|Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagan
Nava Tehila- “beautiful praise”- is an emerging prayer and study community in Jerusalem.
We welcome people of diverse backgrounds who wish to experience various expressions of spiritual life with a Jewish flavor. Our community gathered for the first time on Shabbat Shira – Sabbath of Song – 5764 (2004).
Nava Tehila grows and develops in its own pace. Some of us are drawn to prayer, some come to our potluck meals, some find their spiritual anchor in music and devotion. There are those whose path is Torah study in our co-ed classes and workshops, while others enjoy virtual connection with us through our Facebook page. The atmosphere in our community is welcoming and our practice non-coercive.
Our community and prayers are egalitarian and inclusive. We welcome members of other religions and “spiritual, but not religious” people who want to pray and sing with us. Our prayer is experiential because we are constantly seeking ways of connection to the Living God in each and every moment. This past year we had the merit to receive an abundance of new tunes that were composed especially for our Kabbalat Shabbat by our gifted musicians and prayer leaders.
Nava Tehila is affiliated with the Jewish renewal spiritual movement. We are inspired to a great measure by the contemporary Hasidic Rebbe Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagan, who is the spiritual leader of the community, was ordained by Reb Zalman and Aleph – Alliance for Jewish Renewal.
Activities and News
Currently, the community meets for Kabbalat Shabbat once a month in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Baka’a. After prayers we meet for a dairy potluck meal, which is always interspersed with devotional singing, acoustic music and Torah teachings that last until the wee hours of the morning.
- Classes and Workshops
Under the umbrella of our community we offer classes and workshops in Jewish spirituality, meditation, Kabbalah and Chasidut.
In early April 2008 we began recording a music CD of our original Kabbalat Shabbat tunes. We use these tunes in our services and we are very excited to make them available to other communities in Israel and around the world. We collaborate with the Beatitudes Monastic Community from Emaus, Israel in the creation of this CD. This community connects to the Jewish root of their Christian faith through celebrating Shabbat with music and prayers. The CD is produced by Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagan the spiritual leader of Nava Tehila, and Father Zecharia, a priest from the Beatitudes Community and a professional musician. It is featuring 16 new melodies composed by Daphana Rosenberg and Yoel Sykes, with singers and musicians who are members of our community. We invite people to contribute towards the production of this CD. You can dedicate a song in honor of a loved one or in memory of a deceased relative. More details about the Kabbalat Shabbat Music project can be found on our website.