Open My Heart

Living Jewish Prayer: A Podcast from IJS

Welcome to Open My Heart: Living Jewish Prayer. Each Monday and Friday, a different teacher will offer a new short prayer-practice, inviting you to join them. From one episode to the next, the practice, and the voices will be different. No one presenter, and no one prayer, will necessarily work for everyone. But our hope (and expectation) is that over time, joining in these prayers will lead you to find your own authentic and meaningful prayer practice and open your heart to prayer.

Listen to our most recent episode below, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Meet your host, Rabbi Jonathan Slater, Senior Program Director. Rabbi Slater has worked with IJS since 2002, having participated in the first rabbinic cohort. He is a co-director of the Clergy Leadership Program, and serves in multiple programs throughout the organization. Rabbi Slater was ordained by JTS and served congregations in northern California for over twenty years.

Meet your host, Rabbi Jonathan Slater, Senior Program Director. Rabbi Slater has worked with IJS since 2002, having participated in the first rabbinic cohort. He is a co-director of the Clergy Leadership Program, and serves in multiple programs throughout the organization. Rabbi Slater was ordained by JTS and served congregations in northern California for over twenty years.

Praying to the Beloved

Episode 30: Praying to the Beloved

Contemplative practice — for instance, meditation — can settle the body and mind and help us to sense the deep Oneness of all beings. But, it can also be lonely. We human beings also need connection and relationship. Rabbi Lavey Dereby shares his personal practice of passionate, heart-felt prayer, of reaching out to the One, as Beloved. [Note: the prayer practice itself is all in Hebrew — so please see the transcript for the words and translation]

Read the episode transcript

Chant as the Heart of Prayer

Episode 19: Chant as the Heart of Prayer Cantor Audrey Abrams brings her background as a music therapist (and her self-awareness as a "shower davener") to help us use chant to open the heart, face our truth, and emerge more whole. Read the episode...

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I am? And You are? Dialogic Personal Prayer

Episode 18: I am? And You are? Dialogic Personal Prayer Grounding his practice in the teachings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hacohen Kook and Rav Dov Singer, Rabbi Yosef Goldman leads us into a deep engagement with our own lived experience, grounding us in a heart of...

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Waking Up to Blessing

Episode 17: Waking Up to Blessing Rabbi Susan Leider invites us to join her as she wakes up, connecting the daily Birkhot Hashachar to each step along the way. Read the episode transcript

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Chant to Open the Heart

Episode 16: Chant to Open the Heart Chanting a niggun is not only an outward expression of yearning. It can also penetrate the heart. Rabbi Hannah Dresner, chanting in her car, leads us in practice from a parched place, to open to the flow available at all times. Read...

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Music to Evoke Prayer

Episode 15: Music to Evoke Prayer Music is so evocative! In just a few notes we can be taken back in time to a far-off place, to a connection with another person. How does that work? What is added through words? Cadence, intonation, emphasis? Join Rabbi Lydia Medwin...

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Personal Morning Davening

Episode 14: Priestly Blessing: Lovingkindness Prayer Rabbi Ari Lev Fornari starts his morning davening (prayers) with the awareness that prayer is an embodied practice. He connects with sensation, with sound, with memory, and with the words of the Tradition for a...

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