Purpose

Our mission is to advance scholarship and social transformation, bringing Jewish spiritual knowledge to bear on the toughest challenges of contemporary society. We break down the barriers between spheres of knowledge and practice, enabling long-term collaboration among scholars, social researchers, and human services practitioners.

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History & Vision

A scholarly consensus is emerging that legitimizes indigenous knowledge—the teachings and practices of the world’s great spiritual traditions—as a source of new/old insights and solutions for our most pressing social concerns. Through boundary crossing dialogue and collaboration we can empower individuals and communities to share, explore and innovate, maximizing positive impact. 

WHERE DOES CONTEMPORARY SPIRITUALITY COME FROM, AND WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?

Over the course of more than a decade,  a series of meetings, conferences, fellowships and public events have brought together a growing network of scholars, educators, communal leaders and students from a spectrum of prestigious institutions and a plurality of points of view. Our interests converge at the nexus of sociology, psychology, education, comparative religion, and mysticism, with specific emphasis on the living spiritual traditions of Judaism. Our vision is to bridge different spheres of knowledge and practice, to bring compelling scholarship to public audiences, and to accelerate personal, social, and cultural progress.

We believe that transformative scholarship Leads to transformative Social progress.  

To these ends we continue to expand our network, as well as our programs, building a coalition of people and institutions. By placing the human sciences in mutually enriching discourse with the study of spiritual traditions—by exploring history and text, theory and practice, sociology and psychology, Kabbalah, Hasidism and beyond—we aim to produce a panoramic understanding of what modern spirituality can mean for real social transformation. All our programs are driven by the belief that transformative scholarship leads to transformative progress for individuals and for society.

"The quest to DISSEMINATE mystical knowledge within an INTELLECTUAList framework, thereby FORGING a synthesis of the ECSTATIC and the scientific, the mystical and the philosophical... is a feature that endures through the generations..."

Elliot R. Wolfson, Open Secret (columbia university press, 2009)