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Baalei Tefillah Europe : formation d'accompagnement religieux pour les membres laïcs

February 28, 2021 4


The European Union for Progressive Judaism is pleased to offer a new prayer trainingcourse for lay leaders -- Baalei Tefillah Europe.
Participants from communities across the continent will receive a year of online training- and participate in an in-person gathering in Brussels in December 2021.

The programme will teach how to run religious services in the absence of a rabbi. Baalei Tefillah means Master of Prayer. Graduates will obtain a comprehensive knowledge in both the practical and theoretical aspects of prayer leadership. Among other skills, students will develop a repertoire of music and songs for services, receive tips and ideas for life-cycle events, and develop a sense of cultural heritage.

By the conclusion, participants will have become confident in leading Shabbat prayers, both evening and morning, and other skills to lead services for life-cycle events and festivals.

After completing the course, our graduate lay leaders will participate in a virtual minyan.
They will share a safe and sacred online space to practice prayer leadership. The virtual minyan will later be opened up to the wider EUPJ community and help inspire future cohorts .
By compiling notes, recordings, stories, and accumulated knowledge, Baalei Tefillah Europe aims to build educational resources for other communities and students, stirring up greater collaboration, exchange, and bonding between Progressive communities, and strengthening Progressive Judaism in Europe.

The training will be participatory. Students will not just be listening to lectures. They will take turns leading and presenting.
They will be given opportunities to practice, receive the tools and the know-how to transform their own ideas into actions, putting their own personal touch into future services and holiday celebrations.

The course will be led and taught by Rabbi Nathan Alfred
. A Cambridge University and Leo Baeck College graduate, Rabbi Alfred has spent a decade working for Jewish
communities across Europe and Asia, in Belgium, Luxembourg, and Singapore.
There will also be a series of guest lectures.
The course will be taught in English.


The course begins April 11 2021.
Classes are two hour sessions conducted online via Zoom.
They will take place every other Sundays at 3pm CET from April 11 until December 2021.
An immersive long-weekend experience will take place 9 - 12 December at BethHillel / IJC in Brussels.

Fees for this class are €250 for the year. Scholarships can be arranged based on need and availability.
Beth Hillel is willing to support one validated admission among her members.

Admission is selective.
Applications to the project are due by February 28, 2021.
Selected applicants will be notified in March.
Preferred applicants will be active members of their community, and should have some previous leadership experience. (If applicable: the applicant should already have passed a Bet Din)

Please email application and cover letter to Rabbin Marc Neiger : by February 20th.
Beth Hillel will forward her approved candidates towards the Baalei Tefillah Europe Team, who will be in touch soon afterwards.

Tentative Course Subjects
1. Why do we pray?
2. What is a prayer?
3. What’s in a Siddur? Structures of Jewish prayer
4. The role of prayer leader5. Tensions: Keva and kevannah - tradition and innovation
6. Tensions: Hebrew and the vernacular - understanding our prayers
7. Tensions: Performance and participation - leading and following
8. Tensions: Individual vs public prayer - the pros and cons of davening
9. Tensions: Reading vs Singing - music and instrumentation
10. The Holocaust and Prayer
11. Israel and Prayer
12. Modalities of Jewish Worship
13. Children and Prayer: separation or integration
1. Kabbalat Shabbat (Zemirot)
2. Kabbalat Shabbat (before Lecha Dodi)
3. Kabbalat Shabbat (after Lecha Dodi)
4. Ma’ariv (Barchu until the Amida)
5. Ma’ariv (Amida)
6. Divrei Torah
7. Ma’ariv (Aleinu to finish)
8. Shacharit (Birkat Hashachar)
9. Shacharit (Psukei deZimra)
10. Shacharit (Barchu, Shema & Blessings)
11. Shacharit (Amida)
12. Shacharit (Hallel)
13. Shacharit (Torah service)
14. Torah Reading
15. Haftarah16. Shacharit (Aleinu to finish)
17. Baby Blessings/Celebrations
18. Bar/Bat Mitzvahs
19. Chagim (Pesach/Shavuot/Sukkot/Simchat Torah)
20. Other Life-Cycle Events