Jewish Education at The Davidson School

The Blog

New Program Highlights Skills for Prayer Leadership

Posted by Ben R on November 26, 2013 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

By Kelly Kossar


During my time teaching before coming to JTS, I taught a required class called “Synagogue Skills,” designed to educate students on how to participate in and lead tefillot, prayer services. In my classes, I had students from Russia, Israel, Mexico, Ethiopia and all across the United States. These students came from different Jewish backgrounds, among them Reconstructionist, Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative. The task of teaching prayer in a pluralistic setting was something that excited, frustrated, challenged, and inspired me.

When I started my studies at The Davidson School just a few months ago, like all first-year students, I was introduced to the Liturgical Interpreter’s Project, a new initiative aimed at giving students at The Davidson School  the tools to be prayer leaders. As someone who taught a class with similar goals, I have great enthusiasm and excitement for this opportunity.

We have several lunch and learns devoted to specific areas of prayer, and have been given some additional resources for independent learning. Because students at The Davidson School come from such different backgrounds, this offers the opportunity to teach and learn from our professors and from each other.