About the Program: 
Experiences in the ALEPH Sukkah 5781/2020

ALEPH will be hosting a number of events during the week of Sukkot. Coordinated under the new Spiritual Arts program (under the direction of Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael,) join a variety of presenters for all–or part–of the week of Sukkot. 

Designed with a variety of experiences in mind, the intention is to provide a touchstone for anyone to have an opportunity to be in a virtual sukkah at some point during the week. While some events are large in nature, others are more intimate in scope and size to allow for deeper connection to take place. 

Welcome, our sukkah is open! All of our events are pay what you can, with some proceeds going toward needs for those that have been affected by the fires on the west coast of the United States. If you have any questions about any of the programs, please reach out to Stephanie at

Our Sessions

Completed Programs

Opening the ALEPH Sukkah Week: Candlelighting, Blessings, Teachings, and Song in the Raphael Sukkah
Date: Friday, October 2
Time: 8 - 8:30 pm EDT (5 - 5:30 pm PDT)
Cost: Pay-what-you-can 

Description: Join Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael and Rabbinic Pastor Simcha Raphael, Ph.D. as they open the week of the ALEPH Sukkah Experience. Avid sukkah builders for the past 35 years, their sukkah is their “happy space." Come share the experience virtually as they weave together unique songs and teachings and answer any questions you might have about Sukkot. Zoom on in!


Sukkot and Havdalah: Candlelighting, Blessings, Teachings, and Song in the Raphael Sukkah
Date: Saturday, October 3
Time: 8 - 8:30 pm EDT (5 - 5:30 pm PDT)
Cost: Pay-what-you-can 

Description: Join Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael and Rabbinic Pastor Simcha Raphael, Ph.D. as they continue the week of the ALEPH Sukkah Experience with havdalah in the sukkah. Avid sukkah builders for the past 35 years, their sukkah is their “happy space." Come share the experience virtually as they weave together unique songs and teachings and answer any questions you might have about Sukkot. Don't miss out!


Sukkat ShaZoom
Date: Sunday, October 4
Time: 8 - 11 pm EDT (5 - 8 pm PDT)
Cost: Pay-what-you-can 

Description: Come sit in the ALEPH Sukkah: the shelter of peace, joy and manifestation of the Divine Presence. We are inside the mitzvah as we sit during the week, integrating the new life after our prayers of the New Year. “Harvesting joy” is the theme as Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael welcomes artists, authors, poets, teachers, musicians, and other exalted guests for an evening of celebration. Come and sit, magnify your soul, and delight and drink in the abundance of enchantment that radiates only from the experience of Sukkot.


Kohenet Rae Abileah
Marlene Burns
Sheila Firestone
Rabbi T'mimah Audrey Ickovits
Kohenet Shoshana Jedwab
Josef Kotler
Laura Lenes
Stephanie Liss
Rabbi Leah Novick
Aviva Perlo
Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael 
Rabbi Ken Rosenstein
Noah Shufutinsky
Cantor Sarra Spierer
TaRessa Stovall
Rabbi Erik Uriarte
Rabbi Moshe Waldoks
Leah Weissman
Rabbi Gershon Winkler


Four Species for Peace: A Gentle Practice of Yoga Shalom
Date: Monday, October 5
Time: 11 - 11:45 am EDT (8 - 8:45 am PDT)
Cost: Pay-what-you-can 

Description: Yoga Shalom is a unique gentle yoga practice that focuses on the energy centers of the body, yoga asana poses, sacred chant, pranayama breathing and meditation all in one restorative mind body and spirit journey. Yoga Shalom is for everyone and can be done sitting in a chair with those of limited abilities, as well as with those with advanced Yoga ability. Open your heart, quiet your mind, and restore your spirit with Yoga Shalom at home!


Celebrate Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav's 210th Yahrzeit
Date: Monday, October 5
Time: 9 - 11 pm EDT (6 - 8 pm PDT)
Cost: Pay-what-you-can 

Description: Join Rabbi Sarah Leah Mazel Tov Grafstein and her husband Steven Siman Tov Klemow, together with Rabbi Alan Bachman, Andalin Shekhinah Bachman, Rabbi Leah Novick, Rabbi Sammy Intrator. and Rabbi Jonathan Seidel. Rebbe Nachman, a great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov revived the Hasidic movement by combining the esoteric secrets of Judaism with in-depth Torah scholarship. He attracted thousands of followers during his lifetime, and his influence continues today through many Hasidic movements, especially the Breslov Hasidism. Enjoy his teachings, stories, songs, meditation and have a very freilich time!


Solo Souls Share and Seek: An Evening of Conversation and Networking for Singles
Date: Tuesday, October 6
Time: 8 - 9:30 pm EDT (5 - 6:30 pm PDT)
Cost: Pay-what-you-can 

Description: Greet and meet other solo wanderers for an evening of conversation and connection in the ALEPH Sukkah. It's a tradition to welcome the Ushipizin, the sacred guests, into the sukkah. 

This year, let’s invite our soulmates and new friends as well—even if we don’t know who they are yet! Judaism emphasizes the importance of building nuclear families and some of us yearn for that connection. Others of us have created families of choice. Given that holidays can be challenging for single people, let’s experience the joy of being together. 

