Did psychedelics play a role in Judaism? A new conference explores.
What is the connection between psychedelics and Judaism? A team of rabbis, scholars, artists and other experts will engage in a global conversation exploring psychedelics, Judaism, ritual, healing, and spirituality during a Jewish Psychedelic Summit scheduled for May 2-3.
The event is a collaboration between Rabbi Zac Kamenetz, founder of the psychedelic awareness and advocacy website Shefa; Natalie Lyla Ginsberg, director of policy and advocacy at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS); and Madison Margolin, editor of psychedelic magazine DoubleBlind.
The virtual event will include panel discussions on topics such as “Did Psychedelics Play a Role in Ancient Jewish Practice?” “Jewish Trauma and Psychedelic Therapy: What is Culturally Informed Care?” and “Why is Ending the War on Drugs a Jewish and Psychedelic Imperative?” Panelists include MAPS Founder and Executive Director Rick Doblin; psychedelic researcher Dr. Rick Strassman; and Rachel Yehuda, director of Mount Sinai’s Center for the Study of Psychedelic Psychotherapy & Trauma.
Kamenetz, one of the main organizers of the summit, told the Jewish News of Northern California that he felt moved to create a platform where Jews can speak more openly about psychedelics after having two experiences with psilocybin as part of a Johns Hopkins University study of psychedelic experiences in clergy of various religions.
“I’m one of the very few people who can say they’ve had a legal experience with psychedelics in this country,” Kamenetz said. “To be able to speak freely about it without the stigma—because it’s not just people talking about doing illegal things—it’s allowed people to start having a more open conversation about it. When there’s the opportunity to hear from someone who did this in a legal environment, people will listen more.”
Cost for attending the summit ranges from $72 to $108, and discounts are available for students and people with lower incomes. Advanced registration is required. For more information, visit the Jewish Psychedelic Summit website.