Daily Meditation

Daily Meditation

Daily Drop-In Meditation

Whether you're brand new to meditation or an experienced practitioner, all are welcome to join at the regular JCC daily drop-in meditation times, taking place virtually on Zoom. Our morning sessions are drop-in and donation-based. We hold an evening drop-in/donation sit on Tuesdays weekly, and a variety of classes taught by our incredible faculty are open for registration throughout the year.

Mornings: Mon–Fri, 7:30–8:30 am | Click here to participate.
No registration necessary; a $5 donation is encouraged.

Evenings: Mon–Thu, 5:45–6:45 pm
Monday: Jonathan Slater | Register here
Tuesday: Adrienne Schure | Remaining drop-in and donation-basedclick here to participate.
Wednesday: Glenna Lee | Register here
Thursday: Margrit Pittman-Polletta | Remaining drop-in and donation-basedclick here to participate.

Click here to register any time for an ongoing evening class at $5 per session​​​​​​.

Beginning Monday, February 5:

Weekly Schedule:

Day of Week   Instructor
Monday am Michele Sapanaro
Monday pm Rabbi Jonathan Slater
Tuesday am Sheldon Lewis
Tuesday  pm Margit Pittman-Polletta
Wednesday am Peter Silverman
Wednesday pm Glenna Lee
Thursday am Sheila K. Lewis
Thursday  pm Carol Anshien
Friday am Sheila K. Lewis

DAILY MEDITATION STAFF


UPDATE FOR OUR DAILY MEDITATION COMMUNITY

Dear friends,

Daily Drop-In Meditation has been a beloved mainstay of Makom, the Jewish Spirituality and Mindfulness program at the JCC, for over 20 years. Makom Meditation sits have grown to regular twice daily (5 mornings, 4 evenings) facilitated sessions led by trained and experienced faculty who are paid a salary. Donations to Makom in a pay-what-you-wish model have helped to cover these salaries.
 
Makom Daily Meditation isn’t going anywhere. This sacred place is growing and changing. We are always grateful that you choose to be a part of this community. As meditators, we know that the only universal constant is change. 
 
In 2024, Daily Meditation is moving from donation-based to a paid model to ensure that our teachers are paid for their work. Deeply appreciated as donations are, they are not consistently stable.
 
We are transitioning our Evening Meditation Sits to weekly classes that participants can register for on our website for $5 a session, except on Tuesday + Thursday evenings, which will remain drop-in and donation-based. Morning Meditation Sits will remain drop-in and donation-based for the next several months, and we will notify the community of any upcoming changes.

This approach offers sustainability to our program and carries out the deeply felt Jewish principle of kavod, (honor) especially for our teachers' knowledge and service.

We are working on the creation of an annual registration model, with one payment providing access to all the daily meditation sessions for the year. We are exploring ideas for new classes and programs, such as: 

  • Monthly in-person Rosh Chodesh/New Moon meditation sits
  • Intro to Meditation for newcomers and experienced meditators wanting to refresh core skills
  • New classes on special topics 

We welcome your ideas and input!

We are immensely grateful for your dedication and participation in Makom Daily Meditation. We have created a real community of practice here at the JCC that has become a lifeline for so many and opened up many deep and meaningful relationships that have stood the test of time and the pressures of the world around us. We look forward to many more opportunities to sit, learn, connect, and deepen our community together at Makom.
 
L’shalom, sending you blessings of peace,

Makom Daily Meditation Faculty
Carol Anshien, Glenna Lee, Sheila K. Lewis, Sheldon Lewis, Margrit Pittman-Polletta, Michele Sapanaro, Adrienne Schure, Peter Silverman, Rabbi Jonathan Slater + Rabbi Yael Rapport


Jon Aaron

Jon Aaron (substitute teacher and guiding co-teacher of Makom Havurah) took his training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and has taught over 30 cycles of the MBSR curriculum. He has practiced mindfulness meditation (in the Theravada Buddhist tradition) for the past 10 years and other types of meditation for considerably longer. He continues his studies with his primary teacher, Matthew Flickstein (author of The Atlas of the Mind), and has also completed the Integrated Study and Practice Program at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. He recently completed the Foundations in Buddhist Contemplative Care program with the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, and he is currently training in Somatic ExperiencingTM. He has been actively involved in the performing arts world for the past 27 years as producer, manager, agent, and festival director working with a diverse array of international artists.

Carol Anshien

Carol Anshien (Thursday evenings) is certified with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality (IJS) Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teachers Training. Her eclectic practice includes Jewish and Buddhist meditation teachings, chanting, songs, prayers, poetry, and qi gong. Carol has been a member of the Makom community from the beginning, and she has participated in Makom Havurah, the extended meditation group, since its inception, having alternated leading meditation on Tuesday evenings with other Havurah members. Carol spent her professional career as a librarian at the New York Public Library, and she is passionate about social justice advocacy. A native New Yorker, she was born in the Bronx and lives on the Upper West Side.

