Tefillah Choices 5772
Egalitarian Minyan: Grades 9 – 12 Room 322
Tefillah Facilitators: Rabbi Dahlia Kronish and Shmuel Afek
This minyan strives to create a warm environment where participants have a meaningful prayer experience: both personal and communal. We seek to connect to God through the words of the traditional shaharit matbeah (liturgy) with appropriate melodies and ruach. This is a student-run minyan with faculty facilitators. Students serve as shlihei tzibbur, gabbaim, and Torah readers. In addition, students give divrei Tefillah, teach each other davening skills and lead group-wide activities.
The Orthodox Minyan: Grades 9 – 12 Beit Midrash
Tefillah Facilitator: Rabbi Natan Kapustin
The Orthodox minyan is home to those who find meaning in saying the words of the tefilla, and feel comfortable with the separation of a mechitza. Our community shares the liturgical traditions of both Ashkenaz and Sephard, taking turns using the the words and tunes from each culture, thereby enriching the experience for all. Our group is committed to the primacy of prayer, guided by the dual beliefs that in the quest for a worthwhile tefilla experience there is no substitute for reciting the words, but that reciting the words of the rabbis cannot substitute for personal investment in the attempt to find meaning. Thus, our challenge: to experience a meaningful tefilla moment each day in which the full service is not mere lip service; to foster a collective group atmosphere that withstands the mechitza barrier; to create substantive opportunities for personal involvement from both genders while remaining within the confines of tradition.
Creative Expression and Sacred Space Minyan. Grades 9 & 10 Room 513
Tefillah Facilitator: Rabbi Benji Shiller
This minyan sees prayer as a space and time for "reaching in" and "reaching out." The minyan will work to create an environment where creative, personal expression is nurtured, welcomed, and shared. This will happen through the use of visual arts, writing, movement, and music. The minyan uses the traditional tefillah liturgy as a springboard. It requires students to be willing to express themselves in different creative mediums and to share their work, and to surprise themselves.
Tfillah Exploration. 9th Grade Only. Room 325
Tefillah Facilitator: Ruth Fagen
This minyan recites a short morning service, leaving time for members to study and discuss together. Some of the topics explored include: how prayer can have an impact on our lives, how Jewish ideas and values are reflected in the world around us, our theological beliefs, and commonalities and differences among the various movements in America. Students will have opportunities to engage in a variety of hesed opportunities throughout the year. Students who are open to exploring ideas in a respectful manner and are interested in learning from others will benefit from this minyan.
Tfillah Exploration 10th Grade Room 324
Tefillah Facilitator: Sophie Rapoport
AJ Heschel said “we do not step out of the world when we pray; we merely see the world in a different setting.” Through moments of Tefillah, group study, discussion, and personal reflection, we will attempt to look honestly at ourselves, our communities, and the world. We will explore different approaches to starting the day with Tefillah and deepen our understanding of what it means to pray. There will be room for student input into topics and themes for our minyan to explore. Students who are open to sincere reflection and different ways of thinking, and are interested in shaping a respectful communal environment will benefit from this Minyan.
Hesed Minyan Grades 11-12 Room 228
Tefillah Facilitator: David Riemenschneider
This minyan is rooted in the close connection between tefillah and hesed. After reciting an abbreviated morning service, participants will gain essential skills toward becoming hesed leaders. Over the course of the year, students will develop in a number of areas: identifying hesed opportunities in our local communities, researching hesed organizations and gauging their merits, developing action plans, and implementing hesed initiatives in the Heschel community. There will be a renewed focus on tzedakah as a daily part of our tefillah space, and we will make time every week to focus attention on relevant current events. In addition, participants will spend one morning a week volunteering at a local elementary school as literacy mentors. Participation in this minyan is by application (Applications are due by Friday September 9 at 10 a.m.).
Women's Minyan Grades 11-12 Room 226
Tefillah Facilitator: Ilana Gleicher-Bloom
The goal of the women's minyan is to provide 11th and 12th grade girls with a safe space to explore their identities as Jewish women in the world. Together we will examine a variety of themes regarding women's issues using blogs, articles, books, films, and our own experiences. This minyan is geared towards women who are seeking serious discussions and who are prepared for active participation and inward contemplation.
"Where Art Thou?" Grades 11-12 Room 227
Tfillah faciltator: Dov Nelkin
As Rabbi Heschel wrote: “It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid..." Is the same true of Tfillah?
And yet, we find ourselves in a world in which people increasingly turn to religion for inspiration and guidance -- What pushes people to look for meaning in religion? Is it faith, foolishness, or something else altogether? Still others turn to meditation and other "spiritual" practices. What are they seeking and do they benefit in any way? What can we learn from traditional (and non-traditional) practices that would help us form a minyan that "works" for us as a community?
If you would like to explore these questions, this is the minyan for you.
The Meditation and Spiritual Exploration Minyan: Grades 11 & 12 Room 319
Tefillah Facilitator: Moshe Goodman
The Meditation and Spiritual Exploration minyan combines multiple Meditation techniques including, visualizations, mantra meditations and silent unguided meditations with other mindfulness exercises as well as discussions about personal, communal and philosophical themes. Students are encouraged to experiment with leading meditations themselves as well. In addition to meditation and group discussion this minyan will utilize music, poetry and other art forms as resources for exploring your spiritual life. The goal of this minyan is to create a space that is separate from the daily mundane concerns of our lives so that we can be mindfully in tune to our growth on each of our unique spiritual paths. Please speak with Moshe individually (or in small groups) before you sign up for this minyan.