• Events

    EVENTS TAKE PLACE ON ZOOM UNLESS STATED OTHERWISE

    COTTAGE IN THE WOODS 2021: BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON

    Zoom | 19.00-20.30 UK Time | Seven dates from December 2021-March 2022

    As the air turns cold and the days darken, we invite you to warm yourself around a hearth of ancestral wisdom and community. This year, we return to the Cottage in the Woods, this time guided by the light and shadow of the moon herself. From the Hebrew months of Tevet to Adar II, we will follow the moon through the winter months, from hibernation to celebration.
     

    The Cottage in the Woods is the name we give to our online Winter gatherings. We love the image, as it conveys the warmth, cosiness and homeyness that many of us crave this time of year. The Cottage in the Woods weaves together nourishment for the heart, mind, body and soul.

     

    This winter, our online gatherings will accompany the moon from full to new, to full again, until we're in sight of the spring. Our new moon circles will weave reflective moments and ancestral wisdom. Our full moon circles will be tapestries of song and celebration.
     

    A NIGHT OF LIGHTS & DREAMS

    Zoom | 19.30-21.00 UK Time | Thursday 2 December | £5 / £10 / £15

    When the world turns down her lights, we turn up ours.

    Together, we greet the dark, our candles aglow,

    Rededicating ourselves to the wisdom of the night…

     

    The month of Kislev is known as the month of dreams, because we read our ancestral stories of dreamers. It is also the month when Channukah falls, our festival of lights and rededication. The darkness of this dreaming season invites us to turn inwards, to see what sparks we may gather there. Yet Channukah reminds us that we do not walk alone, that even as we gather sparks, we kindle our lamps as a community, illuminating the way for one another.

     

    Join Yelala for Channukah candle-lighting, followed by a Dream Circle. Will will share some Jewish wisdom around dreams, followed by an invitation to participants to share their dreams and receive reflections on their dreams from others in our sacred gathering. Together, we will cast a light on the wisdom found in darkness.

    No-cost ticket options exist for those who are in need -click through to the booking page to find out more.

    KABBALAT SHABBAT WITH YELALA

    Zoom | 18.30-19.45 UK Time | Every Friday

    In this time of physical disconnect, let us choose connection... We may not be able to go out into the apple orchards to welcome the Shabbat like the sixteenth century Jewish mystics, but we can convene in this Online Orchard, to sing in the Day of Rest with chants, meditations, and wordless melodies.
    When you email us, please share a short personal memory of something calming, so we know you are a real human being.
    This event is offered free of charge. If you are feeling abundant, we would appreciate a donation towards our work.
    This event is open to all, regardless of whether or not you are able to donate.

  • Your own Yelala Event

    We often work in partnership with co-hosts. These events can be private for you and your friends / participants, or open to the public - it's up to you. We make some basic agreements, and then you can promote to your heart's content. If the event is open to the public, we will help you to promote the event, too.
    ~
    We have been guests at music festivals, faith communities, interfaith events, meditation groups, podcasts, Red Tent & Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) groups, retreats, & private homes. We are happy to participate in single or multi-gendered gatherings, and Jewish, multi-faith, or secular groups.
    ~
    In Devotional Circles we learn accessible chants & song based on ancient Hebrew liturgy, and enter soulful, song-filled meditation together. Occasionally we also run rituals online, from Tu b'Shevat seders to moments
    ~
    In Learning Circles we can explore a rich variety of sessions based on the creation and history of Jewish rooted ritual, feminine archetypes* and narratives in a Jewish context, and we can adapt our teachings to suit all levels of Jewish knowledge. We use song, study of sacred and anthropological texts, and invite embodied exploration, and personal reflection.
    *Archetypes are based on the Netivot wheel, created by the Kohenet Institute as a tool for finding feminine representation in Jewish text & history.

     

    Get in touch to host us. 

    If you think you'd like us to make a ritual for you, please click Ritual + Ceremony in the menu at the top of the page.

  • A selection of past events...

    THE PILGRIMAGE

    Autumn 2021

    In the heat of summer, a journey begins towards the renewal of autumn, bringing the nourishment of rain and new beginnings.
    As a community, we make a pilgrimage through this season, following in the ways of our ancestors, who would travel on foot to their sacred centre.

