about neySHEV

neySHEV means "let's sit."

neySHEV was founded by artist and educator Aviva Chernick as an intentional community that gathers weekly, and for intensive retreats, to practice mindfulness through guided and silent meditation, movement, and song.

neySHEV is an embodied practice guided by the heart-based wisdom of Torah. Practice involves nurturing awareness of what is unfolding in the present moment, awakening to arising thoughts, feelings, and sensations, and witnessing how they live in our bodies. We do this with the essential companions of compassion, curiosity, and lovingkindness.

Kavanot / Intentions


To welcome and embrace each and every person, as they bring their unique presence and life experience to join this community of practice.

To cultivate tools to turn compassionately to whatever is arising in the present moment, and to nurture spaciousness and agility in the ever-changing nature of our lives.

To carry these tools into our lives, and to engage with each other and all beings with compassion, curiosity, and connection.

To commit to transforming ignorance, fear, and reactivity, and all forms of violence, through a diligently loving practice.

And finally, to bring joy.

Dates & Payment


neySHEV meets...

Monday evenings: 8-8:30pm EST on Zoom.
Friday mornings: 7:45-8:45am EST on Zoom.

Please reach out if you are interested in joining:

EMAIL US

neySHEV is paid for by donation.

Pay What You Can: 
Pay What You Can supports those who are unemployed and underemployed to be able to continue to join practice with ease. Everyone pays as they are able. Ability to pay should not be a barrier to participation.

Monday classes: $10 minimum recommended as you are able
Friday classes: $20 minimum recommended as you are able

Canadians pay by e-transfer here.

Those outside of Canada pay by Paypal here:

PAYPAL

Kavanot / Intentions


To welcome and embrace each and every person, as they bring their unique presence and life experience to join this community of practice.

To cultivate tools to turn compassionately to whatever is arising in the present moment, and to nurture spaciousness and agility in the ever-changing nature of our lives.

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To carry these tools into our lives, and to engage with each other and all beings with compassion, curiosity, and connection.

To commit to transforming ignorance, fear, and reactivity, and all forms of violence, through a diligently loving practice.

And finally, to bring joy.

To welcome and embrace each and every person, as they bring their unique presence and life experience to join this community of practice.

To cultivate tools to turn compassionately to whatever is arising in the present moment, and to nurture spaciousness and agility in the ever-changing nature of our lives.

To carry these tools into our lives, and to engage with each other and all beings with compassion, curiosity, and connection.

To commit to transforming ignorance, fear, and reactivity, and all forms of violence, through a diligently loving practice.

And finally, to bring joy.

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Aviva Chernick, neySHEV

Aviva Chernick

neySHEV was founded in 2016 by Aviva Chernick. Aviva is a queer Jewish artist, a white settler living in Tkaronto (Toronto). Aviva brings the artistry of voice, story and movement to each and every offering. For the past fifteen years, alongside an active performing and touring career, Aviva has led and taught about the voice in prayer and contemplative practice across North America and beyond.

She has cultivated her teaching skills with participation in three teacher training programs; 2009-present as apprentice with voice teacher Fides Krucker, 2004-2010 Yoga Teacher Training through the Esther Myers Yoga Studio and 2016-2017 Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. In each context, Aviva studied pedagogy and continues to train in the art of facilitation and holding space for others to be in their learning process. In her teaching career, Aviva has taught groups and individuals yoga, yoga and the voice, prayer song, Torah chanting, Judeo-Spanish folk music, vocal improvisation and meditation.

Aviva was a member of the first Rising Song Fellowship cohort (2017/2018) and taught as core faculty for the Hadar Rising Song Singing Intensive (2019). Aviva teaches an online course for the Institute of Jewish Spirituality on Liberating the Voice / niggun (wordless melody) as prayer and is the inaugural Artist in Residence with Beth Tzedec Congregation in Toronto (2019 – present).

In individual sessions, Aviva offers spiritual care and guidance for creative process. In group sessions, she facilitates freeing the voice and practices of mindfulness in song and silence.

For more on Aviva’s artistic endeavours, please visit Aviva's Music page.

Teachers


Aviva Chernick

Photo by Dahlia Katz

Aviva Chernick

neySHEV was founded in 2016 by Aviva Chernick. Aviva is a queer Jewish artist, a white settler living in Tkaronto (Toronto). Aviva brings the artistry of voice, story and movement to each and every offering. For the past fifteen years, alongside an active performing and touring career, Aviva has led and taught about the voice in prayer and contemplative practice across North America and beyond. She has cultivated her teaching skills with participation in three teacher training programs; voice, yoga and meditation. Aviva teaches an online course for the Institute of Jewish Spirituality on Liberating the Voice / niggun (wordless melody) as prayer and is the inaugural Artist in Residence with Beth Tzedec Congregation in Toronto (2019 – present).

