Who do you ask to join your group?
Olami programs are primarily designed for Jewish people aged 18-35 years old. The group is for anyone 18-35 who is interested in Jewish meditation, mindfulness and prayer and wants to learn it through a Jewish lens. Olami programs are often for those who have not grown up in a religious or observant household, nor those who went to an orthodox Jewish day school. The reason for this is that the needs are too different and it has not been helpful to join them together.
Please make sure there is an Olami educator in your group. This is essential and if you aren’t sure we can help match one. The role of the educator is to deepen the conversation, answer Torah based questions, bring added value with regards to the topics and follow up with participants.
CLICK TO ACCESS YOUR RESOURCES
How to lead an Olami Connect group
Find approximately 10-15 appropriate Jewish friends and send them this flyer and this promo video to invite them. (It is okay if you get more or less participants in your group.) Olami programs are designed primarily for people who do not have a strong Jewish education/background.
Ask them to sign up at olami.org/connect and it will unlock their special Olami Connect Meditation Journal. This is a PDF they can download and fill out as they go (or print).
Start a WhatsApp group with this profile picture and join the Olami Connect Facebook group. PLEASE DON'T ADD ANY PARTICIPANTS TO YOUR WHATSAPP GROUP UNTIL YOU'VE RECEIVED CONFIRMATION THAT THEY ARE REGISTERED.
Olami will add you to a facilitators-only join the facilitators only WhatsApp chat so you have a community of facilitators to discuss the Challenge with, ask questions, or post highlights. Jackie Glaser will be moderating.
Olami will send you emails confirming which participants have registered for your group and then you can add those participants to your group.
Once you have received an email that a participant has signed up, then you can add the participant to your WhatsApp group. You can also add your educator to your WhatsApp group. If you are waiting for us to assign you an educator, we will be in touch shortly.
Post the content that you will find below on the appropriate day.
Asking for insights, observations and deeper Torah ideas on the topic from the Olami educator.
Encouraging sharing and comments daily from the participants.
Be a role model in the Olami Connect Facebook group to build community – share how it is impacting you to practice meditation/prayer as well as share your insights, challenges, questions and respond to others’ posts.
GET YOUR CONTENT HERE.
Scroll down for full content.
Use the Shabbat entry as appropriate to what day it falls in your challenge.
Jackie has added personal "notes to facilitators" to each day. Only copy and paste the challenge and videos to your group, not the notes.
Session 0 – Foundations
Hi everyone! My name is ____and I am facilitating an Olami Connect 7 Day Challenge to strengthen connection through Jewish Meditation, mindfulness and prayer. This meditation challenge is 10 days and today is Day 0. The creation of the group and intentions.
????10 DAYS TO INCREASING CONNECTION????
Guidelines to make this experience the most impactful for you:
- Our commitment is about 15-20 minutes per day which includes a guided meditation, mindfulness exercises or an action challenge. We hope to have some great discussions and conversations around the ideas both here and in the global Olami Connect FB group.
- No pressure at all – if you would like to leave the group, you may do so at any time and I don’t take it personally at all. If you miss more than a day, it is probably better to drop out and restart when you can again another time.
- After the posting of the meditation video, you have about 24 hours to complete it. After completing the meditation please text Day 1- Done, Day 2- done etc.
- People learn best from each other and process with more clarity when we articulate our experiences. I will be asking questions so that we can discuss our insights, observations and comments together. Please give some feedback that you are comfortable so we can all grow.
- Each day people from each group will be asked to share a comment in the global FB group so a broader conversation can occur in the community.
- Each group ideally should meet once together live and know there are optional one on one coaching sessions with your Olami educator (on your whats app group).
- If you want to ask Jackie a question about meditation or the topics, you can join her FB live or post a question/comment in the FB group. She will answer you personally.
- There is no quick fix. These are little bytes of wisdom and ideas that lead us to a happier life – it will all depend on the effort we invest over a lifetime to ensure the happiest life we can possibly have. Looking forward to sharing the journey with you ????
