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Alison Laichter
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Alison Laichter is a meditation teacher, urban planner, community organizer, and founded the Jewish Meditation Center (JMC). She is a recipient of the Joshua Venture Group Dual Investment Program, a 2-year, $100k fellowship for Jewish social entrepreneurs, and was named one of the 2010 Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36: Visionaries for a New Era.”

She studied Civil Engineering at The Cooper Union and Urban Planning at Columbia University, worked for the United Nations Development Programme. She works for JDC Entwine and manages all of their west coast programs- entwining the local and global.

Alison has been meditating since she was 15, including extensively in the Himalayan, Santa Cruz, and San Miguel mountains. She has taught classes and retreats for children and adults throughout the world, including retreatants at Elat Chayyim/Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, students and professors at Yale University, doctors at Bellevue Hospital, social entrepreneurs in Jerusalem, artists in Mexico City, Entwiners on the Arabian Sea, children in NYC public schools and participants of all backgrounds across the United States.

Entries by Alison Laichter

Shabbat and Trungpa

(1) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 10:05 PM

One of the Shabbat concepts that I think about a lot is the idea of getting a new soul (or "vayinafash," getting re-souled). This special extra Shabbat soul, "neshama yesairah," an additional soul, is often interpreted as an expanded or widened heart. (Thanks, Rashi!). I love that. And it makes...

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Practicing Forgiveness

(3) Comments | Posted September 6, 2013 | 2:00 PM

For me, preparing for the High Holy Days, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, usually involves a lot of time contemplating and meditating (literally) on forgiveness. It's a touchy subject, forgiveness. I think because it's scary- it can be unbearable to feel responsible for the suffering of others, and it's also...

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Breathing and Blessings After the Storm

(1) Comments | Posted November 8, 2012 | 11:24 AM

During Hurricane Sandy, as I listened to the wind, rain and tree branches whoosh and whoop outside the windows; as the doors flung themselves open and crashed against the walls, and the lights flickered and went off; and as we watched Mayor Bloomberg offer instructions and updates, I kept returning...

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A Vegetarian Teshuvah

(2) Comments | Posted September 20, 2012 | 6:51 PM

During Labor Day I was thinking a lot about the idea of labor and what it means to work. I kept coming back to the fact that we're in this preparatory period, the month of Elul, leading to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and it's so much work! This time...

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Ten Years Later, May We Be Blessed With Peace

(3) Comments | Posted September 13, 2011 | 3:56 PM

Ten years ago, I was a college student and lived in the East Village. After the first plane hit the World Trade Center, a friend called and told me to look outside. Then, my TV and phone lines went out. Running to school, the only place I thought felt safe,...

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