Welcome to those of us who identify as LBGTQIA+ and straight.


Silence is Praise: Metivta-Style Morning Meditation Service 

Date: Wednesday, October 7
Time: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm EDT (8:30 - 9:30 am PDT) 
Cost: Pay-what-you-can 

Description: Overwhelmed with stress from social distancing, quarantine, and COVID-19? Join Rabbi Anne Brener and AJRCA Student Cantor Elizabeth Baseman for a chanting and meditation service, using the structure of the morning service, to calm our bodies and connect our souls. There will be time for some check-in afterward. 


Dreaming G-d's Dream: A World Connected Amid the Sukkat Shalom
Date: Wednesday, October 7
Time: 8 - 9 pm EDT (5 - 6 pm PDT)
Cost: Pay-what-you-can 

Description: Zechariah prophesied a time when all nations celebrate Sukkot together, when Creation's sanctity, from horses to utensils, will be fully recognized. Join Rabbi Avruhm in his sukkah where, through prayer, music, imagery, silence and sharing, we will dream together G-d’s Sukkah Dream, an interconnected world at peace.


Lunch, Live and Learn on Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah in the Mishkan Shalom Virtual Sukkah
Date: Thursday, October 8
Time: 12 - 1:15 pm EDT (9 - 10:15 am PDT)
Cost: Pay-what-you-can 

Description: Join Rabbi Shawn for an in depth look at the last fall Festival of Shemini Atzeret and the evolution of Simchat Torah from a historical to a contemporary spiritual perspective. This is part of a regular series Rabbi Shawn has been offering through Mishkan Shalom since June 2020. Prior program can be found here.


Teachings on Joy
Date: Thursday, October 8
Time: 8 - 9:30 pm EDT (5 - 6:30 pm PDT)
Cost: Pay-what-you-can 

Description: Sukkot is Zman Simchataynu- the time for cultivating Joy. We are living in a time of immense challenge and to face those challenges, we'll need to call on all our strength and resilience. Well, it is joy that will bring resilience and strength to the heart; it is joy that will see us through painful times. We invite you to join our KZOOM, which has been meeting weekly since March to do spiritual practice and support each other through these extraordinary times. Tonight we'll meet in the Sukkah and focus in on the quality of inner Joy that doesn't depend on outer circumstance. Please come a few minutes early to create the sacred space for our spiritual work. Welcome.


Harvesting a Lifetime to Feed the Future
Date: Friday, October 9
Time: 6 - 7 pm EDT (3 - 4 pm PDT)
Cost: Pay-what-you-can 

Description: Join Rabbi Arthur Waskow and Rabbi Phyllis Berman for the brachot for Shabbat and an exhilarating teaching on Shemini Atzeret, the holiday that falls at the end of Sukkot. Rabbi Arthur will also share a brief teaching about his new book and possibly, if time and technology allow, have break-out groups in which people can share their own life harvests. Shabbat shalom v' chag sameach!


A Renewal Approach to Yizkor
Date: Saturday, October 10
Time: 3 - 4 pm EDT (12 - 3 pm PDT)
Cost: Pay-what-you-can 

Description: Yizkor prayers are traditionally said four times a year to remember our ancestors. During the holiday of Sukkot, Yizkor is held on Shemini Atzeret, the last days of Sukkot when we are feeling the weight of the end of the haggim cycle. Join Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael and Caren Borowsky, Constellation Facilitator, for a conversation with ancestors that you are missing this year. We will use the traditional framework of Yizkor and splice in a taste of the constellation experience. At this time of year when the veils between the worlds is thin, it is possible to experience more of a connection to them. Now is an opportunity to be present with your ancestors, to honor them, remember them, and receive their blessings. If you feel comfortable, please bring a yahrzeit candle to light.


Simchat Torah With Your Jewish Renewal Community
Date: Saturday, October 10
Time: Varied
Cost: Varied
Led by: Various Jewish Renewal Communities

Description: For Simchat Torah, we invite you to experience the variety of Jewish Renewal services, hosted by ALEPH Network Communities. There are many to choose from––check out our KolALEPH blog to learn more!


Our Session Leaders

We are thankful for so many incredible leaders who are stepping up to provide space for us to virtually connect. Our leaders are sure to excite, grow, and inspire you––learn more about them below!


When is this event taking place?
This program will be taking place throughout the week of Sukkot. Like you, we are physically distancing and staying at home, and having minimal contact with others. Although we can't gather in person this week, we are thrilled to still be able to connect with you virtually.

Where is this event taking place?
This event is entirely virtual! You can participate from anywhere in the world. You can even be in your pajamas (we won't tell!) If you have access to a sukkah (and your internet connection reaches there,) we would love to have you join from your sukkah! 

Do I need an internet connection to participate?
An internet or phone connection is required to be able to participate. We encourage having some sort of camera so that your face can be seen, but a phone will work just fine if needed.

What if I have never done video conferencing before?
That's okay! After you register, you will be given detailed instructions on how to get set up so that you will be able to fully participate in as many sessions as you wish.

How long is each session? How often do they meet?
Session lengths vary based on the program. Refer to the detailed session descriptions above to learn more.