August 17 1924

Meshullam Zalman born

Meshullam Zalman born on Sunday, August 17th (17 Av) in Zholkiew, Poland to Hayyah Gittel and Shlomo HaKohen Schachter.



Schachter family moves to Vienna, Austria


Engelbert Dollfuss closes Austrian parliament and brings fascism to Austria



Schachter begins school

Attends gymnasium at the socialist Zionist Brit Bilu Agudah and yeshiva at Yesod HaTorah.

March 1938

Anschluss: Austria annexed into Nazi German


December 1938

Family flees to Belgium to avoid Nazi oppression.


Meets Chabad Hasidim of the Niezhin branch

In Antwerp, Schachter meets Chabad Hasidim of the Niezhin branch and apprentices as a furrier and diamond polisher.


April — June 1940

Family interned

From April to June, the Schachter family is interned in a village near Montlucon in central France. In June, they are held in a prison/labor camp by the Vichy French government after the capitulation of France. In September, they are freed and flee south to Marseilles.

May 1940

Nazis invade Belgium



Schachter family leaves France

Schachter meets the future Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, for the first time in Marseilles. In January, the Schachter family leaves France. They arrive in New York via St. Thomas, Virgin Islands two days before Passover. Schachtr has his first meeting with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Yosef Yitzhak Schneersohn (known simply as the Rebbe). Schachter enters Central Yeshiva Tomchei T'mimim, Brooklyn, New York City.


Heavy Messianic yearnings among Lubavitcher Hasidim

A year of heavy Messianic yearnings among Lubavitcher Hasidim after the Rebbe issues several statements on the Messiah.



Schachter begins supervised teaching in New Haven, Connecticut


Receives rabbinic ordination

Schachter receives rabbinic ordination from Central Yeshivah Tomchei T'mimim and his mentors, Rabbis Eliya Simpson and Yisroel Jacobson. Continues teaching in New Haven.


1948 — 1949 

Teaches at Yeshivah Achei T'mimim (Lubavitch Yeshiva) in Rochester, New York

1949  — 1952

Travels to college campuses with Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

Begins to travel to college campuses with Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach upon the direction of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Congregational Rabbi and Principal at Agudas Achim, Fall River, Massachusetts. 



Sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe dies

The sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzhak Schneersohn dies. His son-in-law, Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, becomes the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe.

1952  — 1956

Becomes a congregational Rabbi and Principal of Congregation Ahavas Achim, New Bedford, Massachusetts



Begins chaplaincy training.


Begins M.A. work at Boston University

Meets Reverend Howard Thurman



First meeting with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

1956  — 1969 

Teaches religion at the University of Manitoba

Obtains a post teaching in the Department of Religion, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg,Canada (assistant and tenured associate professor).


1956 — 1967 

Directors the B'nai Brith Hillel at University of Manitoba


Receives Master of Arts from Boston University in Psychology of Religion



Starts teaching pastoral counseling at United College (later known as the University of Winnipeg)


Publishes The First Step: A Primer of a Jew's Spiritual Life

Self-publishes his first book on Jewish meditation, with the help of David Jackson, called The First Step: A Primer of a Jew's Spiritual Life.



First trip to Israel

Meets Dr. Shmuel Hugo Bergman, Dr. Gershom Scholem, Dr. Erich Neumann and the Roth Hasidim.


Founds language lab at University of Manitoba

Meets Elie Wiesel and Father Thomas Merton.



Teaches as a 'Religious Environmentalist'

Teaches as a "Religious Environmentalist" at Camp Ramah, the camping movement of Conservative Judaism. Seeks a position at Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). Has second meeting with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who was on faculty at JTS. 


Experiments with LSD for the first time with Dr. Timothy Leary at Vedanta Centre in Cohasset, Massachusetts



Begins Doctorate in Hebrew Letters work at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati


First visit to the Lama Foundation in San Cristobal, New Mexico



Gave a lecture called "Kabbalah and LSD"

This lecture leads to Schachter's parting of ways with the leadership of Chabad Hasidism.

1968 — 1969

Earns Doctorate of Hebrew Letters

Earns Doctorate of Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College. Becomes post-doctoral fellow at Brandeis University, Near Eastern Languages and Literature (1968-1969) and teaches a course in Psychology of Religion with labs, inspiring the first Jewish Catalog. Involved in the launching of Havurat Shalom in Boston with Rabbis Arthur Green and Barry Holtz, often considered the birth of the American havurah movement.



