Elie Kaunfer

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer is co-founder and executive director of Mechon Hadar. Elie has previously worked as a journalist, banker, and corporate fraud investigator. A graduate of Harvard College, he completed his doctorate in liturgy at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was also ordained. A Wexner Graduate Fellow and Dorot Fellow, Elie is a co-founder of the independent minyan Kehilat Hadar and has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the top 50 rabbis in America. He was selected as an inaugural AVI CHAI Fellow, and is the author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us About Building Vibrant Jewish Communities (Jewish Lights, 2010).


Articles by Rabbi Elie Kaunfer

Is the Passover Story Eternal?

A debate among the ancient rabbis speaks to a stark difference of opinion about the operation of Jewish memory.

Mah Nishtanah: An Invitation to Dialogue

The various meanings of this well-known Seder phrase.

Mechayeh Hameitim: Reimagining the Resurrection Blessing

One of the most daring prayers in the daily Jewish liturgy has been frequently rewritten to reflect modern sensibilities. Here's another approach.

How Can I Pray If I Don’t Believe The Words?

Prayer is not a statement of belief, but a literary creation -- with all the power, nuance and complexity of literary creations.

The Mourner’s Kaddish Is Misunderstood

The prayer does not praise (or even name) God. Here’s why.

Imagine you don’t know how to read a novel.

In his last posts, Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, the author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us about Building ...

Why Bake Your Own Matzah?

In his last post, Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, the author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us about Building ...

Synagogues and Settlements

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer is the author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us about Building Vibrant Jewish Communities. ...