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About Us

HeartFire

A Festival of Prayer

 

HeartFire Festival is a new paradigm in festival culture, combining the best elements of conscious music and performance art with genuine spiritual teaching and authentic transformational workshops, held in grounded, intentional, family-friendly events that maintain a sacred atmosphere for all participants. Connecting creative self-expression with spiritual self-realization, it is nothing less than a universal peace summit and inter-spiritual conference for exploring the intersection between the most modern art and the most ancient initiatic wisdom.

 

 

“When Prayer Meets Celebration, Sparks Will Rise!”

 

 

Vision

Our Core Values


Intimacy

 

We have a limited number of tickets for a high-quality, intimate experience, available to a few hundred people max 

 

Lucidity

 

This is a Substance-Free event

 

Lineage

 

Dedicated to the memory of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
& to the collective vision for a New Paradigm of InterSpirituality

 

Sustainability

 

We are partnering with three organic, eco-friendly farms to host this land-based nature-immersion experience

 

Diversity

 

Dedicated to peaceful and positive inter-cultural exchange

 

Education

 

We are committed to creating an engaging and deeply educational experience

 

Accessibility

 

Through our 501(c)3 public charity, which is dedicated to inner world peace, we are able to offer half-priced volunteering scholarships to those in need.

 

Reciprocity

 

A portion of the proceeds from our marketplace is always re-invested directly into continued support for native craftswomen and traditional artisans from indigenous villages in Central and South America

 

Spirituality

 

We offer authentic, high caliber representation of the world’s great wisdom traditions, initiatic teachings, and transformational practices, as transmitted by recognized elders and established wisdom-keepers from around the globe

 

Healing

 

Through our healer’s village, we promote a truly preventative and holistic approach to integrative wellness and life-care


Celebration & Creativity

 

Dedicated to creative self-expression and the free-spirited celebration of all life

 

Past Events

Team

Yasha S. Wagner

Visionary Co-founder & Producer

Yasha is a renaissance being, a visionary MC, and the founder of Worldchangers Organization 501(c)3 and its Eight Limbs initiatives. He is also a certified T’ai Chi & Qi Gong instructor, Primordial Breathwork facilitator, dream-reader, and an initiated Sufi Dhakir with the Inayati-Maimuni Order in Reb Zalman’s lineage. As a student of the Inter-Tribal Altar, Yasha leads healing workshops and rituals with the authorization of his Taino elder, MMR. Having completed his Bachelor’s Degree in World Wisdom Traditions at Naropa University, Yasha is now in a full time PhD program for Jungian Psychology. Since early childhood, Yasha has lived and traveled all over the world, while actively receiving and sharing a diverse range of interspiritual, initiatic, and transformational practices.

Ashke Zinctala

Executive Manager & Administration

Ashke Zinctala loves plants, the forest, community, and cats. She is guided by the deer, coyote, bluebird, and cat, and finds freedom in dance. She specializes in management of all kinds, belongs to photography and writing, and creates sacred medicinal salves & tinctures. She is a descendant of Luther Standing Bear and granddaughter of Jacqueline Left Hand Bull, both members of the Sicangu Lakota.

 

Left Hand Bull is an appointed Continental Counselor, the highest office of individual standing in the religion, of the Baha’i faith, and is the Chair of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’i. Luther Standing Bear (December 1868 – February 20, 1939) was a Sicangui and Oglala Lakota chief notable in American history as a Indian author, educator, wisdom keeper, and actor of the twentieth century. Standing Bear wrote and spoke to preserve Lakota tradition and culture and was at the forefront of the movement to change government policy toward Indigenous Americans. His writings are credited to have brought awareness to the American public of the ways in which American Indigineous culture honors and respects the sacredness of the natural world.

 

Ashke hopes to honor her ancestors by carrying this wisdom, spreading the medicine and shining light on her shadows. When we heal ourselves, we heal the world. When we heal the world, we heal ourselves.

Alec Arshavsky

Volunteer Coordinator & Web Designer

Alec has been an integral part of Worldchangers Organization since it was first conceived. He has a degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University and is focused on applying technology to a heart-centered paradigm shift for planet Earth. In high school, Alec created an algorithm that automates part of the corneal transplantation procedure, which saves the eyesight of countless individuals every year. As a result, he became a 2014 finalist for the Intel Science Talent Search competition, had a minor planet named in his honor, and traveled to the White House to meet with President Obama.