Founds B'nai

Founds B'nai Or Religious Fellowship (now ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal). Promoted to full professor in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at the University of Manitoba (1969-1975).


Finishes Human, God's Ineffable Name

Begins meeting with Sufis, especially Pir Moineddin Jablonski. Finishes Human, God's Ineffable Name, an English rendering of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel's book of Yiddish poetry, Der Shem Ham'forash Mentsch. 



Gives first smichah

Gives his first smichah (ordination) on March 24 (1 Nissan) to Rabbi Daniel Siegel. Meets and forms a friendship with Pir Vilayat Inayat-Khan, the head of the Sufi Order. Participates in a program at Glide Memorial Church with a Sufi choir. Helps found the Aquarian Minyan of Berkeley, California.

1974 — 1975

Teaches at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Stanford, CA



Publishes Fragments of a Future Scroll

Publishes Fragments of a Future Scroll with Philip Mandelkorn. Teaches at University of California at Santa Cruz, and Berkeley Theological Union, Berkeley, CA. Initiated as a sheikh of the Sufi Chishti-Inayati Order by Pir Vilayat Inayat-Khan.

1975 —1987 

Becomes professor at Temple University

After leaving the University of Manitoba, becomes professor of Religion in Jewish Mysticism and Psychology of Religion at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.



Begins teaching at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Publishes The First Step and Sparks of Light

Publishes The First Step with Donald Gropman and Sparks of Light with Edward Hoffman.



Sabbatical year from Temple University

Spends half the year as Fulbright Guest Professor in Tubingen, Germany, and Bern, Switzerland. The second half of the year returns to Israel. Meets Rabbi Gedaliah Kenig.


Takes retreat at the Lama Foundation

Takes a 40-day retreat at the Lama Foundation, San Cristobal, New Mexico, after which Schachter sheds the physical manifestations of his Hasidic identity (long beard and side-locks) and envisions the Spiritual Eldering work. 



Publishes The Dream Assembly with Howard Schwartz

1986 — 1992

Founds P'nai Or Wisdom School with Eve Ilsen, Philadelphia, PA


1987 — 1990 

Teaches full time at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Retires and is named Professor Emeritus at Temple University


1987 — 1988 

Teaches at the Academy of Jewish Studies, New York City, New York


Founds and becomes president of the Spiritual Eldering Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



In October, meets with the 14th Dalai Lama, H.H. Tenzin Gyatso, Dharamsala, India


Publishes Spiritual Intimacy: A Study of Counseling in Hasidism



Publishes Gate to the Heart and Paradigm Shift

Takes Rabbinic Chair with ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Philadelphia, PA


Publishes From Age-ing to Sage-ing with Ronald Miller

Becomes the 2nd holder of the World Wisdom Chair at the Naropa Institute (later Naropa University), Boulder, CO.



Takes permanent faculty teaching post at Naropa University


Reb Zalman Legacy Project is begun

In February, turns over World Wisdom Chair to Kobun Chino Roshi, a Zen Master. Donates his archival collection to Naropa University and the Reb Zalman Legacy Project begins in partnership with the Yesod Foundation. 



Publishes Wrapped in a Holy Flame: Teachings and Tales of the Hasidic Masters with Netanel Miles-Yepez


Retires from Naropa University

Co-founds the Sufi-Hasidic, Inayati-Maimuniyya Tariqat with Netanel Miles-Yepez.



Publishes Jewish with Feeling: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice and Credo of a Modern Kabbalist

Publishes Jewish with Feeling: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice with Joel Segel and Credo of a Modern Kabbalist with Daniel Siegel.


Publishes Integral Halakhah: Transcending and Including

Publishes Integral Halakhah: Transcending and Including with Daniel Siegel, Into My Garden: Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi's Legacy of Songs and Melodies Volume I and At the Rebbe's Table: Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi's Legacy of Songs and Melodies Volume II (both edited by Eyal Rivlin and Netanel Miles-Yepez).



Publishes A Heart Afire: Stories and Teachings of the Early Hasidic Masters with Netanel Miles-Yepez


Moves archival collection to University of Colorado Archives

Moves archival collection from Naropa to University of Colorado Archives, which forms the basis of the University of Colorado's Post-Holocaust American Judaism Collections. 



Publishes A Hidden Light: Stories and Teachings of Early HaBaD and Bratzlav Hasidism with Netanel Miles-Yepez


Passes away

Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi z"l passes away peacefully on July 3, 2014 in Boulder, CO at the age of 89.