Teena Slatkin – Co-Author
Teena Slatkin grew up in Wichita, Kansas, a thriving but small Jewish community. She attended college back East and after graduation, moved to Denver in 1972. Shortly after her arrival in October 1973, she attended an emergency meeting to raise money for Israel during the Yom Kippur War. As a recent graduate of Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she did not have much money to give. Yet she left that meeting giving much more than planned. Supporting Israel was a value instilled in her by her parents, staunch Zionists who had met with David Ben Gurion personally in 1959 to raise money for Israel through Israel Bonds. Teena recalls the time her parents told her they were going to forgo buying curtains for the new home because Israel needed the money during the Sinai War.
“This lesson stuck with me,” Teena shared. “In Torah we are instructed to give 10 percent of our field or earnings to those in need. I was taught by my parents you give that and then you give more!”
Teena’s parents taught her a deep appreciation for Jewish heritage, philanthropy and hard work. Ever since that meeting back in 1973, Teena has contributed tirelessly to the work of JEWISHcolorado and the broader Colorado Jewish community, fueled by the desire to make the world a better place.
“I want to help us as Jews thrive and use our Jewish values and wisdom to the best of our abilities to enhance the world we live in. We as Jews are supposed to be a beacon of light unto the nations. I always felt a responsibility to work towards that goal.”
Today, Teena is well known throughout the community as a Jewish storyteller and educator. She strives to make a positive impact on how her students feel about themselves and their Judaism. For JEWISHcolorado, Teena has led panel discussions to help create pertinent programs that match community needs. She has led inspiring women’s missions to Israel that explored mind, body, and soul connections to Israel and her history. She also co-founded BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy Experience for Youth in Need. The program is the only Jewish wilderness spiritual therapy program of its kind in North America, located in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. BaMidbar provides the framework for Jewish youth to find their voice and write their own narrative of self-discovery and healing. This particular endeavor is testament to Teena’s passion for advocating and promoting awareness about mental health within the Denver Jewish community and across the country.
Over the past 40 plus years, Teena has served on the JEWISHcolorado Board of Directors, chaired several committees, and was an active member of the Kitchen Cabinet Board, chaired by then Campaign Chair, Elaine Asarch. She is a Lion of Judah philanthropist who has endowed her gift with JEWISHcolorado, creating a legacy for the support of her most cherished programs. She has served on the boards of Young Leadership of Israel Bonds, Rose Hospital, HEA Synagogue, and Central Agency for Jewish Education. She has chaired the Society of Fellows for ADL and was Vice President of Denver Jewish Day School, when it was Herzl.
Teena has also done extensive community education surrounding the Holocaust. She created the first Holocaust yearly film series through Mizel Museum for high school students from all over the community, bringing students together and educating them about the Holocaust through film. In addition, she volunteered as a guest speaker for years to educate Cherry Creek High School English and history students about the Holocaust.
“Being an intricate part of helping build a community’s heart and soul is and always has been my top priority.”
Teena’s latest endeavor is a book she co-authored with Ellyn Hutt, Living in the Present Moment…A Divine Design. The book explores how Jewish wisdom and the practice of timeless secrets within our ancient wisdom can contribute to lasting joy and happiness. They share these lessons from Torah in order to: engage your life with enthusiasm; recognize your challenges and master their lessons; create an inspiring, hopeful vision for the future; and identify unique opportunities to grow in each moment.
Teena has been married to Buddy Slatkin for over 40 years. They have 4 children and 2 grandchildren.
LeRoy the Cowboy and His Magic Boot
Teena is also the author of the children’s book, LeRoy the Cowboy and His Magic Boot, which won the Silver Medal from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.
Book signing at the Tattered Cover book store for LeRoy the Cowboy
Teena was a facility member of the Kabbalah Experience where she taught many classes. Two examples of the types of classes she taught are highlighted here.
Teena Slatkin is a Jewish storyteller, author, motivational speaker and educator in the study of Rosh Chodesh, taught this class “In Tune with Time”.
The study of Kabbalah is all about Light. In modern cognitive psychology, the idea is that we become what we think about. Those who study Kabbalah find this to be true as well. According to Kabbalah, the Jewish calendar as a whole is a guiding light for personal transformation. Each of the twelve new moons offers us new and different energies that are present in the Universe, and these new energies give us opportunities to understand and come to a realization of our own individual potential.
BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy
Teena Slatkin – Co-Founder of BaMidbar
I was privileged to work with several very caring and dedicated individuals who helped in the creation of BaMidbar. BaMidbar helps support young individuals in building healthy relationships with self and others. They utilize nature and adventure based experiences as part of a therapeutic process that promotes social, emotional, and spiritual wellness. MaMidbar combines the guidance, support, and strength inherent in Jewish tradition, with a wilderness journey designed to facilitate social, emotional, and spiritual growth. By doing so, BaMidbar encourages participants to redefine how they view themselves, reevaluate their capabilities, and rediscover their vision for a brighter tomorrow. It is their guiding principal to provide the framework for youth and young adults who come to BaMidbar to find their voice, and write their own narrative.
It is a transformational journey of self-discovery at BaMidbar, the only kosher, Shabbat-observant wilderness therapy program in the United States.
More about BAmidbar
Teena Slatkin has been a second degree Master Reiki Healer for over 20 years.
What exactly is Reiki Healing?
Reiki is a form of alternative healing method called energy healing. A Reiki practitioner will use a technique called palm healing or hand on or off healing through which a “universal energy” is said to be transferred through the palms of the certified practitioner. This energy movement through the patient is a dynamic force that helps to aid in emotional or physical well being and healing.
In my first few years of practicing Reiki I worked on many dogs with physical injuries and pain. I was successful through the movement of this universal energy to help relieve their pain and assist them in the return to enjoyable physical activity.
I also had the opportunity to work with people who suffered from migraine headaches. My energy work seemed successful most of the time in reducing the pain or eliminating the migraine all together.
I enjoyed very much this process of moving energy in order to help people heal. It requires a peaceful in the moment focus to do this work which is healing to whom I am working with and myself.
Because of my public speaking, teaching and writing this book I have not practiced Reiki for several years now.
I sit on an intriguing board that started Lotus Network two years ago in order to help women make positive connections in their lives no matter what age. This organization helps guide women to live a more purposeful life.
A year ago in April, Lotus Network’s Inaugural event opened its doors to over 700 women for a joyful educational brunch and learn. We will have our second annual event this August. Women have so much to offer for themselves and the world and Lotus Network wants to make sure they have that rich opportunity within their grasp.
Lotus Network website will be out soon offering an impressive array of mind, body and soul information helping women make even more enjoyable connections in their lives. Please visit Lotus Network.
Teena Slatkin – Lotus Network Board member
Teena Slatkin was asked by The Jewish Experience of Colorado to be a guest speaker for their very successful Clean Speech Colorado Speakers Series which took place November 2019.