Friday, November 15, 2019 -
Print Edition

Zaslows to teach art of storytelling

Devorah and Rabbi David ZaslowRabbi David Zaslow and Maggidah Devorah Zaslow will begin a maggidic training program in Boulder this August.

The program is a two-year course leading to certification in the field of Jewish storytelling and Torah interpretation.

Classes will be on Sunday afternoons for four hours each month, with regular telephone and Skype sessions held bimonthly.

The first session will be held Sunday, Aug. 26, 2-6 p.m., at Nevei Kodesh, 3629 28th St., Boulder.

Until the middle of the 20th century in the villages of Eastern Europe, maggidim, or preachers, traveled from town to town sharing stories, insights and interpretations of the Torah.

The program includes intensive study of the art of storytelling.

Devorah Zaslow says, “Our Jewish stories contain the wisdom of our people and universal truths that complement the teachings of the Torah. This training focuses on techniques for enhancing stories and developing ease in connecting with an audience.

“The students become familiar with the body of Jewish stories, including midrash, Baal Shem Tov tales and Jewish folktales, while exploring stories on the level of body, heart, mind and soul.”

Rabbi David Zaslow will train participants in Torah analysis and interpretation based on Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch’s etymological word studies.

“The skills in this program will allow participants to go back to their synagogues with tools that will be of great service to their rabbis and educators,” Rabbi Zaslow says.

“In our tradition a maggid is a master of the parable and story as a means of understanding the Torah. But to complement storytelling, the authentic maggid must also understand the mystical roots of the words of Torah.”

The Zaslows conducted their first Maggid class in Portland, Ore., last January.

Participants must be able to comfortably read Hebrew and be willing to commit five hours a week to study.

Devorah Gordon-Zaslow teaches storytelling at Southern Oregon University and performs nationwide as a storyteller.

Her CD, “Return Again,” features Jewish stories of healing and transformation She was ordained as a Maggidah by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi.

Rabbi David Zas-low is the spiritual leader of Havurah Shir Hadash in Ashland, Ore. He will be the interim rabbi for Nevei Kodesh of Boulder for the next two years.

His siddur, Ivdu et Hashem B’ Simcha, is used widely in Jewish Renewal congregations around the country.

Information: or

Leave a Reply