Mordecai Cohen Ettinger, Adjunct Faculty in the Bachelor Completion Program at CIIS Mordecai Cohen Ettinger

Senior Adjunct Lecturer
Interdisciplinary Studies
School of Undergraduate Studies (SUS)

MA, New College of California

BA, McGill University


Mordecai Cohen Ettinger, MA, has over 20 years experience as a holistic healer, educator, ritualist and social justice change maker. He serves as adjunct faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies. His academic research focuses on the neurobiology of the social nervous system, and its implications with regard to collective trauma, healing and social change. Trained in Somatic Experiencing, Reiki, and Cranial Sacral therapy, he has studied with Dr. Peter Levine, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Dr. Raja Selvam and MaryEllen Sperling, PT. Mordecai holds a BA from McGill University in Montreal and earned his Masters degree in Ecology. Read the thesis here.

Along with his work as a holistic healer and scholar, Mordecai has worked with progressive and radical non-profits and community groups as a Board member, staff member, and consultant since the late 90s. Mordecai served as the Interim Executive Director of Caduceus Outreach Services, the Interim Co-Director of Justice Now and co-founded the Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project in 2004. Some of the other organizations with which Mordecai has had the gift of working include Advocates for Informed Choice (AIC), The Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Community United Against Violence (CUAV) the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, People's Durham, San Francisco Women Against Rape, and Sins Invalid.

In 2013, Ettinger founded BodyEclectic which: 1) engages in research on the social nervous system through unique scholarship and innovative collaborations with scientists, healers and artists, 2) provides individual sessions of Reiki, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Somatic Counseling and education, and health and wellness consultation and, 3) offers group somatic healing circles, learning labs, healing arts labs and community courses. Areas of specialization include support for: trauma survivors, empaths, people with substance (ab)use challenges, and those who seek to transmute their pain to power and possibility, especially through art or in the service of social change.

Ettinger trains and teaches extensively in the community; he's worked with wide-ranging organizations such as Health Initiatives for Youth (HIFY), Larkin Street Youth Services, and the Catalyst Project in this capacity. Currently, BodyEclectic is partnering with Jote Mahern of Underneath Us in offering a four week intensive entitled Unwinding the Social Nervous System: 4 Week Learning Lab in Motion with the Contact Improv performer and yogini Jote Mahern.

After seeing Lorca's Bodas De Sangre, Mordecai penned his first play at 17. Ettinger's work as a playwright invites audiences to imagine how transformation is possible and the inextricable connection between the individual and social body. He premiered his first fully produced one act play, Bind the Broken Hearted at the Playwrights Center of San Francisco's (PCSF) Fall 2012, 24-Hour Playfest. His second one act, Say Uncle, premiered April 2013, in Wily West's Sherherezade 13, where the work had an 8 performance run at the Exit Theater. He had a May 2014 reading of his newest full length play, Chokehold, at Cutting Ball Theater and a second reading in November 2014, at Impact Theatre. Chokehold was a 2014 finalist in Cutting Ball Theater's Risk Is This Play Festival, one of the largest experimental play festivals in North America.


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