The Center for Prayer and Spirituality at B’nai Jeshurun is a hub of expansive spiritual practice, devotional music, innovative ritual, and immersive experience, providing the tools for personal and communal transformation. When courageous innovation is brought to the richness of Jewish tradition, we can affirm the notion of why prayer matters, harness the power of spiritual practice to build community, and realize the possibility of transformation that is true and enduring:


Cultivating a deeper sense of awe (yir’ah), lovingkindness (hesed), and gratitude (hoda-ah)


Enabling us to revitalize and nurture intimate relationships with the Divine Presence


Heightening personal relationships and profound connections within the embrace of a spiritual community


Inspiring and propelling a community of spiritual practice toward making meaningful change in our world

Who Are We?

Cantor David Mintz, Director
Cantor David Mintz joins B’nai Jeshurun from New Orleans, LA, where he served as cantor of Touro Synagogue since 2014. While at Touro, he created a variety of initiatives to develop a culture of communal singing as spiritual practice. In addition, he reimagined young family Shabbat programming and oversaw the community’s 26-year tradition of Jazz Fest Shabbat, collaborating with renowned jazz musicians such as the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Jon Cleary, Sunpie Barnes, and the Panorama Jazz Band of New Orleans. Read moreContact Dave
Dan Nadel, Music Director
Dan Nadel is an Israeli born, New York-based guitarist and composer, whose personal style combines flamenco, jazz, and Middle Eastern influences. He is a bandleader, a solo performing artist, and a collaborator with Tavche Gravche, his multinational neo-Balkan group.A busy musician on New York’s scene, Nadel has also worked with many world-renowned artists, including jazz musicians… Read moreContact Dan
Kristen Kersey, Program Administrator
Kristen’s first position at B’nai Jeshurun was as the Administrative Assistant for Youth and Family Education Department (now known as Family Life and Learning). After three years as an Event Coordinator at Citigroup, Kristen is thrilled to be returning to her spiritual home. She received a Bachelor of Arts in History from American University in 2009. Kristen lives on the Upper West Side, and when she is not at BJ, you can often find her cooking, singing, writing, or attempting some dangerous combination of the three.Contact Kristen


Upcoming CPS Programming

Evening Minyan

Mondays-Thursdays | 6:30PM | Rabbi Rachel Cowan Chapel

Coming to an evening program at BJ? Picking up your kids from Kadima? Come a little earlier, or stay a little later, fulfill the mitzvah of enabling others to recite kaddish, and help sustain our community and the Jewish people. Supplementing BJ’s morning minyan, our evening minyan creates yet another opportunity to come together in prayer and to support the mourners among us. This minyan is open to all, and, depending on the season, provides an opportunity to daven minha, maariv, or both.

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Mindfulness Kabbalat Shabbat

Third Fridays Monthly, Beginning November 15 | 6:15PM | Rabbi Rachel Cowan Chapel

On the third Friday of every month, join us for an intimate Kabbalat Shabbat, weaving together meditation and music with liturgy and learning. This service offers an uplifting vehicle for moving into the stillness and beauty of Shabbat. Email Kristen Kersey, or call her at x255, with any questions. 

Led this month by Rabbi Shuli Passow, Cantor David Mintz, Rabbinic Fellow Deborah Sacks Mintz, and Jessie Reagen Mann.

Community Shabbat Dinner with Hazzan Ari Priven

Friday, November 15 | Following the Kabbalat Shabbat service | Middle Room & Reception Room

Get ready to elevate your Shabbat with friends, food, and soulful singing led by Hazzan Ari Priven. Join us for a three-course dinner with wine and enjoy the company of your fellow community members in an intimate setting.

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Hakhanah laTefillah

Saturday, November 16 | 8:45-9:25AM | Rabbi Rachel Cowan Chapel

Join Rabbi Roly Matalon biweekly to prepare the soul and open the heart for Shabbat morning prayers through the singing of piyutim and reflections on kavannah. This series is open to all, no registration necessary.

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Shalom Shabbat

Saturday, November 16 | 4:30PM | Rabbi Rachel Cowan Chapel

Join Rabbi Adina Lewittes and Music Director Dan Nadel for the final hour of Shabbat as we bid farewell to our sacred day with soothing song, inspiring story, illuminating teaching, and warm fellowship. We’ll conclude with a moving havdalah ceremony.

Mindful of Savlanut (Patience) with Yael Shy

Saturday, November 23 | 6:00-8:00PM | Rabbi Rachel Cowan Chapel

Launching a year of monthly mindfulness intensives exploring the cultivation of middot (spiritual/ethical qualities), join Yael Shy for an exploration of savlanut (patience), and why it is so hard to achieve. Bringing together meditation, text study, and other embodied practices, we will dig deep into this middah and how to cultivate it in our daily lives.

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Hilkhot Tefilah: The Laws of Prayer

Tuesdays, Beginning December 3 | 8:15-8:30AM | Rabbi Rachel Cowan Chapel

Join BJ’s Morning Minyan each Tuesday when, after services, we’ll gather for a 15 minute “Iyun Tefilah”—an investigation into the laws of prayer.

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Bo-i Kallah

First Fridays Monthly, Continuing December 6 | 6:15PM | Reception Room

On the first Friday of every month, join Rabbi Roly Matalon and BJ Music Director Dan Nadel for an alternative Kabbalat Shabbat service featuring melodies from the Sephardi and Mizrahi traditions, verses of Shir haShirim (Song of Songs), and beautiful piyutim (liturgical poems). Transitioning meaningfully into holy time by weaving together all of these elements, we invite you to bring a new dimension to your Kabbalat Shabbat.

Click here to read more about this service.