Jalaja Bonheim, Ph.D., is an inspiring and empowering public speaker who touches and transforms her audience with her clarity, passion, and courage. Fresh, clear, and compassionate, her message is heart-centered yet practical, realistic yet hopeful.
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.
A German native, she immigrated to the United States in 1982 after spending several years studying Indian temple dance in India. She now lives in Ithaca, NY, where she maintains a private counseling practice.
Her first books 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. Since 2005, she has traveled regularly to Israel and Palestine, where she empowers Jewish and Palestinian women to serve as agents of peace and healing in their communities. In her new book The Sacred Ego: Making Peace with Ourselves and Our World, she shares her insights into the nature of the evolutionary journey we are engaged in.
Jalaja has trained hundreds of Circlework leaders in America, Canada, and the Middle East, including ministers, teachers, social workers, psychotherapists, and corporate executives. Completely intimate with the spirit of the circle, she speaks of it as an archangel, and as her ally, guide, teacher and friend. She decodes its language for all of us, translates its messages of wholeness and homecoming, connection and community, and explains its teachings on connecting with our source, walking our path, claiming our uniqueness and discovering our oneness. 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 Bonheim 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. She is the founder and visionary director of the Institute for Circlework, which serves as a hub to the growing community of Circlework practitioners around the world.