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Jalaja is internationally known for her groundbreaking use of circle gatherings as a tool for empowering women, healing individuals and communities, and cultivating peace. For over 25 years, she has been leading circles, studying the dynamics of the circle, and developing a community of Circlework practitioners.
She is the founder and visionary director of the Institute for Circlework (www.instituteforcirclework.org), which serves as a hub to the growing community of Circlework practitioners around the world.
After spending her childhood in Austria and Germany, Jalaja studied classical temple dance in India before coming to the United States in 1982. She is the author of four books, which were inspired by her passion for integrating sexuality and spirituality, empowering women, and celebrating the feminine spirit.
Aphrodite's Daughters: Women's Sexual Stories and the Journey of the Soul is based on the stories of ordinary American women and explores the central role of sexuality in women's spiritual journey. Witty, wise, entertaining and compassionate, Aphrodite's Daughters quickly became an underground classic, and has changed the lives of thousands of women.
Jalaja's second great passion is peace. Growing up as a Jew in post-war Germany, the devastating impact of war led her on a life-long inquiry into the causes of human violence and the journey of healing and transformation.
Completely intimate with the spirit of the circle, she descrobes it as an archangel, and as an ally, guide, teacher and friend. She decodes its language for all of us, translates its messages of wholeness and homecoming, and explains its teachings. What she calls the spirit of the circle, others experience as a field of tremendous love and compassion, growth and learning, renewal and healing.
Jalaja has trained hundreds of Circlework leaders in America, Canada, and the Middle East, including ministers, teachers, social workers, psychotherapists, and corporate executives. She also serves as a consultant to groups and group leaders who want to create greater connection and intimacy between people, or need help in working through conflicts or other challenges. Since 2005, she has travelled regularly to Israel and Palestine, where she empowers Jewish and Palestinian women to serve as agents of peace and healing in their communities.