THANK YOU TO THE FACULTY FOR THIS DEEPLY MOVING AND WELL THOUGHT-OUT PROGRAM
My work with Mark and Renée sent me to a powerful breakthrough in my storytelling abilities. In just one session I was able to take the leap from merely telling a story in words...to letting the story live inside me and pour out effortlessly, joyously and easily. I am so grateful. Rabbi Shefa Gold
Renée Brachfeld and Mark Novak are master storytellers. This husband-wife duo have been presented as Scholars/Artists in Residence at over 140 synagogues across the US and Canada, leading services, presenting workshops, and performing for both adult and family audiences. Their recording, King Solomon's Daughter: Stories & Songs from the Jewish Tradition, was awarded the Parents' Choice Gold Award. They have been featured as presenters and teachers at LimmudFest in England, The Grapevine in Takoma Park, MD, Routes, The Seattle International Storytelling Festival, and churches throughout the Washington, DC area. Visit them online at JewishStorytelling.comand RebMarko.com
Renée has been a professional storyteller since 1986. In addition to performing, she teaches a variety of workshops, including family storytelling, integrating storytelling in the classroom, and building community through storytelling. Her work has been published in Penina Schram’s Chosen Tales, and Goldie Milgram’s Mitzvah Stories. Renée is also a pretty darn good juggler.
Mark is a free-range rabbi, musician, composer, storyteller, and spiritual director. He is founder of and spiritual guide of Minyan Oneg Shabbat, Washington DC's Jewish Renewal happening, which offers a monthly session of Mindfulness practice Thru a Jewish Lens. His project -A Year of Stories- dedicated to the memory of his teacher, Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi of blessed memory, is Mark's retelling of stories gathered from a vast variety of sources. From 1977-1986 Mark was a member of the renowned Living Stage Theater Company at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. His original theater pieces have been performed at Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts and The Smithsonian.
Kate Shulamit Fagan is a dynamic teacher and vibrant storyteller. She teaches nationally and locally effective story telling, pastoral counseling, decisions at the end of life, ethical wills, and the art of compassionate listening. She is well known for her creative Jewish life cycle celebrations. Shulamit directs the Rabbinic Pastor program for ALEPH Alliance for Jewish Renewal, and received smicha (ordination) as a Rabbinic Pastor in 2001. ALEPH is a national organization which advances vital Judaism as an ethical and spiritual path.
Joran Slane Oppelt, MFSI's Marketing Director, is an international speaker, author, musician, interfaith minister, life coach and marketing consultant.
He is an award-winning producer and singer/songwriter and the author of Sentences and The Mountain and The Snow. Joran is also co-author of Transform Your Life: Expert Advice, Practical Tools and Personal Stories and Integral Church: An Interfaith Handbook of Ceremonies and Rituals. His writing has been featured in Creative Loafing, The Interfaith Observer, and on ProgressiveChristianity.org.
He is the owner and founder of the Metta Center of St. Petersburg and Integral Church – an interfaith and interspiritual organization in Tampa Bay, FL committed to “community service, religious literacy and transformative practice.” Joran is an ordained minister and holds a certificate in Religious Literacy from Harvard Online. He serves as President of Interfaith Tampa Bay, chaplain emeritus at Unity Spiritual Campus in St. Petersburg, and an Ambassador of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions.