About the Block / Kolker Center 

The Block / Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts at JTS is a rich, dynamic resource dedicated to the experience and art of Jewish prayer. It offers training and mentoring for JTS students in prayer and prayer leadership, support for students’ own spiritual growth, and programs for the public.

The Center has as its mission the reembodiment of Jewish prayer as a way to open the heart, expand the mind, and grow the soul.

With the extraordinary resources of JTS, we aim to dig deeper into our tradition, while nurturing creative innovation to make prayer more accessible and more compelling than ever before. 

What Do We Do?

Prayer, like any art form, is not one-size-fits-all. We use a variety of programs, techniques, and approaches to reflect a broad range of spiritual styles and needs. We offer:

  • Classes and seminars, including a certificate program for rabbinical students in prayer leadership and ritual, periodic holiday and Shabbat services for the public, designed and led with rabbinical and cantorial students, and communal ritual events at JTS.
  • Public programs, lectures, and conferences.
  • Concerts in conjunction with our renowned H. L. Miller Cantorial School.

The Block / Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts is made possible by a generous endowment from Gilda and Henry Block, in memory of their beloved friend and mentor Kenneth Kolker.


Jan Uhrbach

Jan Uhrbach

Director of the Block / Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts

Rabbi Jan Uhrbach brings a passion for prayer to the JTS community. Through her work as founding director of the Block / Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts, she develops and oversees programs and discussions, as well as prayer services on Shabbat and festivals, for the JTS community and the general public. 

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