Still Life with Siddur: Blessings and Challenges in Jewish Communal Prayer

By :  The Jewish Theological Seminary Posted On Mar 2, 2015 | Prayer

What is the role of communal prayer in a culture that values individual expression and customized experience? Two leading voices in Jewish prayer explore the rationale, advantages and challenges of praying together.

Rabbi Jan Uhrbach is director of Liturgical Arts at JTS and associate editor of the forthcoming Siddur Lev Shalem. She is also the spiritual leader of the Conservative Synagogue of the Hamptons and founder of Nahar.

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer is cofounder and executive director of Mechon Hadar and author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us About Building Vibrant Jewish Communities. He was ordained in 2007 and in 2014 earned his doctorate in liturgy at JTS.


Rabbi Julia Andelman is director of Community Engagement at JTS. She leads High Holiday services at JTS and Kehilat Hadar and has produced two CDs of Jewish liturgical music, Pri Eitz Hadar and The Bedtime Sh’ma.