Open Temple

Earth. Water. Fire. Air: Elemental Judaism Retreat

Wednesday, January 26 – Sunday, January 30, 2022 at Rancho La Puerta

Blending Jewish wisdom with earth-based arts, Elemental Judaism invites each of us back to “the Land of our Soul.” In our contemporary world, the concept of “a Jewish Land” is tied to one particular geographic region; however, a Jewish land is as pervasive as the lands of indigenous peoples, and the Bible is a paradigm shift in the earth arts as the scribes of the Torah crafted text and language to deepen our apprehension of this earth form.  

Our five-day retreat at Rancho La Puerta, itself a holy land of its indigenous people, also shares the same latitude as the Biblical land of Israel. Deepening our earth connection alongside the Ranch’s oak trees, vineyards, and even Sumerian pools, “Elemental Judaism” awakens “Sh’mitah Consciousness,” when we release ourselves from our obligations to time bound, earthly obligations. 

“Release” engages us through the Four Elements: Earth, Water, Fire and Air and renews, restores, and resets our direct connection with the ancestral wisdom within. Participants are invited into modalities including infrared sauna, labyrinth, hikes up a sacred mountain, mikvah and more as we cultivate an understanding of the earth wisdom within and re-connect to our soul‘s earth-based compass. We emerge with a deepened and defined sense of our place in our lives, our earth and our Soul Journey.

More on the Ranch

Long before Esalen and the Golden Door, Rancho La Puerta was founded in 1940 by Jewish family Edmond and Deborah Szekely to be the world’s first all-inclusive wellness resort, integrating the mind, body and spirit through transformative experiences. The Ranch, still owned by the founding family, sits on 4,000 private acres of gardens, mountains and meadows in Baja California, Mexico. All facilities and land are for the exclusive use of guests, ensuring the delights of a warm, safe and welcoming shared community. The climate is near-perfect; warm and dry, with some showers and cold nights, in winter, and warm with very low humidity and no rain in summer. Rancho La Puerta is located only about 25 miles “as the crow flies” from the Pacific Ocean (near San Diego, California, U.S.A.) at an elevation of 1,700 feet. (An hour drive South of San Diego)

In addition to being part of the Elemental Judaism Retreat, guests can choose from 40 daily fitness, wellness and creative classes, all included. In addition to Rabbi Lori and our programming, the Ranch features five wellness gurus, artists and musicians who offer complimentary classes and performances during your stay. The other visiting scholars that week are Yogi Dana Rae Pare, Chef Isabel Cruz, Chef Jean Courtney, Astronomer John Scott Marrone, Author/therapist/coach Dr. Randy Kamen plus four renowned classical and jazz musicians.

The cuisine is semi-vegetarian, featuring an abundance of organic fruits and vegetables mostly from the on-site organic farm. The freshest-of-the-fresh seafood from the port of Ensenada, Baja California. All meals offer both vegetarian and modified-vegetarian alternatives. Those on gluten-restricted diets can be accommodated, as can those who keep Kosher informally easily can.  

Who is this for?

Anyone 14 and over who is seeking to evolve in their Jewish faith or has a Jewish loved one they’d like to deepen their spiritual connection together.  Rabbi Lori is radically inclusive.  Singles, couples, multi-generational families and individuals of all genders will feel welcome. There are many casitas that have 3 beds so three family members or friends can share a room.

What are the accommodations like?

Over $10 million was spent to complete a fully renovated resort. Eighty-seven casitas built to accommodate solo travelers, doubles, triples and quads are remarkably spacious and private, each with a unique décor. 

All are individually landscaped, placed in the midst of gardens surrounded by sun-filled patios. Each is one of a kind. Accommodations include living-room-like outdoor sitting areas, desks, wood-burning fireplaces (in most), CD players, refrigerators, robes, safes, other standard amenities, and a distinctive collection of Mexican folk art throughout.

How much does the retreat cost?

$3,000 to $4,000 per person depending on accommodations. All programming, meals and one Ranch massage is included. 

How do you register?

Call Rancho La Puerta and say you’re with the Elemental Judaism group. SPACE IS LIMITED TO 20 IN OUR GROUP!

Tel: 800.443.7565 or 858.764.5500

How do I get there? Do I need a current passport? (YES)  

What will I find out after I register?

The detailed program and who else is coming. It’s going to be amazing. Our group is limited to 20 people – so it will be intimate and we’ll create a tribe over our five days together.

“Sing unto God a new song.”
-Psalm 96

If God is already tired, as suggests the Psalm, of hearing the old song, all the more so will ordinary mortals be.
-Alcalay (20th c. Jewish lexicographer)

The Open Temple.
Sing a new Song.

Scroll to Top