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|About Beit Miriam
What is Beit Miriam?
Beit Miriam is the trademark of the work and legacy of Melinda (Mindy) Ribner whose Hebrew
name is Miriam Shulamit. Under the name of Beit Miriam, Melinda Ribner offers post-
denominational holiday and Rosh Hodesh celebrations, meditation classes and retreats,
professional training, CDs and books, counseling trips to Israel and more. Through these
gatherings Beit Miriam becomes an open-hearted spiritual community for men and women who
seek to experience Judaism as a deeply personal, meditative, and spiritually transformational
Not bound to a particular building, Beit Miriam gatherings are held in people’s homes, or for
larger gatherings in yoga, or Jewish community settings. Though previously based in New York
City, through the traveling ministry of our founder and teacher Melinda, Beit Miriam gatherings are
held throughout the United States and Israel.
Beit Miriam gatherings are open to Jews of all affiliation, backgrounds and non Jews who are
interested in Judaism. It does not matter if you are religiously observant such as chassidic,
orthodox, conservative, reform, reconstructionist, Jewish renewal, or a Jew with a vipassana or
yoga practice or even non Jew, you will find a welcoming and intimate place to be yourself and to
interact with other Jews who are different from you in a very unique way.
Some of the people who attend Beit Miriam gatherings are unaffiliated Jews who have found
spiritual growth in meditative practices outside of Judaism and yet seek to come back home to
Judaism in a way that they have not been able to do through the traditional venues of entry. Others
are affiliated Jews who regularly attend synagogues and yet seek a novel and powerful spiritual
injection that is different than what they experience in synagogue.
Beit Miriam is not a synagogue of any kind and is not bound to the liturgy of one. While respectful
of halacha , Beit Miriam offers something new models for Jewish worship and spiritual
community. No two gatherings are ever the same. At the root of Beit Miriam is the practice of
Jewish meditation. It is the meditative practices that provide the direct experience of the Presence
of God, known as the Shechinah. It is the passion and desire to experience the Shechinah in our
Jewish observance, in our relationships, in our homes, in our hearts, and even in our bodies that
underlies the purpose of the Beit Miriam.
The History of Beit Miriam
In the mid 1980’s, Melinda ( Mindy) Ribner was teaching Jewish meditation at synagogues of all
denominations, including Lincoln Square Synagogue ( modern orthodox), Carlebach shul (
orthodox ), Ansche Hesed ( conservative) and Rodelph Shalom ( Reform) Students from these
classes at these synagogues wanted to continue their study and practice of Jewish meditation
after the term of their adult education course so Melinda convened the Jewish Meditation Circle to
meet the needs of these people as well as offer this experience of Jewish meditation to additional
people. From the mid 1980’s to the mid 1990’s, she offered gatherings that were attended by
hundreds of people. She also taught a small selected core group of experienced meditators who
met almost weekly for approximately ten years, that provided a spiritual laboratory and research
center for her pioneering work in meditative kabbalah as well as the spiritual emotional healing
work that formed the basis for the four books she wrote.
The weekly meetings of the Jewish Meditation Circle were so powerful and awesome that the
students asked for Shabbat celebrations so they would be as high and wonderful as the week
day gatherings. These students began to hold small intimate Shabbat gatherings first for
themselves and wanting to share the tremendous joy, holiness and love of these Shabbat
gatherings with others, these gatherings were opened to the public.
At one point, while sitting at the Shabbat table in Melinda (Miriam‘s) home, the name and concept
for Beit Miriam emerged. Soon after Shabbat gatherings, holiday gatherings were also added. So
far, Beit Miriam has offered alternative gatherings for almost all of the Jewish holidays.
Where are we going?
The goal of Beit Miriam is to create a network of welcoming, intimate and holistic places and
communities throughout the world as well as in cyberspace for Jews and non- Jews to meet,
meditate, celebrate. Though the Beit Miriam spiritual semicha program, the professional training
program to become a Jewish meditation, spiritual counselor and healer and through the traveling
ministry of our founder Miriam Shulamit, Beit Miriam gatherings are held all over the United States
Mission Statement of Beit Miriam
If you would like to help Beit Miriam in reaching these goals by offering your talents, connections,
time, energy, and money, please let us know. Miriam can not do it by herself. You have an
opportunity to support and help realize the vision of Beit Miriam.