"I heard God's voice saying:
'Whom shall I send?
Who will go for Me?'
And I said: 'Send me!'"
THE JEWISH SPIRIT MAGGID TRAINING PROGRAM is for men and women of all denominations and backgrounds who want to act for God and the Jewish people.
You will be trained in the use of traditional texts and in the skills of inspirational speaking and storytelling. The Jewish community needs committed individuals who are ready to fulfill the sacred mission of a maggid — to motivate their fellow Jews with a powerful desire to get closer to God. This program can help you to connect more deeply spiritually, study more deeply, become a better storyteller, and work as a maggid and teacher.
If you have a spark,
we can fan it into a flame!
THE COURSE OF STUDY
Instruction in the two-year program is by conference calls and live intensives. The course has six basic segments:
THE SPIRITUAL PATH
To inspire others, one has to be inspired. You will learn how to tap into the living waters of divine inspiration. In class, we study books by important contemporary spiritual teachers.
TEXTS & THEIR USE
Our focus is on learning how to study Tanach, Midrash, Aggada, and Hasidic teachings and stories. The goal is to "get you on the path" to familiarity in these areas. You work with a hevruta (study-partner).
Storytelling has a special charm that can draw the soul of a listener to spiritual truth. Master storytellers on the faculty impart a deep understanding of stories, and coach and improve your storytelling skills until you achieve mastery and can touch people's souls.
You will learn how to give a d'var Torah or sermon that comes from your heart and enters your listener's heart. We study traditional Jewish wisdom about preaching and draw on Christian expertise. Master teachers of preaching, acting, and speech coach your presentation skills and develop your ability to inspire others with holy words.
THE WISDOM OF THE MAGGID
A maggid must recognize different types of people and the obstacles that keep them from getting closer to Judaism and to God. The Four Sons of the Passover Haggadah must each be approached in a different way. The Rabbis say: Know what to answer an apikoros, a skeptic. A maggid must have answers to the questions that trouble our secular peers. Yitzhak Buxbaum shares his practical wisdom from many years of work as a maggid — about how to draw people close with cords of love.
You will learn how to create opportunities to practice the holy craft of bringing people to God — how to promote yourself and advertise your work to the world.
SEMESTERS & INTENSIVES
There are two terms a year —fall and spring. Each term ends with a three-day live intensive that includes a storytelling festival at a local synagogue, where students perform are later coached and critiqued.
"My deepest desire is to develop in you the skills to be a maggid and, with God's help, to transmit to you the fire that I received from my rebbe, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, to bring the Jewish people back to their Source."
Yitzhak Buxbaum was ordained as a maggid by Rabbis Shlomo Carlebach and Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and has been inspiring people throughout the U.S. and Canada for 25 years. In 2004, he created the first program to train maggidim. Yitzhak taught spiritual storytelling in Baltimore to rabbis from around the country at The Rabbinic Training Institute of The Jewish Theological Seminary, to rabbinic seminary students at The Academy for Jewish Religion in NYC, and to ministers at the Lutheran seminary in Gettysburg, Pa. He is the author of ten books, including Jewish Spiritual Practices, The Light and Fire of the Baal Shem Tov, Storytelling and Spirituality in Judaism, and Jewish Tales of Holy Women. Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum is the Program Director and Primary Instructor.
Baal Misaper Ruchani, Master Spiritual Storyteller teaches acting-style storytelling, movement, and breathwork. She has brought her skills and stories to people of all ages and backgrounds around the U.S. and Canada.
Reverend Addie Banks
Rev. Addie Banks teaches inspirational speaking. She is an outstanding Christian preacher; invited to present at churches around the country.
Maggid Uriel Brule
Maggid Uriel Brule teaches Torah and Midrash. After graduating the Maggid Program, he has traveled around the country inspiring many people and establishing himself as one of the foremost maggidim of the day.
Rabbi Maggid Gil Bashe
Rabbi Maggid Gil Bashe is the Mashgiach Ruchani – the Student Advisor for Spirituality. He is a recognized authority on Jewish ethics and spiritual character development.
Introducing to the faculty...
Neila Carlebach is a masterful teacher and storyteller who brings her spiritual treasures to students in the Maggid Program. For many years she had a chance to closely observe the ways and wisdom, the methods and style of the greatest maggid of our time, her holy husband, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Neila absorbed many of Shlomo’s methods and techniques, the ways he taught, told stories, related, the way he walked in the world. What a gift she brings to us! Like Reb Yitzhak, Neila transmits part of Shlomo’s legacy and carries on his spirit. We warmly welcome her to the Jewish Spirit Maggid Training Program.
Past Guest Teachers
Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi
Rabbi Larry Kushner
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rabbi Yossi Jacobson
Simi Peters, Author
Elizabeth Ellis, Storyteller, Author
Arthur Strimling, Storyteller, Actor-Director
Reverend Michael Banks
Diane Wolkstein, Storyteller, Author
Andrea Harin, Voice and Speech Specialist
Reverend Louise Riskin
Rabbi Marcia Prager
Rabbi Shefa Gold
Rabbi Mitch Chefitz, Author
Howard Schwartz, Author
Maggid Melvin Metalits
Carol Fox Prescott, Acting Teacher
Rabbi Naomi Steinberg
Doug Dworkin, Business and Promotion Expert
Rabbi Yitzhak Marmorstein
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone
Arthur Kurzweil, Torah Teacher
Judith Z. Miller, PR Specialist
Below is the k'tav maggidut (certificate of ordination) that Reb Shlomo Carlebach created in the ceremony in which he ordained Yitzhak Buxbaum.
With the help of God.
Be a maggid,
a teller of tales,
and speak sacred words
to the seed of Jacob.
These are the words you shall speak to the Children of Israel.
With this, we support, strengthen, and uphold the hands of
Reb Yitzhak ben Meir Buxbaum
To live a life of the spirit,
making the rounds,
knocking on all doors,
the doors facing each other,
the door of the Temple,
the gates of the heart,
the Heart of Israel
To return those who are lost,
lost to mind,
the Mind of the Most High,
With stories that draw the heart of Israel and cause them to awaken.
Arise, shine, for your light has come!
Return, return the People of Israel in complete repentance, from love.
So shall you bless, and merit to see the raising of the honor of Israel, in joy.
Maggid devarav l'Yaakov.
Aileh hadevarim asher tidabeir el bnai Yisrael.
Bizeh anu somchim v'tomchim u'm'chazkim yidai
Reb Yitzhak ben Meir Buxbaum
sh'yichyeh lihiyot machzir al hap'tachim, pitchaihem mikuvanim
petach habayit sha'arei halev liban shel Yisrael
l'hachzir otam avaida mida'at da'at Elyon
b'divrei aggada sh'moshchim liban shel Yisrael
Kumi ori ki va oraich.
am Yisrael b'tshuvah shleima mitoch ahavah.
Koh t'varchu v'yizkeh lirot b'haramat keren Yisrael mitoch simcha.