This daily spiritual focus is based on Rav Avigdor Miller’s 10 steps to Greater Connection
ICE BREAKER ???? ????
Pick 3️⃣ of your frequently used emojis and introduce yourself using them! Feel free to touch on our theme of connection ????????
Eg: My name is ____ and my top 3 used emojis are: ????✨????
(I guess you could say I’m a bit of an optimist ????)
What’s your intention for the 10 day challenge? What would you like to get out of it?
What are some group norms /guidelines that are important? Examples could be keep your commitment, no question is a bad question, confidentiality, share something.
FACILITATOR: Jackie has added personal notes to you every day. Only copy and paste the Challenge and videos to your group, not the notes.
NOTE TO FACILITATOR
Today is just for getting groups finalized, making sure your group is also on FB and shares a comment or two. Would be great to introduce yourselves on your WhatsApp group and what you hope to get out of the initiative as well as on FB. There are nearly 500 people in the FB group. Also make sure your group is registered here olami.org/connect and that they know to text Day 0 – done when they watched the video as they will do this daily for a sense of accountability.
Please post early morning your time so people can fit it in conveniently in their day. You could also do it together, live with some or all of you if people choose.
Session 1 – Body and Soul
Today is Session 1 of the Olami Connect Clarity Challenge⭐
Topic : Acknowledge That I Am A Spiritual Being
Connection starts at home. If we aren’t connected to ourselves then it’s near impossible to connect to anyone or anything else fully. In order to connect with our full self, we must acknowledge all of our capacity. We are more than a body. That’s why we often refer to it as MY body. Who is the MY that owns the body ? We are a soul too and subconsciously we identify with that part of ourselves. The challenge is, it’s harder to feel or be aware of as it’s a more subtle reality. So we need to learn to quieten ourselves down in order to hear it. In the Tanach it’s literally referred to as “A still small voice קֹ֖ול דְּמָמָ֥ה דַקָּֽה Kol d’mama daka” I Kings 19:12
Please remember to write Day 1-Done after you’ve done the meditation and to comment/share both here and in the Olami Connect FB group so a broader global conversation can be enjoyed.
For those that want to enhance their experience every day here is an optional mindfulness exercise and reflection question to journal in the Olami Connect Journal
NOTE TO FACILITATOR
Suggested discussion questions to post for you to generate conversation.
How was it? How was the quietening down? Was it easy or challenging? What was your experience of the awareness like? Did you relate to the moral conflict idea? Can you think of a time when you had that?
What to do if some members don’t write day 0 done in the group. Here is my suggestion. Text them privately and say something like this:
Hi ???????? I noticed you haven’t written Day 0-done so just wanted to check in and see if everything is ok and you were able to watch the video? The reason we are asking everyone to do this is because 1) it supports your own accountability to do it and 2) creates a focused group dynamic when everyone is doing the practice and everyone knows that they are doing it—- so I wanted to know if you would support the group by participating in this way? It makes a huge difference”
Or some variation of this but text them privately one by one.
Session 2 – Bigger Picture
What strengthens connection is clarity. Clarity happens when I can see the true purpose of a situation in my life. When I put on my spiritual lens and see beneath the surface, it’s possible to get a glimpse of the bigger picture.
NOTE TO FACILITATOR
Discussion questions: Were you able to get clarity about the bigger picture ? Was there a specific value, quality or action that you became aware of that you are meant to work on ? What are some typical scenarios where you lose sight of the bigger picture?
Session 3 – Responsiblity
Responsibility is our ability to respond. It goes beyond just doing one kindness to someone. It deepens connection in a profound way. This is the essence of marriage which is called nisuin. To literally carry another. Can we truly carry another person? Share the load. Can we free up the obstacles to doing this such as blame and criticism? Today we explore.
NOTE TO FACILITATOR
Discussion questions *: How was it letting go of blame and criticism? What did you notice? Could you stay focused on being in the present?