Glenna Lee

Glenna Lee (Wednesday evenings) is a certified meditation guide, yogini, and Jewish educator of 20 years. In an effort to etch away at repairing the world, tikkun olam, she is studying to become certified as a naturalist and nature educator because, as Senegalese conservationist Baba Dioum so poignantly teaches, “In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.” She hopes to elevate our spirituality, connecting us with our earth, each other, and ourselves while honoring our sacred Jewish traditions. As the Rabbinic Sage Ben Bag Bag shared, "Turn it, and turn it, for everything is in it." She looks forward to our turning inwards and forward as we strive to make deeper meaning for ourselves as we journey to repair our world. Glenna Lee holds a BA from Haverford College and an MA from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Sheila K. Lewis

Sheila K. Lewis (Thursday and Friday mornings) has been practicing meditation and yoga for 30 years, and instructing in spiritual practice since the 1980s, based on classic Indian traditions (such as self-inquiry), Reiki, creative arts, Jewish spirituality, and a synthesis of healing modalities. Sheila received an MA in educational media from Columbia University and writes and develops educational curriculum for nonprofits and creative workshops. She has studied and practiced many healing modalities and was the assistant director of Waters of Life, a holistic health center. She is the co-author (with her husband, Sheldon Lewis) of Stress-Proofing Your Child.

Sheldon Lewis

Sheldon Lewis (Thursday evenings and substitute teacher), a pioneer journalist and editor in the mind-body health field, edits several journals. He has practiced meditation and taught and led programs in spiritual practice since the 1980s. With an MA from NYU in performance studies, he is interested in group process and performance. Sheldon is a health coach who has assisted patients and their families with serious illness in navigating the health care system using alternative and conventional therapies. He is co-author of The Human Side of Cancer and Stress-Proofing Your Child and enjoys teaching contemplative practices to help enhance the power of meditation in people’s lives.

Margrit Pittman-Polletta

Margrit Pittman-Polletta (Tuesday evenings) is an ardent meditator with a deep commitment to the practice of mindfulness and the cultivation of the heart practices of compassion, joy, kindness, and equanimity. She is a dedicated practitioner of the Insight Meditation tradition, which has its roots in the Burmese and Thai Forest Buddhist lineages. She has over 15 years of practice experience in yoga and meditation, including several months of silent retreat. Both a qualified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher and a certified Vinyasa yoga teacher, Margrit aspires to the longstanding tradition of sharing wisdom and liberatory teachings for the good of all beings.

Michele Sapanaro

Michele Sapanaro (Monday mornings) is a certified yoga instructor, meditation guide, and healing arts practitioner with 15+ years of experience. She coaches individuals to create customized practices that bridge the gap between where they are in their lives and where they want to be. Michele blends her deep study of Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin, and Iyengar yoga, pranayama, and meditation to create a safe, intelligent, mindful practice. Her greatest joy is sharing the gift of yoga and meditation with others.

Peter Silverman

Peter Silverman (Wednesday mornings) is an early member of the Makom Havurah and began teaching in our daily meditation program by sitting in when Rachel Cowan was unable to be here. We are grateful that Peter has taken over the Wednesday morning session and continues Rachel's legacy.

Rabbi Jonathan Slater

Rabbi Jonathan Slater (Monday evenings and Guiding Co-teacher of the Makom Havurah) co-directs the Clergy Leadership Program at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, participates in staff positions  in many other programs at the Institute, and is a graduate of the Institute’s first rabbinic cohort. These programs offer a retreat-based study programs for rabbis, cantors, Jewish educators, and laypeople to support them in their spiritual growth and meditation practice, grounded in Jewish texts and traditions. He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary and has served congregations in New York and California. He was trained in meditation by Sylvia Boorstein and others and has been part of the Makom faculty since the JCC opened its doors in 2002. Jonathan is the author of Mindful Jewish Living: Compassionate Practice and more recently of A Partner in Holiness: Deepening Mindfulness, Practicing Compassion and Enriching Our Lives Through the Wisdom of R. Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev’s Kedushat Levi.

Rabbi Rachel Cowan Z"l

Rabbi Rachel Cowan z"l (1941-2018) received her ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1989. From 1990-2003 she was program director for Jewish Life at the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Formerly the executive director of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, Rabbi Cowan also worked on a special project on Aging with Wisdom. Rachel studied meditation with Sylvia Boorstein and others and taught at Makom from 2002 until 2018. She also co-led the contemplative practice program at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun. Her writing was included in Moment and Sh'ma magazines as well as in anthologies, including Illness and Health in the Jewish Tradition: Writings from the Bible to Today. She was the author, with her late husband,Paul Cowan, of Mixed Blessings: Untangling the Knots in an Interfaith Marriage. In 2007 she was selected as one of the 50 most influential rabbis by Newsweek Magazine. Rabbi Rachel Cowan passed away in September 2018.

For more information, please contact Rabbi Yael Rapport.

Help us continue to ensure accessible programming for everyone. Please support Makom: Meditation + Mindfulness at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan.