Director of the Block / Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts
Rabbi Jan Uhrbach is founding director of the Block / Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts. She brings a passion for prayer to the JTS community. Through her work as director of the Block / Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts, she has developed and overseen programs and discussions, as well as prayer services on Shabbat and festivals, for the JTS community and the general public.
Rabbi Uhrbach loves being in the classroom at JTS, where she teaches courses on the meaning of liturgy and a course she created titled The Art of Leading Prayer. She is tasked also with developing curriculum and resources for professionals and lay people seeking to revitalize their leadership and experience of prayer.
In addition to her role at JTS, Rabbi Uhrbach serves as the founding rabbi of the Conservative Synagogue of the Hamptons in Bridgehampton, Long Island, enabling her to mentor many of JTS’s rabbinical and cantorial students in a congregational setting. She has played a key role in the acclaimed Lev Shalem prayer book series as associate editor of Siddur Lev Shalem, the Shabbat and festival siddur published by the Rabbinical Assembly in 2016. She also served on the editorial committee for Machzor Lev Shalem.
A distinguished teacher of Torah, she is also a member of the Wexner Heritage faculty, and has taught and served as scholar-in-residence in many synagogues.
Rabbi Uhrbach was ordained at JTS, where she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. A graduate of Harvard Law School and Yale University, Rabbi Uhrbach served as Law Clerk to Federal District Judge Kimba M. Wood. She then joined the New York law firm of Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke LLP, where she specialized in media litigation, becoming a partner of the firm in January 1996.