daily drop-in meditation

Join our gifted teachers at our drop-in facilitated daily meditation practice on the 7th Floor in Makom. No registration necessary. A $5 donation encouraged.

  • Mon–Fri, 7:30–8:30 am
  • Mon–Thu, 5:45–6:45 pm 
Day/Time Instructor
Monday AM Michele Sapanaro
Monday PM Rabbi Jonathan Slater
Tuesday AM Linda Thal
Tuesday PM Members of the Makom Havurah
Wednesday AM Peter Silverman
Wednesday PM Igal Harmelin
Thursday AM Sheila K. Lewis
Thursday PM Sheldon Lewis
Friday AM Sheila K. Lewis





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 now 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. He is a trained musician and has also trained in dispute resolution.

Igal Harmelin

Igal Harmelin (Wednesday PM) is a spiritual director, meditation teacher, and spiritual seeker. His life has been dedicated to a committed spiritual search for the past forty years. His spiritual search has been enriched by his studies with a number of spiritual teachers. Igal has taught meditation to thousands of people on four continents and has spent years in extended meditation retreats. At present he is offering spiritual direction, teaches meditation at the Marlene Meyerson JCC and elsewhere, conducts courses on new approaches to practical religious life, and translates select Jewish texts on religion and spirituality from English into Hebrew.

Sheila K. Lewis

Sheila K. Lewis (Thursday AM and Friday AM) has been practicing meditation and yoga for 30 years, and instructing in spiritual practice since the 1980’s 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 non-profits 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 was the co-author (with husband, Sheldon Lewis) of Stress-Proofing Your Child.

Sheldon Lewis

Sheldon Lewis (Thursday PM and substitute teacher) a pioneer journalist and editor in the mind-body health field, edits several journals. He has practiced meditation, taught and led programs in spiritual practice since the 1980’s. 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 peoples’ lives. 

Peter Silverman

Peter Silverman (Wednesday AM) is a partner in the firm of Fross Zelnick's international practice. He advises clients in diverse industries, including apparel, food and beverage, hospitality, financial, entertainment, advertising, pharmaceutical, education, internet and social media. Peter is a founding 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 now taken over the Wednesday morning session and continues Rachel's legacy.

Rabbi Jonathan Slater

Rabbi Jonathan Slater (Monday PM and Guiding Co-Teacher of the Makom Havurah) co-directs the Clergy Leadership Program at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, participates as staff 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.

Michele Sapanaro

Michele Sapanaro (Monday AM) 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.

Linda Thal

Dr. Linda Thal (Tuesday AM) is a Jewish educator and spiritual director whose current work focuses on adult spiritual development. In addition to providing spiritual guidance for individuals, she is co-director of the Yedidya Center for Jewish Spiritual Direction and its national Morei Derekh training program. Linda leads a two-year program of spiritual exploration and growth for lay leaders through the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. She received her doctorate in religion and education at Union Theological Seminary and Columbia Teachers College and her training in spiritual direction at Fordham University. She has studied Jewish meditation with Rabbi Jonathan Omer-man and in a three-year teachers’ training program through Chochmat Halev. She studied mindfulness meditation with Sylvia Boorstein and Sheila Peltz Weinberg in the Meditation Leadership Training program at Elat Chayim. Linda serves as a consultant to the Central Conference of Reform Rabbis Committee on Rabbinic Spirituality and has contributed chapters on adult spirituality to two recently published books.


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 is 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 Sep 2018.

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