A St. Louis spiritual center that is only the second facility of its kind in the Midwest is growing, even as its students say many people in St. Louis don't know about it.
The Kabbalah Centre, an international organization founded in 1922 with dozens of locations globally, opened a Clayton location five years ago. Students of the spiritual practice (which does not call itself a religion) attend classes and one-on-one sessions or peruse the bookstore to learn a set of core principles and ancient writings.
"The Kabbalah Centre teaches a universal wisdom that predates the Bible or religion," said student Rachel Glik. "You study things like the origin of creation, the physical and spiritual laws of the universe, our own human existence, the journey of the soul, the purpose of life, and concepts that are deep and powerful."
In its few years in St. Louis, the center has grown to a core group of more than 50 students. Glik said that's due in part to its active volunteers as well as having a physical space to gather.
“The Kabbalah Centre gives us a place to share among us, you know, in order to take care of each other, in order to mentor new students, and also to do outreach in the community," she said, describing its work with homeless shelters and youth groups. "It’s really based on the desire of the students and the community that what draws more people to come.”
With this growth, the Centre recently had to expand its classroom space and it created a separate bookstore. It will hold a grand re-opening on Thursday, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Despite its growth and having a local center, Glik said many people are surprised to learn there's a Kabbalah Centre in the area, noting the closest other facility is in Chicago.
"I think that appreciation for it is so positive, like, 'Wow, who would think in St. Louis we would have something very unique in the Midwest?'" she said. "I’m really happy for our city and that there’s a chance if somebody has the desire that it’s very accessible, especially because it’s right in our backyard."
The re-opening will also feature free introductory classes.