When should we Study Pirkei Avot and when should we Recite Barekhi Nafshi and Shirei Hama’alot on Shabbat Afternoon? Responsa in a Moment: Volume 14, Number 1


Question from Dr. Josh Greenfield, New York: In your article last May (Responsa in a Moment, Vol. 13, No. 4) you stressed the importance of studying Pirkei Avot as one of the most basic rabbinic texts. I have a follow-up question: According to many siddurim, Parashat Nitzavim (September 28, 2019) will be the last Shabbat to recite Pirkei Avot this year, and we should start reciting Barekhi Nafshi and Shirei Hama’alot (Psalms 104, 120-135) on Shabbat Bereishit (October 26, 2019). Are there specific customs for what to study on the three Shabbatot between now and then (Shabbat Shuvah-Vayeilech, Shabbat Ha’azinu, and Shabbat Hol Hamoed Sukkot)?

Prayer Leadership Reaches a High Note Profile: Osnat Bensoussan, Ashira Student, Spring 2019


Leadership requires communication, discipline, and thoughtfulness. Prayer leadership, requires all that and then some. Meet Osnat Bensoussan, a company CEO with family roots in Morocco and a student in Ashira, the Rabbinical Seminary’s newest program. Learn how she is leading her Sephardic egalitarian prayer community and how she came to study at SRS.

When Disaster Strikes By R. Miriam Berkowitz


One Saturday night in November, 1995, I was making havdala with JTS rabbinical students spending a year in Israel Matt Berkowitz, Matt Eisenfeld z”l and Shai Held in their apartment in Rehavia. The calmness of the evening broke down when an urgent announcement of the tragic and unexpected murder of then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was made on the radio.

Learn about the Jewish Prayer Modes with Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch


Music and prayer have been combined since ancient times. A prayer tune, conveyed from generation to generation, sets the atmosphere for the service and allows the congregation to focus on the connection with the Divine.

Get right into the mode for the upcoming Holiday with Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch, as he explains with great emotion and passion how the same verse is recited in different tunes in multiple synagogues around the neighborhood.