About Gilla Nissan
A native of Israel, Gilla graduated from Tel-Aviv University. She moved to LA where she graduated from Yeshiva University and American Jewish University. She worked as a Judaic studies teacher in schools and institutions and developed a course on the spirituality of the Hebrew language.
Gilla is a long time follower and instructor of the Gurdjieff Work. She acknowledges Metivta’s founder, Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man, as her Jewish mysticism teacher and mentor. Gilla uses different modalities of meditation, visualization and guided imagery. She has been a capturing speaker on spirituality and the meaning of life as well as a leader of rituals and ceremonies in the U.S and abroad.
In this work we come together to first allow silence to unite us and the ways of the Letters to guide us. Our time together include teaching, reflection and council. We engage in writing, storytelling, dream telling, deep listening, bearing witness, prayer, meditation, solitude, music, rituals, celebrations and divination. We honor the the intuitive mind, the sacred and the earth.
We come to see that the Story we have been given to live can be essential to our healing and spiritual paths. We come to see that this unique story is an essential part of our work together. Spirit speaks to us through these very stories with a directness and intelligence that far exceeds the greatest human abilities. It reveals to us experiences, mysterious circumstances, synchronicities and dreams.
Our heart together with the Beauty and Wisdom of our world, invite us to learn to read these signs, recognize where we are being called and to what. It guides us to understand and follow the profound and exact instructions we’ve been given.
The Letters become perfect and precise vehicles.
The conservative paths of the past for many of us are not sufficient, distorted or lifeless, but our own stories, questions and the circumstances of each day, are. The new engagement with the Letters is. Both may be the most profound and detailed instructions on how to live fuller and richer life with amazing alignment and powerful integrity.
Her forthcoming book, The Truth of the Hebrew Alphabet is the pinnacle of thirty five years of spiritual work. This book is a ground-breaking teaching based on a transmission uniquely received on the Letters, their universal message and how to use them in everyday life.
1966-1970 Seminar Hakibuzim Tel-Aviv High School, Graduated as Education Major
1970 – 1973 Tel Aviv University Art History and Philosophy Major
1974-1976 Yeshiva University West Coast (Los Angeles) Teacher Credential
1976-1978 University Of Judaism Los Angeles. Bachelor of Arts, Jewish Studies and Hebrew Literature
1984-2011 Metivta A Center for Contemplative Judaism (Los Angeles) Senior Student of Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man
1991 – 1996 Writing / Poetry with Jack Grapes, Los Angeles
1980-1985 Voice work- with Chava Lesser
1982- Present Alexander Technique with Michael Fredricks
1997-19999 The Alexander Training Institute in Santa Monica
2010-present Persian Singing with Mamak Kadem
1977 – 1981 Stephen S. Wise Temple Day School, Milken Community High School, Emek, Valley Torah and other Jewish day and religious schools/institutions in Los Angeles. Courses: Teacher of Biblical and Modern Hebrew elementary through high school students
1997 – Present Public and Private Adult Education Courses in Los Angeles: The Spirituality of The Hebrew Language, Kabbalah,
2000 – 2008 American Jewish University (University of Judaism, Los Angeles) Continuing Education courses: Classical and Modern Hebrew, Bible, Siddur, Holidays, and Hebrew Literature.
Art Exhibitions Curator
1984 -1985 Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles, Art Committee / Exhibition Curator
1986 Stephen S. Wise Temple
2001 Sephardic Day Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles
“Dancing Letters: The Play of Vowel and Consonant, Vol. 4, No. 3, (Number & Symbol), Fall 1999.
“Ahavah: A Monotheistic Model of Love”, Vol. 35, No. 1, (Love), Spring 2010.
“A Password to the World That is Coming: The Wedding Celebration of Rabbi Shim’on Bar Yochai”, Vol. 31, No.2 (Life After Death), Summer 2010.
“Tiferet: Beauty in the Realm of the Divine”, Vol. 35, No. 4, (Beauty), Winter 2010 – 11.
“Accepting the Mystery: A Conversation with Rabbi Jonathan Omer Man”, Vol. 36, No. 1 (Suffering), Spring 2011.
Contributions of Poetry
13 LA Poets
On the Bus
P’sifas (Israeli Poetry magazine, www.eked.co.il)
A Moment Before the Truth
Excuse Me, I Have to Go Sing Now
All That Space
First Prize (1993) Miriam Felicia Lindberg Israel Poetry Peace Prize: “On the Sixth Day”
Urim Lahorim (Tel Aviv, Israeli Educational Magazine) “Educational Solutions”, 1970
Israel Shelanu (Los Angeles), 1990-1995
Chadashot L.A (Los Angeles), 1990-1995
Workshops / Lectures / Seminars /Retreats / Rituals/ Study Circles
The Wilber Persian Center in the valley- lead a women group on Parashat Hashavouah/the portion of Torah
1992- Present – Creative Writing Circles in Hebrew and English
2000- Present – Metivta – Center for Contemplative Judaism (Planning committee and presenter at annual retreats, High Holy Days and holidays workshops (Encino and Berkeley)
2003- Present Community organizer and leader of The Circle of Kabbalat Shabbat and Holy Day
2007-2008 Introduction courses to Gurdjieff’s Cosmology – American Jewish University
2010- present – Leo Baeck Temple Minyan – Introduction to Kabbalah and meditation.
New Light on the Hebrew Letters” Presentations
2010 National Havourah Committee- Jewish renewal organization (Annual Retreat / East coast)
2011 Alef Kallah (Annual conference of Jewish Renewal national organization) (Riverside CA)
2011 Golden Bridge (Los Angeles)
2011 Hamifgash (The Gathering) Educational foundation – (Los Angeles)
2012 Havourat Shir Chadash- A Jewish renewal community (Ashland OR)
2012 Wesack annual retreat (Mount Shasta)
2012 Parliament Group Meditation Group (Santa Monica)