A community of communities

Dorshei Derekh

Minyan Dorshei Derekh ("Seekers of a Way") is one of the three davening (prayer) groups that meet on Shabbat and Holiday mornings at GJC (see also Charry Service and Minyan Masorti). We are a dynamic, progressive, inclusive, and warm worshipping community. Our minyan is home to people of many different ages and backgrounds, reflecting the rich diversity of Northwest Philadelphia and beyond. As part of GJC, we are an affiliate of the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism. Dorshei Derekh is also an affiliate of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation.

Dorshei Derekh prizes a joyous, participatory, egalitarian style of davening. While our davening has continued to evolve since the minyan began, what remains constant is our reliance on the talents, energies, and perspectives of our members. We particularly appreciate the contributions of new members, who bring their own traditions and innovations to our community. We encourage our members to keep learning and sharing new skills, and we conduct periodic classes for those interested in broadening their participation. The following list of features may help to convey the distinctive style of our services:

We rely on the educational, liturgical, and organizational contributions of our members to lead our services and keep our minyan running.
We use Kol Haneshamah, the Reconstructionist siddur (which many members of our minyan helped to create).
The first half of our service is enhanced by lively singing, occasionally accompanied by rhythm instruments.
We read Torah on a triennial Torah cycle, divided into 3 Aliyot.
Members volunteer to give a D'var Torah/discussion that is text-based, creative, and intellectually stimulating, encouraging a lively response.
We experiment with Haftarot, occasionally featuring alternative readings.
Our "Musaf" takes the form of creative reading; however, we encourage those who daven traditionally to do so individually.
We are a child-friendly minyan.

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