The Iyyun Kollel: Full-Spectrum Torah and Transformation
The IYYUN Kollel is a quarterly program of intensive Torah learning, which seeks to mobilize a full-spectrum selection of texts and practices for personal transformation and intersectoral integration.
The Kollel’s curriculum centers on a single object/theme, which is selected from within the Torah canon (e.g. Flood/Mabul, Manna/Mon) for concentrated study and contemplation from a variety of perspectives. Based on the integrative structure of the PaRDeS, the entire corpus of Torah scholarship—from Chumash and Tanach, to Midrash and Mufarshim, to Mishnah and Gemara, to Halacha and Poskim, to Kabbalah and Chassidut—is utilized to develop a multifaceted and profound understanding of the chosen object that includes both legalistic detail and philosophic depth.
In addition to rigorous traditional text study, special attention will be given to practical “inner-work,” including both mussar and meditation.
Connecting Holy Studies to Ways of the World
The Iyyun Kollel is committed to the continued conversation between Torah and the world at large. After building our foundation in Torah texts we will engage and include insights, readings and lectures on the theme from visiting scholars representing related fields in the sciences, humanities, and arts.
It is an explicit goal of the Iyyun Kollel to bring together diverse groups of Jews from across the spectrum of the Jewish world in order to learn with and from each other in a diverse and dynamic environment. All should feel welcome to apply (although at this point we are only able to accept men).
When and Where
The Kollel will convene four times a year at the Iyyun Center in Brooklyn for programs ranging from 4-8 days. During this time students will engage in and be exposed to extended Chavrusa study, thematic lectures, group discussion, silent meditation, take-home spiritual exercises, and regularly scheduled daily Davenning.
Rosh Kollel: Rav DovBer Pinson
A learned master of both niglah and nistar, a rare scholar of traditional Jewish approaches to meditation and kavanah, and a prolific author, Rav Pinson is a regular and beloved teacher in both the modern communities of Brownstone Brooklyn (Cobble Hill/Park Slope/Gowanus) and Manhattan, as well as in ultraorthodox communities of Borough Park, Monsey, and around the world. He is widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on authentic Kabbalah and Jewish philosophy and through his books, lectures and seminars he has touched and inspired the lives of thousands the world over, and continues to serve as a mentor to many across the globe. Over the last decade his IYYUN Center has been host to some of the most interesting and diverse gatherings of Jews in the New York area—particularly over such holidays as Chanukah, Purim, Tu B’shvat, and Lag B’Omer, regularly attracting hundredsof attendees from across the denominational spectrum.
Executive Director: Jorian Polis Schutz
A writer, publisher, farm manager, and forever-student, Jorian spent much of the past few years growing his roots in yeshivot in Jerusalem and recently “landed” in central Virginia, where he manages a regenerative agriculture project. This year Jorian completed a cycle of essays about Yosef haTzaddik and published the Misaviv Hebrew Circle Calendar through his new imprint, Deuteronomy Press. Jorian is particularly interested in the fusion of biological and mystical perspectives, the re-harnessing of the critical tradition for holy work, and the use of illustration and animation to illuminate sacred teachings.
Project Director: Vukan Marinković (MA Phil, MA Relig, MA J Phil)
Raised in the former parts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire now known as Croatia, where he helped establish the Department of Jewish Studies at the Philosophical Faculty of Zagreb, Vukan is now a traveling philosopher, part-time lecturer and a domesticated religiologist with an entrepreneurial bend. Among other things he is presently completing his PhD at Yeshivah University focusing on the philosophy of dialogue.
Creative Director: Eden Pearlstein (MA J Phil, MA J Edu)
A contemporary Jewish poet, musician, scholar and educator, Eden’s creative work combines Jewish text and tradition with creative process and consciousness practice. He is a founding member of the Darshan Project, and he holds 2 master’s degrees from JTS, one in Experiential Education and the other in Jewish Thought and Philosophy.
Magid Shiur: Rabbi Shmuel Braun
A master teacher, mentor and lecturer, known particularly for connecting complex concepts in Jewish mysticism to everyday life. Having grown up Modern Orthodox in Woodmere, L.I., Rabbi Braun then spent many years studying at Ner Israel in Baltimore, in the Brisk Yeshiva in Jerusalem by Reb Meir Soloveitchik, and also in institutions affiliated with Yeshiva University, Munkatch, and Chabad. Combining his devotion to Torah with a passion for the humanities Rabbi Braun has developed a unique, progressive and inclusive style of teaching that engages a wide spectrum of people from diverse backgrounds and beliefs.
For more information and to find out about upcoming Kollel sessions: please visit our dedicated Kollel website
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