Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi founded the organization that is now ALEPH as P’nai Or Religious Fellowship in 1962, incorporating in Pennsylvania in 1976. Reb Zalman continues to serve as the Rabbinic Chair of ALEPH, and P’nai Or Religious Fellowship has become a division of ALEPH devoted to his continuing ministry.
Reb Zalman was the inspiration for many of the communities worldwide now affiliated with ALEPH and for many of the current projects of ALEPH including the ALEPH Kallah, the ALEPH Rabbinic Program and the ALEPH Sage-ing Project. The Reb Zalman Legacy Project is devoted to making his written works available through the ALEPH ReSources Catalog.
As a rabbi and teacher of Jewish spiritual renewal, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi has presented the central teachings of Hassidism and Kabbalah in a contemporary and accessible manner. Through prayer and meditation, movement and song, storytelling and philosophical discourse he awakens and inspires the process which connects the individual to the living God.
Rabbi Schachter's interests in the universality of spiritual truths has led him to study and dialogue with Catholic monks, Native American elders, Buddhist teachers, including the Dalai Lama, Sufi masters and humanistic and transpersonal psychologists. His synthesis of these wide-ranging experiences makes his teaching unique and invaluable.
His own experience of aging and eldering impelled him to found the Spiritual Eldering Institute in 1989, encouraged and assisted by professionals and colleagues in the field of aging. Originally part of ALEPH, SEI is now an independent, non-sectarian organization while the ALEPH Sage-ing Project focuses on Jewish programming. He has since developed and taught the workshops to many thousands of individuals seeking to expand their awareness to match our extended life span.
Born in Poland in 1924 and raised in Vienna, Zalman Schachter was simultaneously immersed in both traditional Judaism and secular modernism, attending a yeshivah and a leftist-Zionist high school. After fleeing from Nazi advance and imprisonment by the Vichy-French government, his flight from war-torn Europe finally led him to New York City in 1941. There he entered the Lubavitch Yeshiva where he was ordained in 1947. He subsequently received an M.A. in the Psychology of Religion (Boston University, 1956) and a Doctor of Hebrew Letters (Hebrew Union College, 1968).
His career has served many people. For twenty years he was Professor of Religion and Head of the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at the University of Manitoba, Canada. In 1975 he became Professor of Religion in Jewish Mysticism and Psychology of Religion at Temple University in Philadelphia where is he currently Professor Emeritus. His final years in academia were at Naropa University where he is also Professor Emeritus. Zalman Schachter has also been a congregational rabbi, a Hebrew school principal, a Hillel Foundation director, and a resource consultant and spiritual guide for individuals and for Jewish communities throughout North and South America, Europe and Israel.
Reb Zalman has published over 150 articles and monographs and has translated many Hassidic and Kabbalistic texts. He is the author of several books, the latest being Wrapped in a Holy Flame (Jossey Bass, 2003). He has been featured on many television and radio programs, and has produced his own audio and video tapes.
for more info: www.spiritualeldering.org
Books by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
- From Age-Ing to Sage-Ing: A Profound New Vision of Growing Older
- The Dream Assembly
- Jewish With Feeling : A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice
- First Steps to a New Jewish Spirit: Reb Zalman's Guide to Recapturing the Intimacy and Ecstasy in your Relationship with God
- Wrapped in a Holy Flame: Teachings and Tales of The Hasidic Masters
- Fragments of a future scroll: Hassidism for the here and now
- Primer Paso, El
- A Vision of Spiritual Eldering (Audio)
- The Next Rung (Audio)
- Hasidic Archetypes (Audio)
- Entering the Gates of Jewish Spirituality (Audio)
- The Baal Shem Tov (Audio)
- Credo of a Modern Kabbalist (7 tapes) (Audio)
Newsweek article: Kabbalah: Feeling the Spirit of Prayer - "This rabbi extols the joy of experiencing an intimate connection to the Almighty."
Click here to see the complete list of Teachers of Universal Spirituality Recognized by Universe Spirit.