Rabbi Marcia Prager to Be Honored October 29 at P’nai Or

     P’nai Or Philadelphia is proud to celebrate the Chai (18th) anniversary of Rabbi Marcia Prager as our spiritual leader.
The community is holding a Shabbaton on Friday October 28-Saturday October 29, 2011.  Events include Kabbalat Shabbat services on Friday at 6:30 pm, Torah study, Services and a pot-luck lunch on Shabbat morning beginning at 9 am, followed by teachings and mincha, seudah shlishit, maariv, and havdalah.  These are all free and open to the public.  Delicious catered Shabbat dinner and Saturday night dinner are available for a fee; reservations must be made in advance by emailing [email protected]
     Marcia Prager is a vibrant Jewish Renewal teacher, magid (inspirational story-teller), artist and therapist living and working in the Mt. Airy community of Philadelphia. A 1989 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, she also holds the personal smicha (rabbinic ordination) of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, the  visionary rebbe of the Jewish Renewal Movement, with whom she has continued to work closely.
    She serves as rabbi of the Philadelphia P’nai Or Jewish Renewal Congregation, the innovative Jewish community founded by Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi in 1973.  In the 1990’s she was appointed a Pathfinder of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, a Philadelphia-based national organization which advances vital Judaism as an ethical and spiritual path, and in 2000 became Director and Dean of the ALEPH Ordination Programs, designing programs of study leading to rabbinic, cantorial and rabbinic pastor ordination.
        She is certified as a Couples and Family Therapist by the Penn Council on Relationships, a preeminent counseling, education and research center, founded in 1932 as Marriage Council of Philadelphia and the oldest relationship counseling and training center in the country..
         She is the author of The Path of Blessing (Bell Tower, Nov. ’98/ Jewish Lights 2002) – an exploration of the profound spiritual wisdom that lies in the Jewish practice of blessing.  Her newest projects include creating innovative tools for exploring Jewish prayer and spiritual practice.  The Weekday Amidah in Guided Imagery  offers 20 exquisitely hand illustrated cards which use guided meditations to guide users through the transformative blessings of this ancient prayer practice. Her unique prayerbooks: A P’nai Or Siddur for Shabbat Morning and A P’nai Or Siddur Erev Shabbat blend tradition and innovation to create a moving journey through the rhythms of Jewish prayer.
         Her work as a teacher of Jewish spiritual practice includes developing and co-directing “DLTI,” the prize-winning Davvenen Leadership Training Institute along with colleague Rabbi Shawn Zevit. Over 250 rabbis, cantors, rabbinic pastors, seminary students andlay leaders have completed this program.
          Rabbi Prager holds a BA in cultural anthropology from SUNY Stony Brook  and an MFA from Pratt Institute, New York, in photography and drawing. She taught for five years as a member of the faculty of The International Center of Photography in New York City.
        She and her husband, Hazzan Jack Kessler, a traditionally trained cantor and director of two Jewish music ensembles, ATZILUT: Concerts for Peace and Klingon Klezmer,  often travel and lead workshops together.
    Jewish Renewal is a movement of people engaged in creating contemporary models of Jewish expression that speak to both intellect and heart, in forms which embrace the full inclusion of women and the divine feminine, and which facilitate the deep healing of our relationships with each other and the earth. ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal  http://www.aleph.org


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