Makor Or: A Center for Jewish Meditation

3200 California Street (corner Presidio)
Location(s) San Francisco
Type(s) Jewish Community Center
Affiliation Independent

Founded in January 2000 by the late Rabbi Alan Lew z"l and Norman Fischer, the purpose of Makor Or is to provide an opening to Jewish spiritual practice through meditation. No knowledge of meditation, Jewish practice, or Hebrew is required. All are welcome. Makor Or offers weekly meditation sessions, retreats, and Intensives.

NORMAN FISCHER is co-founder, with Rabbi Alan Lew(z"l), and spiritual leader of Makor Or. He is also a Zen master, founder of Everyday Zen and a poet. His books include Jerusalem Moonlight, Taking Our Places, Sailing Home, and Question/Places/Voices/Seasons.

RABBI DOROTHY A. RICHMAN serves as rabbi of Makor Or. She is a Master Educator at Kevah leading Torah study groups, teaches widely in the Bay Area and leads a weekly East Bay Jewish meditation session. She has served as Rabbi at Berkeley Hillel, Sha'ar Zahav, and Congregation Beth Sholom with her mentor Rabbi Alan Lew.

Thursdays from 8:00-8:50 at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California St. (near Presidio), SF.

This session includes sitting and walking meditation, chanting (chant sheets provided) and standing silent prayer.

The meditation sessions are led by the Director of Makor Or, Ellen Shireman, who was a student of Rabbi Lew's for many years, or other senior students. These sessions are free and open to the public. (Please refrain from wearing scented products.)

RETREATS: One-Day Retreats are day-long and held several times a year at the JCCSF. They are led by Makor Or co-founder Norman Fischer and Rabbi Dorothy Richman. Retreats include periods of sitting and walking meditation, chanted prayer services, and Jewish teachings. A lunch break is provided.

The 2017 RETREAT SCHEDULE is as follows:
Jan. 29th Part-one Searching the Soul 2017
Feb. 26th Part-two Searching the Soul 2017
March 26th Pesach Retreat 2017
May 19th+20th Shabbat Retreat 2017

August 6th Silence and Compassion 2017
Sept. 10th High Holidays 2017
Nov. 5th Awareness and Questioning 2017
Dec. 10th Hanukkah 2017

Details for the 2017 retreats, including costs, will be posted at

For more information, or to register for a retreat, please call the JCCSF at 415.292.1278.

INTENSIVE PRACTICE PERIODS: Are offered at Pesach and the High Holy Days. These 3-4 weeks of concentrated spiritual practice include a commitment to weekly meditation sessions, classes, a one-day retreat, and a one-on-one discussion with spiritual leader, Norman Fischer.

The 2017 High Holidays Intensive will begin Aug. 29th.

To register for the Intensive Practice Period please email Ellen Shireman at

Makor Or is a program of the Taube-Koret Center for Jewish Peoplehood at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center.

To be added to the Makor Or mailing list and more information, contact Ellen Shireman at

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