I would be honored to spend Shabbat with your congregation. Below are just a few seeds of ideas with which to begin a conversation.

I’m pleased to lead worship in partnership with you, your co-clergy, and/or your volunteer, teen, or professional choir(s), or on my own. Congregational services can be for a specific age group (such as “Family” Shabbat) or a specific theme (i.e. Sisterhood/Brotherhood/Teacher Recognition, or in preparation for a particular holiday). My goal is to deepen a congregation’s relationship with the liturgy through melody, iyyunim, interpretive translations and teachings, interactive discussions, and innovative expression. Worship choices will be based on conversation with you about the minhagim, needs, and expectations of your individual community. I can also offer creative and interactive ways of engaging with Torah, either in the context of a service, or as a stand-alone program.

Areas of study/exploration (Entirely possible to mix and match)

  • Prayer as Practice: The Relevance of Communal Worship in Today’s World
  • Glamour in the Grammar: Deepening our Understanding of the Shabbat liturgy; giving ourselves permission to interpret and internalize
  • What’s God Got to Do With It: What if I don’t believe?
  • Introduction to Jewish Mysticism and its relevance to our lives today
  • Contemporary liturgical repertoire share
  • Music as Theology
  • The Role of Music in Communal Worship
  • Instant choir/sing-along

Components of a Scholar/Artist-in-Residence weekend might include:

  • Innovative Kabbalat Shabbat Service with a D’var in Song or discussion
  • Shabbat Morning Torah Study
  • Shabbat Morning Service
  • Dynamic and interactive Torah reading in the context of Shabbat morning worship
  • “Worship with the Wires Exposed” Learning Minyan
  • Lunch and Learn (topics I love to teach)
  • Shabbat afternoon study
  • Shabbat afternoon consultation with clergy or committee
  • Saturday evening Concert (more performance-based) or Kumsitz (more interactive)
  • Interactive Havdalah with stories and songs for families or other constituent groups
  • Sunday morning family program/assembly/concert
  • Sunday morning adult education 

Program opportunities are also available in the context of a retreat/shabbaton; whether for families, Synagogue Boards or committees, or other constituent groups. I’m happy to work with you to program a complete weekend designed specifically for the needs of your congregation.

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As a prayer leader, Ellen has a remarkable gift in her teachings and in her music of helping those who pray with her to open up to wonder, to delight, and to the deeply holy. It is always a privilege to pray and learn with her!

Rabbi Lisa Goldstein- Executive Director, Institute for Jewish Spirituality

Ellen combines it all – spirituality, creativity, collaboration, storytelling, learning, professionalism, and meticulous preparation – like nobody else I know. I literally can’t wait to grab any opportunity to partner with her, whether it’s in teaching a class, leading a service, or just studying in a workshop she is leading – because with Ellen, you know that unanticipated magic is always just moments away.

Rabbi Ken Chasen- Leo Baeck Temple, Los Angeles, CA

Ellen Dreskin is an unusually gifted spiritual presence. She has studied extensively and thought deeply about Jewish prayer and practice, the power of ritual, the use of music, and the place of spirituality in our lives. Even while she continues to learn and experiment, her knowledge, creativity, understanding, and artistry are so extensive that she repeatedly evokes “A-ha!” moments of spiritual insight and clarity that positively alter the way her fellow students and seekers look at the everyday experiences of their lives. As a Scholar, Artist, or Spiritual Guide-in-Residence, she is transformative.

Cantor Sarah Sager - Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, Cleveland, OH