Sam Newman-Plotnick

Grant Writer & Co-Promotional Fundraiser

Born to a Jewish family in Upstate New York, Sam Newman-Plotnick holds a degree in labor relations from Cornell University and is thrilled to be collaborating on HeartFire Festival. He worked as a disc jockey with his college radio station, and has always sought to support the arts, seeking new avenues for empowering creativity ever since leaving radio. Despite his academic training and his intellectual background, Sam has come to value unlearning and deprogramming above the dominant paradigm of conventional scholarship. Rather than participating in the commercial music industry, Sam is particularly drawn to the sacred songs of shamanic healing traditions and is interested in supporting grassroots initiatives that provide wider access to those songs. Most of all, Sam is grateful to the Worldchangers movement for providing him with opportunities to study music, ancient practices, healing arts, and especially his own Abrahamic roots — via the mystical teachings of Sufism and Kabbalah. He is inspired to see that the spiritual work he is involved with is rippling throughout our modern culture and making a positive impact on Planet Earth! Considering his passion for supporting the movement and his background experience with grassroots fundraising initiatives, Sam was elected to serve as the grant writer for HeartFire and related projects.

Netanel Miles-Yépez

Visionary Co-founder & Producer

Netanel Miles-Yépez is an artist, philosopher, religion scholar, and spiritual teacher. Deeply involved in ecumenical dialogue for many years, he is considered a leading thinker in the InterSpiritual and New Monasticism movements.

Born into a Mexican-American family, in his late teens, Netanel discovered his family’s hidden Jewish roots and began to explore Judaism and other religions seriously. After studying history of religions and comparative religion at Michigan State University, he moved to Boulder, Colorado to study with the innovative Hasidic master and pioneer in ecumenical dialogue, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal movement. In 2004, he and Schachter-Shalomi co-founded the Sufi-Hasidic, Inayati-Maimuni lineage of Sufism, fusing the Sufi and Hasidic principles of spirituality and practice espoused by Rabbi Avraham Maimuni in 13th-century Egypt with the teachings of the Ba’al Shem Tov and Hazrat Inayat Khan. After the passing of Schachter-Shalomi in 2014, Netanel became the Pir of the Inayati-Maimuni lineage.

In addition to Schachter-Shalomi, Netanel also studied with various Sufi masters, teachers of Hinduism and Buddhism, and counts Father Thomas Keating, Trappist monk and founder of the Centering Prayer movement, as an important teacher. For a number of years, he worked closely with Edward Bastian at the Spiritual Paths Foundation, creating interspiritual dialogues and exploring the foundations of interspiritual meditation and practice.

As a writer, he is known for his critically acclaimed translation, My Love Stands Behind a Wall: A Translation of the Song of Songs and Other Poems(2015), as well as his commentaries on Hasidic spirituality (written with Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi), A Heart Afire: Stories and Teachings of the Early Hasidic Masters (2009) and A Hidden Light: Stories and Teachings of Early HaBaD and Bratzlav Hasidism (2011). He is also the editor several ecumenical works, including The Common Heart: An Experience of Interreligious Dialogue (2006) and Meditations for InterSpiritual Practice (2011).

Netanel is the president of Albion-Andalus Publications, co-founder of the Foundation for New Monasticism & InterSpirituality, and teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.

Jamelah Zidan

Venue Relations & Infrastructure Management for New York

Jamelah Zidan was born in the Bronx to Palestinian immigrants. She has her M.S. in   Education from Sarah Lawrence and taught in New York City for several years before becoming the Assistant Director at the Abode of the Message. She is in charge of venue relations and infrastructure for HeartFire New York.

Melita Silberstein

Talent Booking Coordinator for Bay Area

Melita is a singer/songwriter, folk musician, childrens’ performer, and ceremonial song-leader based out of Berkeley, CA. She is the founding member of Octopretzel, a popular Bay Area children’s band, and has also recorded and co-produced a number of CDs in the realms of both singer-songwriter folk as well as children’s music. Melita has also worked as a music specialist for young children for over 15 years. She currently teaches music classes in an array of Bay Area schools and other venues for families in the Bay Area.

Alyona Mindlin

Healer’s Village Organizer for North East Coast

Alyona Mindlin is an international yoga teacher with 25 years of movement background. She teaches creative alignment based flow that inspires awareness, precision and connection to the heart. She studies indigenous traditions with Maestro Manuel and yoga with Nikki Costello.  Kula Yoga Project and the Golden Drum are her yoga homes in NYC where she practices, teaches and sees private clients.  Alyona leads workshops, yoga teacher trainings and Shamanic Thai Massage trainings. Her classes will inspire joy, peaceful stillness, and a deeper appreciation for life. Alyona has taught for 9 years predominantly in NYC. She has traveled to teach worldwide and has lived in Tulum, Mexico and Maui Hawaii.