Our Community

Our members seek a deep, personally meaningful approach to Judaism. An extended family of community builders, spiritual seekers, and social activists, we have found a home in this revived Judaism. Our desire is to bring a sense of awe and Godliness into our search for self-expression, and personal growth. 

We welcome singles, families of all constellations, and partners in interfaith relationships to an inclusive community. Women and men share in all forms of worship, teaching, leadership, and decision making.

Our Prayer Style

Along with our Rabbi, Marcia Prager, P’nai Or members lead our communal services, chant Torah, and teach in a variety of ways that blend traditional and innovative prayer. Our drummers and guitarists add their own energy to the davvenen, enabling us to experience prayer through Hebrew and English liturgy, original music, spontaneous or guided movement, and contemplation.

Everyone who attends our davvenen can experience the richness of our vast heritage with the vitality of life in the present. We come together for Shabbat and Holidays to share this zest for life, a quest for healing, and sensitivity to the ills of the world.

Our History and Identity

Philadelphia P’nai Or was founded in the early 80’s by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, along with students and colleagues who envisioned a new form of intentional Jewish community. P’nai Or Philadelphia grew out of this search for meaningful approaches to Jewish prayer, learning and celebration. We have learned to create a Judaism that includes passion and play along with intellectual rigor.

For more about our beginnings, see the website of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal.


“What I love most about P’nai Or is the freedom to meditate, sing, and dance as the spirit moves me!”

This is the place where I feel safe and encouraged to share all my talents, my feelings, and my awe of life!

Tobie Hoffman