Elul Retreat

Each year in the month of Elul, we begin to prepare for the High Holidays. How we do that in our new reality presents both challenges and exciting opportunities.

Indulge yourself in a week of sharing and learning, as we look forward to welcoming the Jewish New Year. Join Rachael and our Rachael’s Centre Team live online or at a time of your choosing with a recording of that day’s session.

Included in your Elul Virtual Retreat registration package is our High Holiday Resource Kit where you’ll find original podcasts and thought pieces from Rachael, inspirational stories and timeless quotes, music, and photos, along with many creative ideas for High Holiday activities for you and your family.


The Elul Virtual Retreat includes:

  • Four learning sessions with Dr. Rachael Turkienicz, exploring various High Holiday themes
  • Complementary registration to our Shiur Event:
      • So Many Sins…So Little Time including the Deep Dive Discussion Session
  • Access to recordings of all the sessions to view at your convenience
  • High Holiday Resource Kit including:
      • Original thought pieces and podcasts by Rachael
      • Inspirational stories
      • Timeless quotes, a musical playlist, activities, and more…

Elul Virtual Retreat: $180 plus HST

All tuition fees are in Canadian Dollars.

Interested in gifting the High Holiday Resource Kit to a friend? Click here for more information on purchasing separately. 

All live sessions are in Eastern Time and can also be watched online at your own pace.

“I Am For My Beloved”

A look at the spiritual intimacy of the Jewish High Holidays

Tuesday, September 8 – 7:30-8:30pm

The High Holidays are more than three days a year; from start to finish, they span over 40 days. What are these different stages of High Holidays? Why do our ancient texts discuss this as a time of spiritual intimacy and how do they speak to us today?

In this session, we will explore these important questions
with the help of Jewish voices through the ages.

God Is the Source and I Am the Image: Understanding My Own Reflection

Selections from Pirkei Avot

Wednesday, September 9  – 12:30-1:30pm

During the month of Elul, we study Pirkei Avot and learn about our Middot. During the High Holidays, we repeat the list of God’s Middot several times with a soothing melody we all recognize. How do these elements align and what more can they teach us about ourselves and our Jewish journey?

Yizkor: More Than a Remembrance
– A Pledge

Thursday, September 10 – 7:30-8:30pm

Judaism has many traditions around memory, especially remembering those who have passed away. Memories of blessing, weavings of life, headstones and stones we place on the headstones are just a few examples of the intricate
 and intimate moments of memory.

We will explore the Yizkor prayer, the traditions of memory, and the ancient texts that introduce us to the angels who whisper names of remembrance.

The Book of Jonah: What Happens When You Don’t Believe in Second Chances?

Friday, September 11 – 12:30-1:30pm

We’re all familiar with the story of Jonah and the whale. What we often don’t remember is that he ends up in the whale because he’s trying to escape God. Jonah the prophet is worried God will forgive people and he’s dead set against it. The text compels us to ask what happens when we don’t think someone should get a second chance?

In this session, we’ll explore this extremely unusual biblical text and its controversial and timeless message: is there a sin too great to be forgiven?

So Little Time… So Many Sins

Tuesday, September 15 – 12:15-1:00pm
Deep Dive Discussion – 1:00-1:30pm

Judaism is not a confessional religion yet the High Holidays
are filled with liturgy about my “sins.” How do I understand that concept and its role in what I pray during the High Holidays.

This class is the Rachael’s Centre Shiur Event for September.
You can register for this event as a stand alone experience by clicking here.