2011 Conference
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Jeffrey Hoffman

Academy for Jewish Religion

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Jeff Hoffman is Professor of Liturgy and Rabbi in Residence at The Academy for Jewish Religion, a small Rabbinical/Cantorial school in Riverdale, NY. He holds Rabbinic Ordination and a Doctorate (in Liturgy) from JTS. Co-author, with Andrea Cohen-Kiener of "Karov L'Chol Korav, For All Who Call: A Manual for Enhancing the Teaching of Prayer", Editor of "Siddur Tisha B'Av" (Conservative), and author of a number of articles and reviews. In his spare time, he enjoys the music of The Grateful Dead and plays acoustic and electric guitar.

Why Can't I Pray What I Mean Or Mean What I Pray?

The Most Important Issue In Jewish Worship

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality

If the proverbial Martian visited most modern synagogues, he would report that the Jews seem to mostly read words that others wrote; that they also do some singing and some talking to each other. What they don't seem to do much of is attempting to connect with God, which is what prayer is all about. We will survey why this problem arose, and study a number of VERY provocative comments from Sages throughout the generations on resolving this issue. Our goal: To truly feel God's presence during prayer.

The Shema: Historical and Spiritual Meaning

Deepening Our Worship Experience

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Text & Thought

The Shema is arguably the most important prayer in Jewish Liturgy. It is also among the oldest. It has acquired many, many interpretations over the centuries. We will share some of the most insightful and inspirational of these commentaries with the aim of deepening our worship experience of this crucial prayer.


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