    The Pilgrimage is a journey of prayer, practical learning, celebration, and communal companionship, from the reflective month of Elul to the watery pilgrimage festival of Sukkot, with some important stops for Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) along the way.

    SHAVUOT SEDER WITH YELALA

    28 May

    Shavuot Seder? Isn't the Seder night a Passover thing?
    The Seder is such a fabulous, richly layered, joyful, multi-sensory & delicious ritual! So, we are making a special adapted seder to celebrate Shavuot. Join us! Explore this festival of revelation, kinship, and first fruits. We will combine poetry, song, learning, and symbolic food to celebrate the soul of this special festival.
    Advance booking is essential, & no one is turned away for lack of funds. See further information in the ticket link below.

    FIRST FRUITS: A RE-IMAGINED SHAVUOT RITUAL

    29 May

    "A person goes to one's field and sees a date that is bearing fruit, a bunch [of grapes] that is bearing fruit, or a pomegranate that is bearing fruit, and ties it with a string and says, "Behold these are Bikkurim." - Mishnah, Bikkurim 3
    Bikkurim were the first fruit offerings that were waved in the air as a sign of gratitude and devotion at the ancient temple of Jerusalem. Have you learned a new craft or skill? Have you made a transition? What has changed since last Autumn for you?
    whatever they are, bring your first fruits to wave, share and celebrate in our Zoom gathering at the eve of Shabbat.

    POP-UP BEIT MIDRASH & YELALA PRESENT

    MEETING THE HEBREW PRIESTESS: A 3 PART WORKSHOP SERIES

    Consecutive Mondays, June 18:30-19:45 BST (UK)

    Throughout Israelite and Jewish history, women have held a multitude of spiritual leadership roles, from keepers of sacred space to prophetesses and even witches. Join to explore ways in which our ancestresses have stepped into their spiritual power. In this series we will explore the presence of the Shrinekeeper, Prophetess and the Witch in Jewish text and history.

    ITS SAYS WHAT?! WITH JW3

    26 June

    We join JW3 for this 30-minute bite-size series, educators from across the community will share some of their favourite pieces of Jewish wisdom.
    He [Bezalel] made the laver of copper and its stand of copper, from the mirrors of the shrinekeeper-priestesses who served at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. Exodus 38:8
    Kohenet Yael will explore who these women were, what might their role have been? Why do most of us never learn about them? What might they have to teach us?

    ROSH CHODESH AV WITH YELALA & NEW LONDON SYNAGOGUE

    20 July

    Join Kohenet Rachel for accessible meditative song, reflections on the month we are stepping into and the one we have left behind. The new moon of Av will rise on the evening of 21 July, but we will meet on the 20th.

    WEEPING TOGETHER IN THE NIGHT: A RITUAL FOR SORROWS OF ALL SIZES

    29 July

    On the night that marks the destruction of our ancient sacred spaces, let us draw together to make space for griefs of all shapes and sizes. In this deeply broken world, let us find some solace in the connections we forge with one another, our ancestors, the Earth and ourselves. We will make space for song, silence and embodied ritual. We will hear passages of Eicha, the Book of Lamentations, which recounts, in heart-breaking poetry, the destruction of Jerusalem and her Temple. We will cry out from our most broken places for a world better than this one. We will remind ourselves that even in the darkest depths, we are not alone.
    Join Kohenet Yael Esther and rising Kohenet Sara Moon for an evening to make room for our sorrows and to find comfort in a circle of like-minded souls.

    A TU B'AV RITUAL OF SCARED SEXUALITY

    2 August

    In ancient Israel, the grape harvest began on Tu b’Av. Cutting down the green and yellow tendrils yielded ripe, sweet, juicy fruit of the vine - a fruit which in turn lead to an altered state of mind and a day filled with joyous festivities of connection and pleasure. Kohenet Rachel and sacred sexuality educator Seani Love are renewing and reclaiming this celebration with a rich and playful introductory-level exploration of sacred sexuality. Meet the archetype of the Sacred Lover in Jewish sacred text and within yourself. This session will contain exploration of the Sacred Lover and our relationship with them through experiential practices, song, and learning.
    'Chilli' rating 1 out 4: No nudity, no genital contact at any time, no partnered work with other attendees, although if you attend with a partner we will offer options for you to explore gentle exercises in pairs that match our boundaries.

