Standing at Sinai: Opening to Presence


Five-Day Jewish Mindfulness Retreat in the High Desert of New Mexico Guided by Rabbi Yael Levy

May 17-22, 2018, Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center, Abiquiu, NM

Join us as we gather for the tenth A Way In retreat in the sacred beauty of the red rock desert of New Mexico.

In a unique combination of silence, song and movement, woven together by Rabbi Yael Levy’s inspired teachings, we will celebrate Shavuot and the revelation on Mount Sinai, and mark the end of another Omer journey. The awesome surroundings and the power of community create a holy time that helps us to open to the Mystery that fills all creation.  

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The Unfolding of Infinite Possibility is with us.
This is our refuge and strength.
— Psalm 46:12

In five days together, the rhythms of the natural world will guide us as we honor the calls of this sacred time through silence and spiritual practices that encourage amazement, gratitude and awe.

Rising with the sun, we will share prayers and songs. Focused teachings from Rabbi Yael will set an intention for each day as well as continuing guidance for our individual and communal journeys.


I walk in the presence of the Mystery in the lands of life.
— Psalm 116:9

What to Expect

We will take easy to moderate hikes along canyon streams and sit in silence among grass, trees, rocks and sky. There will be ample free time for personal meditation, exploration and rest. For those who wish, there also will be time for more challenging hikes.

Much of the retreat experience will be silent, to help calm the mind and listen deeply into the Presence of the Mystery. In addition, there will be time for shared reflections. Other practices include a distinctive brand of “body prayer,” a Jewishly-themed labyrinth walk and, as always, the shared wisdom of the retreat-goers themselves.  

On the morning of Shavuot, after an evening of prayer, song and meditation, we rise before dawn and make a short climb up to a red rock mesa to greet the day by offering praise and listening to the chanting of the Ten Utterances as the sun rises.

Everyone is welcome. Mindfulness experience and openness to silence is helpful.



Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center in Abiquiu, New Mexico is located about 2.5 hours by car from the Albuquerque airport. For those interested, we arrange a shared van transport to and from the retreat center.

Ghost Ranch is best known as the site where Georgia O’Keefe lived and painted for much of her life. Sitting on the porch outside the dining room, it is easy to see the landscape that inspired many of her paintings.

Accommodations are simple but adequate, with options for private and shared baths as well as dormitory-style. The food is served cafeteria style in a large dining hall. Vegetarian options are always available.


Throughout the retreat silence will fill the spaces in between, a sacred vessel that holds us and guides us.



Fees quoted are per person and include A Way In program fees, room accommodations with a private or semi-private bathroom, all meals from Thursday dinner through Tuesday breakfast, and snacks. Dorm-style rooms have communal bathrooms.

Space is limited. Sign up early!

Payment in full can be made online or by check to A Way In, P.O. Box 63912, Philadelphia PA 19147-7779 until April 9, 2018. Enter “Omer Retreat” on the memo line. Please include if you would like a roommate match and any dietary requirements beyond vegetarian.

Discounts apply anytime for A Way In Friends* and Mishkan Shalom members*. Apply only one of these two discount categories.

*A Way In Friends' Discount applies to individuals who have donated or pledged $1,000 or more to A Way In in 5778, as well as to rabbis & rabbinical students.  Deduct $108

* Mishkan Shalom Members who do not qualify for the Friends' Discount may apply this discount. Deduct $36

A $50 late fee will automatically be applied if processed or postmarked after April 9.



Omer 2019 - Rooms with Semi-Private Bathroom or Dorm-style
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Omer 2019 - Rooms with Private Bathrooms
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