Making Prayer Meaningful

Understanding the biblical references within our liturgy can lead us to a deeper, more connected, more emotional and meaningful prayer experience. Rabbi Elie Kaunfer describes his experimental search for something more in Jewish prayer spaces, a search which led him from literary criticism to the a dark room of Satmar Hasidim singing a niggun. R. Kaunfer brings our attention to all the many important aspects of a prayer experience beyond just the words on the page, offering concrete take-aways for connecting more deeply within Jewish prayer.

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).

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