Alternative Tefilot (prayer services): Part Two

One of the most special and creative tefilla experiences here at our machaneh (camp) is the weekly opportunity to attend an alternative daily minyan on Tzad Bet (B-Side).  Our Tzevet (staff) members are invited and encouraged to lead a minyan according to their special expertise, interest and focus.  And the chanichim (campers) are free to choose which to attend, affording them a special new way to approach, participate in, and engage with our age-old liturgy.  Some examples from this past Friday are featured here.  Bonus questions: which one would you attend if you had the privilege of being a chanich? And which Alternative minyan would you lead if you had the privilege of serving on our tzevet?

Shacha-Write (Chursha, rain plan: Ivrit classrooms) with Shari Traiger — Come express yourself in creative writing T’filah! We will write some of our own blessings, poems, and more! The writing prompts included: the sounds I hear, relating this to the Shema prayer; an acrostic similar to the Ashrei prayer;  a group Amida prayer including praise, thanks, and requests.

Mindful T’filah with Melody and Meditation with Rabbi Gordon Tucker (bio, below) — Join us for an abbreviated T’filah highlighting soulful tunes and gratitude for the day.  Rabbi Tucker include the song “בן אדם, עלה, למעלה עלה “, words and music below.

בן אדם, עלה למעלה עלה

בן אדם, עלה, למעלה עלה עלה למעלה, עלה בן אדם עלה, למעלה עלה.
כִּי כֹּחַ עַז לָךְ יֵשׁ לָךְ כְּנָפִי רוּחַ, יֵשׁ לָךְ כְּנָפִי רוּחַ, כְּנָפִי נְשָׁרִים אַבִּירִים. אֶל תכחש בָּם פֶּן יכחשו לְךָ. דּרושׁ אוֹתָם – דרוש בן אדם ויימצאו לך מיד.


Rabbi Gordon Tucker has been at Temple Israel Center since 1994. In 2003, he was named Senior Rabbi. Currently he is Rabbi Emeritus.

A native of New York City, he holds the A.B. degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D. (in Philosophy) from Princeton University. He was ordained a Rabbi in 1975 by The Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTSA).

Since coming to Temple Israel Center, Rabbi Tucker has worked to strengthen three primary areas of Jewish life: education for all ages, the spirituality of worship, and the obligation to reach out to the less fortunate.

Rabbi Tucker joined the faculty of JTSA in 1976 and has taught there continuously ever since. He is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor of Jewish Philosophy. From 1984 to 1992, he was Dean of the Rabbinical School at JTSA, in which capacity he directed the training of over 200 rabbis.

He is Honorary Chairman (and former Chairman) of the Board of the Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel, and served on the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly from 1982 to 2007.

While on a leave of absence from JTSA beginning in 1979, Rabbi Tucker served as a White House Fellow in the office of United States Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti.

Rabbi Tucker is the author of numerous articles on a wide range of subjects in Jewish thought, and most recently published a translation with commentary (entitled “Heavenly Torah”) on Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s major three-volume Hebrew work on rabbinic theology.

Categories: Tefillot, Tzad Bet