Guest Teachers


Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell

Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell

Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell is the Director of Camp Ramah in Canada. Previously, he worked for the Institute for Jewish Spirituality (IJS) as a teacher of Jewish Mindfulness and as Program Director of the Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training. For the IJS, Jordan also taught meditation to rabbis and cantors through the IJS's Clergy Leadership Program. After being ordained in 2008, he served as a congregational rabbi outside of Chicago and co-founded Orot: Center for New Jewish Learning. Jordan is a recipient of the 2014 Covenant Foundation Pomegranate Prize. He and his wife Yael live in Toronto and are the proud parents of three.
Risa Alyson Cooper

Risa Alyson Cooper

Risa Alyson Cooper is an ardent educator, environmentalist, and urban homesteader. She completed her B.A. Honours at Queen’s University in Comparative Religious Studies, and her M.A. at the University of Toronto, focusing on Contemporary Jewish Environmental Ethics. Upon graduating, Risa moved to rural Connecticut where she worked as a Jewish environmental educator at the Teva Learning Centre for three years. She then transitioned into small-scale organic farming as a member of the Adamah Jewish Farming Fellowship. In 2008, Risa returned to her native Toronto to work as the Founding Director of Shoresh, bringing together her experience in Jewish outdoor education with her love for Canadian soil and the plants and people that it sustains. She is the Executive Director of Shoresh, and is happiest when frolicking in fields and forests.
Koach Baruch Frazier

Koach Baruch Frazier

Koach Baruch (KB) Frazier is a transformer, heartbeat of movements, healer, musician and cofounder of the Tzedek Lab, a network of practitioners working at the intersection of dismantling racism, antisemitism and white supremacy. A collaborative leader, rooted in tradition, curiosity and love, Koach strives to dismantle racism, actualize liberation and transform lives both sonically and spiritually. Koach lives with their wife, LaJuana in Philadelphia where he is a student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

Sheniz Janmohamed

Sheniz Janmohamed

Sheniz is a poet, artist, educator, spoken word artist and nature artist; a firm believer in fostering community through collaboration and creativity. Offering spoken word, creative writing, professional development and land art workshops, Sheniz is a recipient of the Lois Birkenshaw-Fleming Creative Teaching Scholarship, and holds an Artist Educator Mentor certificate from the Royal Conservatory (Toronto). She has performed her work in venues across the world and her ephemeral land art has been exhibited at the Aga Khan Park, Confluence Concerts and the Indian Summer Festival. She has three collections of poetry, published by Mawenzi House: Bleeding Light (2010), Firesmoke (2014) and most recently, Reminders on the Path (2021).
Ari Caplan

Ari Kaplan

Ari Kaplan is a lawyer, mediator and president of Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism in Toronto. He is an instructor-in-training with the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program at UC Berkeley led by Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. He has practiced mindfulness for over a decade, is trained in MBSR, and has taught meditation sessions for the Ontario Bar Association and professional communities. Ari has a masters degree in law from Osgoode Hall and a B.A. in Jewish Studies from McGill University where he studied hasidism. Ari is an original participant in Aviva Chernick’s neySHEV meditation circle.
Ari Caplan

Rabbi Miriam Margles

Miriam has been serving as the Rabbi of Toronto's Danforth Jewish Circle since 2010, an unaffiliated, progressive, inclusive, song-filled community. She has been teaching with the Institute of Jewish Spirituality since 2005 and is a member of the inaugural faculty of Romemu Yeshiva in New York, a program of intensive spiritual study and practice integrating rigorous text study, deep prayer, and Jewish mindfulness-based practices. Her original compositions of music for prayer are sung by communities throughout North American, Israel and Europe. She is also the co-founder of Encounter, dedicated to strengthening the Jewish people to be constructive agents of change in transforming the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Rabbi Dorothy Richman

Rabbi Dorothy Richman

Dorothy Richman serves as the rabbi of Makor Or: Jewish Meditation Center and is a founding faculty member of the Romemu Yeshiva. She released an album of original songs, Something of Mine, largely based on texts from the Jewish tradition, available on BandCamp.

Andi Yumansky

Andi Yumansky

Andi Yumansky works as a registered psychotherapist in Toronto and holds a Masters of Pastoral Studies from the University of Toronto. Andi works primarily with the LGBTQ community, facilitating both individual and group therapy. Their practice is rooted in somatic and relational approaches which aim to open the heart and uncover the truth of being. Andi has been an avid meditation practitioner for the past decade or so, with a deep love and curiosity for the spiritual path and the mystery of life.
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From its inception, neySHEV has been generously supported by Rabbi Aaron Levy and Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism. Through hosting our initial sits at the Makom space in downtown Toronto to providing outreach to help us grow to sponsoring our programming during the first months of neySHEV online, and now through hosting our zoom space, Makom’s presence and partnering in this community has been integral to its thriving. We continue to be grateful for this nurturing relationship.