Daily April poem: a poem of beginnings and endings
Thank you, God, for the flowers on the trees

Weekend Shabbaton, poetry reading, and master class on City Island

I'm going to Temple Beth-El of City Island at the end of this month as a Scholar-In-Residence! While I'm there, I'll be participating in Shabbat services (both evening and morning), offering some teaching, reading poetry, and teaching a class. Below is some information from them (also mirrored on their website). If you're in or near New York, I hope you'll join us!

Shabbaton, Poetry Reading, & Master Class on City Island during the last weekend in May

GuitarNationally recognized rabbi, poet and blogger Rachel Barenblat, the Velveteen Rabbi, will hold a special shabbaton weekend as TBE’s Scholar in Residence, May 30 – June 1, 2014. This amazing weekend will include music-filled services, special teachings, and public readings/symposia of Rabbi Rachel’s works. Especially known for spiritual writing and re-imagining the lives of families and especially women for the 21st century, Rabbi Rachel is an accomplished author of numerous books of spiritual poetry, and has been named by Time Magazine as among the 25 top bloggers on the Internet.

Shabbat, May 30-31

Fri. May 30 7:30 pm Musical Shabbat with Your Band by the Sea

Sat. May 31 10:00 am Shabbat Morning Services

12:00 pm Public Teaching: The Power of Blessing


Sunday, June 1

Sun. June 1 10:30 am Master Class: Writing in Spiritual Life

12:00 pm Public Reading and Author Q&A

Friday and Saturday services / teaching at Temple Beth-El, 480 City Island Avenue

Sunday sessions at Samuel Pell House, 586 City Island Ave

( writing class: $20 for non-members, bring a notebook or laptop and an open heart)


70FacesSmallPraise for 70 faces (Phoenicia Publishing 2011)

Rachel Barenblat’s Torah poems open the doorway into sacred text so that we can walk in and make it our home.  She invites us to bring all of our passion, doubt, humor, humility and chutzpah as we encounter these ancient words and bring them to Life.  Through Rachel’s skillful, joyful, playful and profound poetry, the Torah opens her secrets to us and invites us into an intimate conversation with Truth. 
        —Rabbi Shefa Gold, Torah Journeys

These poems are so out there, so radical, and at the same time so    gentle and inviting. Barenblat manages to do work that has passion and truth behind it, without ranting. I love the final poem in this     collection – gliding right past heartbreak into renewal.
        —Alicia Ostriker, The Book of Seventy




Praise for Waiting to Unfold (Phoenicia 2013)

These rich poems will carry you into the great timeless miracle and mystery of unfolding littleness, nonstop maternal alertness, beauty and exhaustion and amazing, exquisite tenderness, oh yes. 
        —Naomi Shihab Nye, The Words Under the Words

The intense observation of the poet and intense observation of the mother unite in a celebration of what is new and newborn, what is intensely felt and cherished and what is lost and mourned. Barenblat’s poems are easy to enter into, and they carry both the uniqueness of her persona as poet and serious Jew and the universality of love that has made us all. The holy is in the everyday, as our best American poets have taught us, and as Barenblat teaches us in a new way. 
        —Rodger Kamenetz, The Jew in the Lotus