Tradition & Innovation

Embodied Ritual, Embodied Writing

The dynamic, two-part event features a writing workshop and a poetry performance celebrating the work of Jewish women poets. First, join us for a workshop with award-winning poet Elana Bell, who invites participants to deepen their own writing practice from an embodied perspective. Later, enjoy a poetry performance featuring three Jewish women poets: Elana Bell, Hila Ratzabi, and Maya Pindyck. Join us for the workshop, poetry performance, or both! A vegan lunch catered by Miss Rachel's Pantry is included for workshop participants. Wine and desserts will be served at the performance. 
Date: Sunday, May 1st
Workshop: 3:00-5:00pm
Performance: 6:00pm
Location: Philadelphia Ethical Society
1906 Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Advance registration is required by Saturday night, April 30th. Tickets will also be available at the door during the event.
Tickets: $18 for both workshop and performance
$12 for workshop only
$10 for performance only
Free for RRC students, but you must register in advance, as space is limited.
About the Workshop
How does language live in our bodies? How can ritual draw it out? In this workshop we will connect deeply to our bodies through the powerful tools of ritual, creative writing, and engagement with the senses. Participants will be given the opportunity to create original poetry and share it in a supportive environment. You will leave with a deeper sense of connection and activation of yourself as creative source. This workshop is open to writers of all genders and backgrounds. You do not need formal writing experience to join, just an open mind! The following video shows a similar workshop run by Elana Bell specifically geared toward woman-identified writers:
About the Performance
Poets Elana Bell, Hila Ratzabi, and Maya Pindyck will perform poems on motherhood, Jewish identity, and our rich, complicated relationships to our bodies. 
About the Poets
Elana Bell is a bridge builder, walking compassionately through this complex world where many things are true at once. Whether through her soul-stirring poetry, her dynamic performances on the stage, or through her inspiring talks and workshops, she creates a space where all people’s voices and stories are heard and deeply valued. Elana’s first collection of poetry, Eyes, Stones won the 2011 Walt Whitman Award. She is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, the Edward Albee Foundation, and the Brooklyn Arts Council. Elana leads creative writing workshops for women in prison, for educators, for high school students in Israel-Palestine and throughout the five boroughs of New York City, as well as for the pioneering peace building and leadership organization, Seeds of Peace. She was a recent finalist for the Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism, an award which recognizes and honors a poet who is doing innovative and transformative work at the intersection of poetry and social change. 
Hila Ratzabi was selected by Adrienne Rich as a recipient of a National Writers Union Poetry Prize, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and received an Amy Award. She was a finalist in the Narrative Fifth Annual Poetry Contest (2014). She is the author of the chapbook The Apparatus of Visible Things (Finishing Line Press). Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Narrative, Alaska Quarterly Review, Drunken Boat, The Adroit Journal, and other journals, and in Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology and The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. She has received scholarships and fellowships to the Willapa Bay AiR residency, the Vermont Studio Center, the Arctic Circle Residency, and the Crater Lake National Park residency. She is the editor-in-chief of Storyscape. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, and lives in Philadelphia where she founded the Red Sofa Salon & Poetry Workshop. Hila is also the editorial associate for Ritualwell.
Maya Pindyck is a multidisciplinary poet, artist, and educator living in New York City. Her work has earned her grants and fellowships from the Historic House Trust of NYC's Contemporary Art Partnerships Program, the Abortion Conversation Project, Squaw Valley Writers, and the Vermont Studio Center. She is the author of the poetry collections Emoticoncert (Four Way Books), Friend Among Stones (New Rivers Press), and Locket, Master (Poetry Society of America Chapbook Series). In 2005, she co-founded the abortion story archive Project Voice. Maya received her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, her MA in education from Brooklyn College as a New York City Teaching Fellow, and her BA in studio art and philosophy from Connecticut College. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Columbia University's Teachers College, teaches at Parsons School of Design and Long Island University, and facilitates youth writing workshops through Teachers & Writers Collaborative.
About Ritualwell
Ritualwell.org is a unique resource where you can find, create, and share Jewish ritual of all kinds. Blending tradition and innovation, we help you discover and design rituals that will enhance your Jewish life. As we all share ideas, information, and lessons learned, Ritualwell becomes more than a resource. We build a community. Into this community we invite all of you: Jews by birth, Jews by choice, fellow travelers, and seekers of all kinds. This event is supported by the Wenkart writer-in-residence program to highlight the contributions of Jewish feminist writers and artists.
About RRC/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities
The primary organization of the Jewish Reconstructionist movement is Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities headquartered outside Philadelphia. The fourth largest movement of American Judaism has more than 100 affiliated congregations throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. Founded in 1968, RRC is the only Jewish seminary with an active social-justice track of study for rabbinical students and a strong multi-faith department that builds working relationships with faith leaders of all communities. Reconstructionist Judaism teaches that Judaism is the continuously evolving civilization of the Jewish people, encompassing culture, art, music, food, and everything else that makes up a civilization.

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