Izzy Greenberg is available to deliver lectures, lead workshops, and host spiritual retreats. As a writer who embraced Judaism while in college, Izzy specializes in making profound spiritual concepts and Chassidic/Kabbalistic ideas palatable to the uninitiated by blending the sophisticated, thought-provoking articulation of the writer with the casual style of the guy next door. He draws his audience in with a frank style that is sometimes controversial (but never abrasive), and laces his presentations with dry wit, unexpected humor and personal anecdotes that draw audiences and open them up. Izzy is also trained and experienced in meditation, and can teach beginners how to meditate, lead a simple relaxation exercise, or use a meditation session as a medium to communicate ideas in a more personal way.
Izzy’s presentations are most effective when complemented by sessions led by his wife, Ayallah Greenberg, MSW. Her interactive workshops get people to open up in preparation for psychological and spiritual discovery, while her Women’s Circle guided discussion groups provide a unique space in which women can internalize, formulate and share their inner wisdom.
Currently, these lectures and workshops are available primarily at Asent of Tzfat, but Izzy is open to presenting in other locations in the course of his travels and when his schedule allows.
- Lost and Found in Time and Space
We all lose parts of our selves during the course of our journey through life. Like searching for a lost object, the only way to recover those lost opportunities is to retrace our steps, even if it is uncomfortable. It is a journey into our selves – exploring the thoughts, words and deeds that were not becoming of our ideal selves. We lost control when we were distracted from living in the moment, so the ultimate resolution is to learn to be a master of time, to learn to live in the moment. The lecture provides practical tools for achieving this goal, suggests which areas of the self to focus on, and offers personal guidance through interactive discussion.
This lecture and discussion is especially well-suited for the time preceding the High Holidays, but can also be made relevant to any time.
- The Four Dimensions of Love
Human beings are comprised of four general parts, and for a relationship to be complete, a connection needs to be formed on all four levels.
- Passion vs. Purpose
In Western culture, we enter into relationships based on passion, or what we perceive as love, and seek a common purpose down the road. Even the most refined and spiritual people are usually seeking a relationship for some type of personal gratification – for some it is physical, for some it is intellectual or spiritual. This passion, however, can wax and wane. Purpose, on the other hand, is more stable, and therefore more suited to form the foundation of a healthy relationship. This workshop opens people up to a deeper understanding of the nature of relationships vis-a-vis our purpose in this world, and the wisdom of the Jewish approach to marriage. (This lecture and discussion functions as a suitable and complementary follow-up to “The Four Dimensions of Love”.)
- Overcoming Anxiety – A Meditative Remedy
Everything comes from Above. Everything is part of The Plan. So why do we worry so much? What is the real cause of our anxiety, and how can we train ourselves to avoid it?
- Soul Searching: Jewish Meditation Workshop
The workshop begins with an overview of the role of meditation in Jewish life and Jewish history, its connection to prayer, and why it is often overlooked. We discuss the difference between Jewish meditation and other forms of meditation, a description of the various forms of meditation. Then we experience an actual meditation together. Depending on the audience and the time allotted for the workshop (whether one session, or several sessions spread over a day or a weekend) we could engage in progressively more advanced meditations.
- What is Prayer?
Originally conceived of as a four-part course, this topic can also be condensed into a one-hour lecture. It its complete format, it is a text-based course that covers the basic background of what prayer is, from where did it originate historically, and what its function is supposed to be. We then discuss the various sections of the daily prayer and how each part is designed to affect the person in different ways, using excerpts from the various prayers as illustrative examples.
- The Inner Temple: A Virtual Spiritual Tour
This is a highly popular lecture, a journey that immerses audience members into their inner selves and introduces them to profound mystical concepts. Drawing on familiarity gained from working with Rabbi Levi Jacobson on the Jewish Learning Institue‘s acclaimed Heaven on Earth course, Izzy guides the audience into the Holy Temple, describing various implements, and focusing on their spiritual significance as a reflection of what’s inside of us. Students walk away with a deeper appreciation of both the Holy Temple and the psychological makeup of the individual according to Chassidic teachings.