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
Beginning Friday, March 22 | Various Times | Various Locations
Since October, over 100 BJ members have signed up to attend a Paying it Forward Shabbat Dinner in another member’s home, while committing to pay it forward by hosting a meal themselves in the future. Together, we are broadening Shabbat meal culture at BJ and transforming our community through building closer connections and elevating the beauty of Shabbat at home.
Monday, March 25 | 6:30-7:00PM | Chapel
Whether you have a deep meditation practice or are interested in exploring mindfulness for the first time, we invite you to join us for Monday Meditation Minyan, led by Yael Shy. Each session will begin with wisdom from the Jewish tradition, followed by focused meditation (with some guidance), a short discussion, and an opportunity for community members to recite Mourner’s Kaddish. No experience necessary; all are welcome.
Monday Meditation Minyan meets weekly, with the exception of national and Jewish holidays. To get a glimpse of what you can experience in-person, check out the live stream of this season’s first session.
Tuesday, March 26 | 9:00AM | 4th Floor Conference Room
Join Rabbi Hillel Friedman, longtime BJ member, for a perusal of the classical prophets. Together we will study excerpts from the classical prophets and apply their wisdom to our concerns in the 21st century.
This class meets every Tuesday.
Friday, April 5 | 6:30PM | Reception Room
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.
Saturday, April 6 | 8:45-9:25AM | Chapel
Join Rabbi Roly Matalon 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.
Upcoming Dates: April 20; May 4; 18, June 1, 15.
Friday, April 12 | 6:30PM | Community House 3rd Floor
Join us for an intimate service featuring meditation, reflection, deep listening, and personal engagement with the parashah. Contact Kristen Kersey (x255) with any questions.
Through Thursday, April 18 | Various Times | Various Locations
Traditionally, avoiding hametz has meant getting rid of all hametz in your possession. Considering this can cause major financial hardship, as well as food waste, a custom was developed to sell the hametz to a non-Jewish person. Once again, Rabbi Roly Matalon will be your agent for selling hametz.
Sign up by Thursday, April 18 at 12:00PM.
Thursday, May 9 | 7:00-9:00PM | Frankel Hall
A homemade challah is the beautiful and delicious centerpiece of the Jewish holiday table. With a few new techniques in your hands, that challah can become a midrashic masterpiece as well!
Student Rabbi Vanessa Harper (also known as @lechlechallah on Instagram) sees challah dough as an amazing artistic medium for exploring Jewish text and tradition. She teaches her methodology and shaping skills to people of all ages and artistic abilities to empower them to bring beautiful Torah to their own tables.
Friday, May 31-Sunday, June 2 | Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, 116 Johnson Road, Falls Village, CT
Meet Me at Sinai: Women’s Love, Rage, and Righteous Indignation at a Time of Revelation
Join Rabbi Felicia Sol, and MTM fellows Abi Weber and Margo Hughes-Robinson, for a glorious Shabbat of joy, song, learning, and connection in a beautiful, natural environment filled with the exclusive sound of women’s voices. Whether you are new to BJ or a long-time member, the Women’s Retreat creates an atmosphere of connection where all are embraced for who they are. Community is built throughout the weekend and sustains itself when we get back to NYC.