    PAST WISDOM, PRESENT PRACTICE: SACRED SPACE BEYOND SHUL

    5 August

    In these times of lockdown, most of us are also locked out of our usual sacred space, the Synagogue. How have Jewish ancestors created spaces for connection with the Divine at home and elsewhere?
    Through Jewish text, anthropology, and a little conversation and song, we will trace a journey through biblical altars, ancient hill-top shrines, the rabbinic honouring of the home table, and a rich tapestry of folk traditions from across the diaspora, which may serve as inspiration for how we might find sacred space no matter where we are. This session includes content from the Meeting the Hebrew Priestess: Shrinekeeper class. Hosted by New London Synagogue.

    PAST WISDOM, PRESENT PRACTICE: GRIEF

    12 August

    How do we walk the path of mourning in this disconcerting time? Kohenet Rachel will share stories about grieving practices from Jewish texts, mourning rituals from across the diaspora, and will also share experiences that may help you in creating or supporting vigil, burial, and remembrance rituals in this socially-distanced time. This event is suitable for you whether you are grieving, helping others to grieve, or are simply curious. All emotions are welcome; please be aware that this is not a therapeutic space.

    Hosted by New London Synagogue.

    THE RHYTHM OF ELUL: ANCESTRAL PRACTICES FOR OUR TIMES

    24 August

    For our ancestors, the journey towards the New Year and Yom Kippur was a whole season of internal and even external pilgrimage, the month beforehand peppered with grave-visiting, ritual candle-making, deep-night devotion, even full moon rituals by the sea. Coronavirus may have separated some of us from our usual practices at this time of year. For others, this may all be new! How can we learn from the rhythm of Elul? Join Kohenet Rachel as we find old-new ways to walk the path towards renewal as the season turns.

    THE NEW YEAR FOR ANIMALS: A SPECIAL PEREK SHIRA SONG CIRCLE

    27 August

    Did you know that in Jewish tradition, animals have their very own New Year? We'd like to celebrate! With a special Perek Shira song circle!
    Perek Shira is an ancient Jewish text that teaches us that every aspect of the natural world has its own song. We'll sing our way through Perek Shira, celebrating our animal friends along the way.
    If you have a pet who might like to join in the celebrations, please feel free to invite them along. We'll make a space to bless within our song circle to bless the animals in our midst. Please note that you are welcome whether or not you have an animal in your life; pets are not required for participation!

    STRUGGLES OF MOTHERHOOD: GUARDIAN MOTHERS OF THE NEW YEAR

    7 September

    Over Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year, we read the stories of four mothers:
    Sarah, who laughs bitterly when she is promised a child in her old age…
    Hagar, Sarah’s reproductive slave, who is banished by Sarah and sent into the desert…
    Hannah, who models true prayer, in the face of great sorrow…
    Rachel, who weeps for her children...
    For each mother, motherhood is a struggle - whether it’s infertility, race, class, internal family conflict, or some combination, none of these mothers finds the process of birth straightforward. There is frustration, sorrow and strife. Bringing new life into the world has never been easy.
    Join Kohenet Yael Esther to explore what medicine these ancient mothers might offer us as the New Year draws closer and closer...

    AT THE BEDSIDE: JEWISH CUSTOMS & FOLKLORE OF BLEEDING & BIRTHING

    November 2020

    A course over 4 weeks, suitable for anyone who has been born! Sessions include learning about Jewish customs around birthing and being born into the world from across the Jewish diaspora, with song, ritual, discussion, and room for practical ideas. This course makes no assumption that attendees wish to be parents, and focuses on our relationship with this liminal doorway through which we have all entered life.
    This course is part of our Winter programme, The Cottage in the Woods

    IN THE WILD WOODS: JEWISH WAYS WITH WINTER SOLSTICE

    December 2020

    A course over 3 weeks. Join us to learn about Jewish customs around Winter Solstice, including midrashim (folklore), Earth-centred practices, women’s practices, and the stories of the ancestresses we raise up at this time.
    This course is part of our Winter programme, The Cottage in the Woods
    Since this course is sold out,
    click here to see our next course, which begins in January
    Please note it is not possible to book for individual sessions

  • Contact Us

    click below, we'd love to hear from you!

×
If you write to us, we will not share your name, email, or other personal details with any other mailings lists or organisations