information & registration 845-256-0191

November 5 – 12, 2017

Kabbalah and the Western Mystical Tradition
Barcelona, Spain

In the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period, Spain was home to an unusual culture bearing the stamp of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, the three major monotheistic religions with a long history on its soil. In all three, religious thought and practice took the mystical direction: For Judaism, Kabbalah; for Islam, Sufism; for Christianity, a series of mystical saints and religious guides. The birthplace of such mystical writers as the Jewish Moses de Leon, the Muslim Muhyi ‘l-Din Ibn Arabi, and the Catholics Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, Medieval Spain provided a perfect meeting ground for the cultivation of the western mystical traditions – traditions that we will explore together during the course of this special program.

Accompanied by a superb faculty, we will be stimulated by in-depth presentations, learn about the fascinating and unique architecture of Barcelona, travel through the countryside of Catalonia and visit medieval walled cities and dynamic art museums. Additionally, we will attend a performance of the renowned boy’s choir (L’Escolania) at the Monastery of Montserrat, listen to music from medieval Spain, and hear guest artist mezzo-soprano Janice Meyerson sing examples of Ladino and traditional Sephardic Jewish music.

We invite you to join us on this extraordinary and meaningful journey!


hotel-1898-barcelona-1000pxLocated in the heart of Barcelona, on the famed Las Ramblas, Hotel 1898 was once home to the Philippines Tobacco Company. While preserving its historical splendor, over a century and a quarter later, the hotel was restored and transformed into a modern-day Hotel. This unique colonial-style structure features exclusive 19th century architectural elements and a special personality that brings the best of Barcelona to each and every one of its guests. On the steps Las Ramblas, the calm and quiet rooms of the hotel draw in all the light from the 19th century colonial building’s interior courtyard. A limited number of upgraded rooms, all facing out onto Las Ramblas, Xuclà and Pintor Fortuny streets are available from $375 per room. Call our office for details.



Sunday, November 5
Arrive Barcelona and check in to the Hotel 1898, superbly located in the heart of the city- on Las Ramblas.  Afternoon free to rest and relax.
Evening: Orientation and short overviews by Aryeh Maidenbaum and our accompanying scholars, Dr. Ray Scheindlin and Dr. Ann Belford Ulanov, followed by an opportunity to get to know one another.
Opening dinner at our hotel (included).

Monday, November 6
Morning: Presentation by Ray Scheindlin before departing our hotel to Barcelona’s “Old City” for a guided, walking tour through the historic Gothic Quarter and what was once the Jewish Quarter- located side by side. Following a break for lunch (included) we will visit the Picasso Museum (housed in five adjoining medieval palaces) for a private guided tour.
Evening: Free, dinner on our own

Tuesday, November 7
Depart our hotel for a day trip to Girona, including a visit to the Jewish Museum and Nahmanides Center; the restored medieval Jewish Quarter; the Alfama (Its name comes from the Arabic Al-hamma, meaning “hot fountains” or “baths”), and Girona’s medieval, 11th century Cathedral.  While visiting the center, Ray Scheindlin will present on the topic of Jewish & Islamic Mysticism.
Evening: Free, dinner on our own

Wednesday, November 8
This morning, we will hear a presentation by Ann Belford Ulanov before departing for a “Gaudi day,” including Sagrada Familia Church and Grüell Park among other fascinating Gaudi designed buildings in Barcelona.  During the course of the day, we will break for lunch on our own.
Evening: Free, dinner on our own.
For those interested, (Optional) Flamenco performance.

Thursday, November 9
Depart hotel for Montserrat, a spectacularly beautiful Benedictine Abbey and mountain retreat.  Not only is the Montserrat Monastery of significant religious importance, but the natural beauty surrounding the monastery is breathtaking.  During our visit, we will attend a performance by its world famous boys’ choir, L’Escolania; enjoy lunch at the Monastery (included) and tour the museum’s art collection which includes works by Caravaggio, Monet, Degas and Picasso among others.
Evening: presentation by Ann Belford Ulanov.
Evening: free, dinner on our own.

Friday, November 10
Depart hotel for Besalú, designated as a “historical national property.” Here, we will see some of the town’s most significant features, including its 12th-century Romanesque bridge; the church of Sant Pere (consecrated in 1003); a restored 12th century mikveh (Jewish ritual bath) and the remains of a medieval synagogue, located in the lower town near the river. From Besalú, we will continue to Figueres for lunch on our own and a guided tour of the spectacular Salvador Dali Museum.
Evening: Presentation by Ray Scheindlin.
Dinner on our own.

Saturday, November 11
Morning: review of our week with Ray Scheindlin and Ann Ulanov, followed by an open participant/panel discussion.

Afternoon:   Free, (optional)
Evening: Musical presentation by Janice Meyerson.
Closing Dinner (included)

Sunday, November 12
Depart for home

*Please note: daily schedule subject to change.



Aryeh Maidenbaum, PhD, Director of the New York Center for Jungian Studies, is a Jungian analyst in private practice in New York City. Among his publications are the articles “The Search for Spirit in Jungian Psychology,” “Sounds of Silence,” and “Psychological Types, Job Change, and Personal Growth,” and the collection of essays Jung and the Shadow of Anti-Semitism. Moderator of an important conference on aging at the Library of Congress, Dr. Maidenbaum was also a faculty member at NYU for 18 years where he taught courses in Jungian psychology, and was a contributing author of Current Theories of Psychoanalysis.


Raymond P. Scheindlin, PhD, recently retired professor of Hebrew Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary, is a former Guggenheim Fellow. Dr. Scheindlin’s main field of research has been the encounter of Hebrew and Arabic cultures in Spain, especially as embodied in the poetry of the two traditions. His books on medieval Hebrew poetry — Wine, Women, and Death: Medieval Hebrew Poems on the Good Life, dealing with secular poetry; and The Gazelle: Medieval Hebrew Poems on God, Israel, and the Soul, reflect both the academic and the literary aspects of his career. He is the author of a widely-used textbook, A Short History of the Jewish People and co-editor of The Literature of Al-Andalus. His most recent book is The Song of the Distant Dove: Judah Halevi’s Pilgrimage.


Ann Belford Ulanov, PhD, is a Jungian analyst in private practice in New York City, a member of the Jungian Analytic Association, and former Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychiatry and Religion at Union Theological Seminary. An internationally known lecturer and prolific author, among her many articles and books are the highly acclaimed Cinderella and Her Sisters: The Envied and the Envying; Spiritual Aspects of Clinical Work; The Wisdom of the Psyche; The Unshuttered Heart: Opening to Aliveness/ Deadness in the Self; The Living God and Our Living Psyche; Madness and Creativity; and Knots and Their Untying: Essays on Psychological Dilemmas.


Janice Meyerson (M.M., New England Conservatory; B.A., Washington University), has sung as a soloist with the New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Deutsche Oper, Berlin, and the Spoleto Festival, among numerous others. A gifted mezzo-soprano and interpreter of song, Ms. Meyerson will perform Ladino and Hebrew examples of Sephardic music.




Participation limited. The program will entail considerable walking, including uneven terrain and unavoidable stairs. Participants need to be in active, good health, able to keep up with the group, ready to travel and experience group and cultural differences with grace. All rights reserved to ask a participant to leave who is disruptive to the program. If you have any questions call please call our office at 845.256.0191.