Center for Prayer and Spirituality

Encompassing all facets of prayer and devotional practice at BJ, the Center for Prayer and Spirituality will advance BJ’s spiritual vision through a broad array of experiential entry points representing the multiple spiritual dimensions of the Jewish tradition.

We believe that the Center for Prayer and Spirituality is aptly named, as it is so central to the collective experience of our community. Through the work of this center, we will deepen our Shabbat and holiday programming, expand offerings for alternative prayer spaces and spiritual practices, continue to enrich the musical dimension of our tefillah, introduce new opportunities for immersive experiences, encourage exploration and reclamation of ritual practice, and expand our horizons through meaningful adult learning.

This coming year in particular, we will be prioritizing three areas in which we seek to enhance the spiritual life of our community.

  • We will be expanding opportunities for mindfulness practice, while also deepening the way that this practice can impact the BJ community more broadly.
  • We will be launching an exciting new initiative, engaging in the spiritual practice of communal singing. Recognizing the transformative and transcendent power of music, we will be exploring what is possible when we gather in intimate spaces, and –through a spiritual lens – sing, harmonize, and listen together.
  • We know that so many in our community are in the midst of significant life transitions: marking a retirement, sending a child off to college, coming out, at various points in the midst of treatment for an illness, or embarking on a significant journey. With this in mind, we will be creating a series of Ritual Labs to explore some of these transitions through a Jewish framework, and together, create rituals to bring these moments into a holy space.

Through these expansive new initiatives, the Center for Prayer and Spirituality will continue the work of drawing ourselves closer to the Divine presence, to our community, and to our own souls.

Come and join us.

 


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, Department 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

Hakhanah laTefillah

Saturday, May 26 | 8:45-9:25AM | BJ Chapel

Please 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.

Monday Minha Meditation

Mondays through June 25 | 6:30-7:00PM | BJ Chapel

The Center for Prayer and Spirituality is thrilled to launch this new mindfulness initiative. Join us on Monday evenings for a community sit, as we work toward building a sustained communal meditation practice. The Monday Minha Meditations will contain explorations of guided teachings, meditation techniques, and silent sits, and will also provide an opportunity for community members to recite the Mourner’s Kaddish. No registration necessary. Whether you are experienced in meditation or are thinking about beginning a practice, all are welcome.

Mindfulness Kabbalat Shabbat

Friday, June 8 | 7:00PM | BJ Community House 3rd Floor
Join us for an intimate service featuring meditation, reflection, deep listening, and personal engagement with the parashah. Please email Kristen Kersey or call her at x255 with any questions.

Hakhanah laTefillah

Saturday, June 9 | 8:45-9:25AM | BJ Chapel

Please 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.

Bo-i Kallah

Friday, June 15 | 7:00PM | BJ Reception Room
Join Rabbi Roly Matalon, Music Director Dan Nadel, and Deborah Sacks Mintz for this alternative Kabbalat Shabbat service. With the help of soulful melodies, verses of Shir haShirim (Song of Songs), liturgical poems, and psalms, we will transition gently and with full kavannah from hol to kodesh, leaving workweek anxieties behind to enter holy time and welcome Shabbat. Read more about this service here