in Fairfax, VA and Senior Rabbi with Temple Reyim in Newton, MA.  He also served as a rabbinic chaplain for Rikers Island Correctional Facility in New York City and the Nashua Street Jail in Boston.  He now live in the Washington D.C. area with my wife, Sara, and two children, Lev and Avital.I have taught Jewish meditation at synagogues as well as mindfulness meditation in jails and prisons.He practices yoga daily and am currently training with the yogic master Tony Sanchez, and incorporates these lessons into this Judaic programming.


"A Spiritual Connection at Adas"
by Phil Jacobs,
Executive Editor of Washington Jewish Week

Mindfulness2croppedAn amazing feature from Washington Jewish Week on the Jewish Mindfulness Center of Washington at Adas Israel: "My eyes were closed, and I was feeling a sense of mental clarity. The clutter of the day was gone for now.Everyone around me that cool November Tuesday evening contributed to a serenity I have longed for.We were meditating over the words of the Torah portion.The only voice we heard from our circle of chairs was that of Adas Israel's Rabbi Gil Steinlauf. The meditation was…" READ MORE…


"The Mirror in the Mikveh: Can a Jewish Purity Rite Be Adapted for Teens?"
By Renee Ghert-Zand, The Jewish Daily Forward

forward squarePraise from the Jewish Daily Forward for Adas Ritual Director, Naomi Malka, and the innovative new Mikvah workshop, "Bodies of Water" at Adas Israel… "Ellie is an 11-year-old fifth-grader…and Emily is a 16-year-old junior… Both were inspired to douse in the mikveh after they participated in “Bodies of Water: Honoring Our Jewish Bodies,” a new workshop at the Conservative Adas Israel Congregation in Washington that uses the mikveh as a tool to help girls and young women develop a positive and healthy body image…"  READ MORE…


"Synagogue Hopping with Generation Y"
by Naomi Schaefer Riley, Wall Street Journal

Mindfulness2croppedPraise from the Wall Street Journal, on why JMCW and Adas' innovative programs are part of the solution to a customer service problem in American Synagogue life. "With a half an inch of snow on the ground, it felt like this city was shutting down on a recent Friday evening. Yet more than 300 people—mostly young adults—streamed into Adas Israel, a conservative synagogue in the Cleveland Park neighborhood. Many were there to "Shabbat-hop." READ MORE…


"A D.C. Synagogue’s Game-Changing Rabbi"
By Merissa Nathan Gerson, Tablet Magazine

forward squareA Renewed Adas Israel, with JMCW and the Rabbi as catalysts for change. "Adas Israel, a 146-year-old high-profile Conservative synagogue perched visibly on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C… I was bat mitzvahed at Adas Israel, and later confirmed, and this year I reluctantly returned with my parents for Yom Kippur only to find a completely different—and in many ways improved—version of the Jewish institution."  READ MORE…

Past Events @ JMCW

Jewish Spirituality with Rabbi Rachel Cowan

In 2007 and 2012, Rabbi Cowan was selected as one of the 50 most influential rabbis by Newsweek magazine, and in 2010 was chosen as one of the 50 most influential women rabbis by the Forward.

Mind, Body, & Soul

We entered the World of Mussar with Alan Morinis, a leading interpreter of Mussar teachings and practices, and looked at ways to help our individual souls break through the barriers that surround and obstruct the flow of inner light in our lives.

Balanced in the Light

Led by Rabbi Gilah Langer and Naomi Malka. A warm and powerful Mikvah Experience for the Fourth Night of Hanukkah.


Immersing in Holiness: A New Year Mikvah Renewal

We entered the waters of renewal in time for the High Holy Days in this intimate, intensive workshop. Participants sang, shared stories, meditated, studied text ,and moved toward a place of wholeness, with the choice to experience private mikvah immersions as well. 

Preparing Body and Soul through Mindful Moments

Led by Susan Barocas and Michelle Buzgon. Calming our bodies and minds, opening our hearts, and awakening our spirits through mindful practices can help us move into the new year refreshed, alert, and enthusiastic. Susan Barocas and Michelle Buzgon helped us concentrate on the sounds and rhythms of deep breathing, guided meditation, and melodic chanting to increase our sense of well-being and ability to accept the joys and sorrows of life. An elevating Yom Kippur experience.


Mindful Jewish Meditation with Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appel

The cutting edge of the integration of mindful meditation and Judaism with Rabbi Bendat-Appell, of the rabbinic faculty of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality in New York, and co-founder of the Center for Jewish Mindfulness in Chicago.

Hanukkah Meditation

Led by Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt. Focusing on the spirit of Hanukkah, accompanied by the illumination of the Hanukkiah.


Spiritual Shofar Blowing

Led by Jennie Litvack. We took a deep breath and learned all about the shofar. This hands-on workshop, covered biblical references and spiritual interpretations of shofar blowing, along with techniques of lip buzzing, tonguing, and deep, soulful breathing. 

Exploring the Path of Your True Nature: A Meditative Hike

The inspiration of nature can help us unite mind, body, and spirit to connect with the present moment and contemplate our true nature. For Rosh Hashannah, Forester Rick Fox led a gentle hike through Rock Creek Park, and yoga teachers Harry Chauss and Lauren Rubenstein led mindful stretching.