Session 4 – Gratitude
Gratitude is known as the foundational trait of Judaism and is the fuel for connection. Why? Gratitude means we can receive and acknowledge the good that we have received as well as the Source of the one giving. If we are never open to receiving, then we are never vulnerable or real. We all need things… all the time. It’s the way we connect – through giving and receiving. If we can’t recognize the good, it’s like we can’t recognize the connection. Let’s practice more.
NOTE TO FACILITATOR
Discussion questions: Were you able to find things to be grateful for? What happened when you focused on those? How was it to try to let go of blame for a moment? What blocks people feeling grateful?
Session 5 – Decision Making
Today we are talking about decision making. The root of so much disconnection is bad decisions! It affects our relationship with ourselves, others and a Higher Power. We escape reality through bad decisions, selfish decisions often hurt people and distance us from a Higher Power. How can we make good decisions? It’s important to use the 4 checkpoints. Let’s practice. (Sorry it’s a few minutes longer!)
NOTE TO FACILITATOR
Remember to ask your educator to get involved, check in on non responsive participants and see what is happening. Ask if they would like you to remove them from the group or whether they can choose to participate. Explain that it effects the whole group focus.
Please also contribute to the FB conversation responding or posting.
Session 6 – Lovingkindness
Rav Dessler says that at the root of every thought or action is one of two orientations- giving or receiving. Giving moves us into a world of connection. The word for love is Ahava — which comes from ‘hav’ to give. Giving creates love and is literally the way we create connection. Let’s go deeper.
NOTE TO FACILITATOR
Discussion questions : What is the difference between a taker and a receiver?
Session 7 – Higher Power
We often use the words fate, meant to be or not meant to be, there’s a plan. This alludes to the fact that something or someone else is running the show.
The Torah in fact says there is a Divine Source that we call God who is involved in our personal lives and loves us unconditionally. ???? It would seem important to explore what we believe and feel about this topic.
NOTE TO FACILITATOR
Suggested discussion questions: How was the meditation? Did you feel open to connecting? How did you experience connection? What resistance if any did you notice? How did that come up? What would you need to feel more clarity around this issue as to whether there is a Higher Power/God?
Looking forward to sharing our experiences. Have a GREAT day!
Use the Shabbat entry as appropriate to what day it falls in your Challenge.
The Shabbat video should be watched before Shabbat or on Saturday night please. The meditation is also written out for you if you want to print it before Shabbat.
Shabbat is a 25 hour meditation.
We can access a higher level of our own soul on Shabbat.
It’s possible to build a deeper connection with yourself, others and with a Divine Source like no other day of the week. If you choose to explore it – it’s an experiential meditation — literally remove your whole body from your weekday. Step back and reflect. Digital detox.
There are certain spiritual guidelines for Shabbat and to the degree we align with those, to that degree we feel Shabbat. If you’re willing to try (even for a part of the time) stay off your phone, computer, refrain from turning lights on and off for as long as you are able between sunset Friday to sundown Saturday. This is removing ourselves from weekday.
Additionally we plug into Shabbat (it’s not enough to just remove from weekday) by doing spiritual things to connect. So for example, light candles before sunset with the blessing (this signifies you are bringing Shabbat in) and try to say Kiddush which acknowledges the day is different to all other days. Learning Torah/Jewish wisdom and personal prayers are also things people do on Shabbat to plug in to the energy as well as of course eating a delicious meal. See if you feel different meditating on that day. You can do a meditation even if you are not keeping Shabbat.
Here’s a short 10 min clip about Shabbat and what to do on Shabbat
PLEASE WATCH BEFORE SHABBAT
Before Shabbat: As an extension from yesterday – and gratitude being so important. Write down 100 things you are grateful for. Be very specific eg rather than just say my body, go through specific body parts.
Meditation on Shabbat:
Try to do this in silence.
On Shabbat focus on breath for 5 mins. When your mind wanders – bring it back to your breath.
Keep a clock/watch nearby to see the time. Rank 1-10 how happy you feel
After 5 mins read your list of gratitude aloud to a Divine Source who is the Source of all these things we have. At the end leave a few minutes for your own prayers , requests.