Pardes Hannah provides an intimate setting for entering deeply into prayer through chanting, kabbalistic meditation, movement, traditional davening, and openhearted engagement with Torah. The reawakened practice of spiritual friendship offers support and encouragement to each person’s journey. Pardes Hannah balances a commitment to the inner life with a commitment to its community by offering Shabbat services and a variety of spiritual and educational study sessions and celebrations throughout the cycle of the Jewish year.
Our ongoing activities, to which all are invited, include Shabbat morning services, Kabbalat Shabbat services, study sessions, meditation offerings, Rosh Chodesh celebrations, and holiday celebrations. See our calendar for more specific information.
Services are led by Rabbi Elliot Ginsburg, founder and spiritual leader of Pardes Hannah, and other skilled leaders in our chevre including Hazzan Gabrielle Pescador, Lucinda Kurtz, Jane Blumenthal, and Linda Leah Greene. Attending one or more of our services offers the opportunity to experience a flavor of our Jewish Renewal community.
Rabbi Elliot Ginsburg is associate professor of Jewish Thought and Mysticism at the University of Michigan, and rabbi of the Pardes Hannah minyan in Ann Arbor. He received his PhD in Religious Studies with a Concentration in Judaica from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, and taught for nine years at Oberlin College, before coming to Michigan. He has received the NEH Fellowship and has recently received a grant from the Kellogg Foundation on Outreach Scholarship, making scholarly teachings accessible to adult learners. Ginsburg has written two books on the kabbalistic celebration of the Shabbat and is currently working on two books: a scholarly study of Jewish mystical prayer and meditation; and a multi-tiered study of Judaism as spiritual practice. He has published in an array of scholarly journals and has taught in synagogues, universities, and spiritual retreat settings in the United States, Israel, Australia and New Zealand. Elliot lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and two mostly wonderful cats.
Hazzan Gabrielle Pescador is a cantor and a rabbinical student in the Aleph Ordination Program. Before entering cantorial studies, she spent several years working on community projects that integrate art, education and social justice, including making documentary films on incarcerated youth and LGBTQ concerns and creating public art events focused on victims of harsh US immigration policies. Gabrielle is a certified instructor of Chi Kung and a serious practitioner of Tai Chi and vibrational approaches to the healing arts. She leads Pardes Hannah’s monthly online Rosh Chodesh Minyan.
Lucinda Kurtz, M.A., a Brennan Healing Science Practitioner, is a former professor of Women’s Studies and has been teaching Kabbalah classes in Ann Arbor and nationally. She graduated from Rabbi Nadya’s Gross’s Wisdom School with a commitment to continue the feminine transmission of Kabbalah in her monthly Rosh Chodesh Circles, Kabbalah classes, Omer journeys, and bi-annual retreats. She believes Kabbalah and spiritual practice can be paths to self-awareness and transformation and integrates this understanding into her active energy healing practice. She has been certified a “Vatika,” “Sage-ing Mentor” through The Sage-ing Legacy Program. She teaches the spiritual eldering work initiated by the founder of Jewish Renewal, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi in Ann Arbor, at national Jewish Renewal gatherings, and in online classes.
Jane Blumenthal has an undergraduate degree in religion from The College of William and Mary and is a graduate of Rabbi Nadya Gross’s Wisdom School. Jane is a Reiki practitioner and a yoga student, and aspires to create intersectional and cross-generational communities in celebration of the Divine Feminine. In addition to managing Pardes Hannah’s technology resources, she leads the Kohenet Kabbalat Shabbat and contributes teaching and ritual to the Rosh Chodesh Circle and other services and events.
Linda Leah Greene is a graduate of Kol Zimrah, Rabbi Shefa Gold’s Chant Leadership Training and has been leading monthly Chant Circles since 2012. She is an Aleph: Jewish Renewal Certified Mashpiah (Spiritual Counselor). As a graduate of Rabbi Nadya Gross’s Wisdom School she uses the riches of the Kabbalistic Tree of life in her work. She teaches and leads Jewish Meditation. She has a private spiritual and energy healing practice.