Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Alden’s Bio

RNS-SOLOVY-BOOK

Alden Solovy spreads joy and excitement for prayer. A liturgist and poet, his work has been used by people of many faiths throughout the world. He’s written more than 900 pieces of new liturgy, offering a fresh Jewish voice, challenging the boundaries between poetry, meditation, personal growth, storytelling, and prayer. He’s a teacher, a writing coach, and an award-winning essayist and journalist. Alden is the Liturgist-in-Residence at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies.

Alden’s writing was transformed by multiple tragedies, marked in 2009 by the sudden death of his wife from catastrophic brain injury. As a result, he deepened his exploration of meditation, poetry, liturgy, and personal prayer as a healing, spiritual practice.

The Jerusalem Post called his work “soulful, meticulously crafted.” His work includes a trilogy of poetic prayer books — This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day, This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings, and This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer, all from CCAR Press — examining sacred time, sacred word, and sacred encounter.

2013-01-22 12.57.05 “Alden has become one of Reform Judaism’s master poet-liturgists,” says Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin in his Religion News Service article on the best Jewish books of 2020, calling This Precious Life “a beautiful collection from a beautiful soul.” Huffington Post Religion said: “…the prayers reflect age-old yearnings in modern-day situations.”

His sixth book, These Words: Poetic Midrash on the Language of Torah, also from CCAR Press, includes 70 poetic midrashim inspired by individual works of Torah and is expected in the fall of 2022.

“I’m packing This Grateful Heart into my disaster-survival kit,” wrote Rabbi Me’irah Iliinsky in a Ritualwell review. About his Haggadah Companion: Meditations and Readings, New York Jewish Week declared: “This is Pesach poetry.” All of his books are available on Amazon.

Alden’s work has been widely anthologized, including Men Pray (Skylight Paths Publishing) and Choosing a Jewish Life (Anita Diamant, Schocken), as well as these CCAR Press books: Gates of Shabbat; Mishkah R’Fuah: Where Healing ResidesMishkah Avielut: Where Grief Resides;  L’col Z’man Eit: For Sacred Moments, a Rabbi’s Manual; and Mishkan Hanefesh, a new machzor.

A three-time winner of Chicago journalism’s top prize for essay writing, Alden was the National Havurah Committee’s 2015 Summer Institute Liturgist-In-Residence. He’s also an ELI talk fellow, speaking on “Falling in Love with Prayer.” Here are his publishing credits. His latest passion is collaborating with musicians, including “Hallel in a Minor Key” and “Pervasive Peace.”

Alden is available to teach, read his work, or serve as liturgist-in-residence. He has several solo and multi-class courses which can be presented in person or online. Click on “Alden Teaches.” His teaching spans from U.S. synagogues to Limmud Conference UK to HUC-JIR, Jerusalem. Here’s his speaking schedule, as well as testimonials from rabbis and educators.

Alden Ready to WorkAlden is active in men’s personal growth work, spearheading the creation of ManKind Project Israel as the Founder and Area Steward. He’s also a participant in interfaith dialogue through Jerusalem’s “Circle of Light and Hope” and “Praying Together in Jerusalem.”

As a participant in prayer at the Kotel in support of women’s prayer rights, Alden was attacked as he defended the right of women to read Torah at the Kotel. A native Chicagoan, Alden made aliyah to Israel in 2012, where he hikes, writes, teaches, and learns. Alden blogs for the Times of Israel and his prayers also appear regularly on ReformJudaism.org and Ritualwell.org. His latest prayers are available at www.tobendlight.com.

Alden holds a B.A. in English composition with a minor in literature from Beloit College, an M.A. in journalism from the University of Illinois-Springfield and an M.B.A. in economics and finance from the University of Chicago. He previously served as executive editor and associate publisher for the Journals of the American Hospital Association.


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15 Responses to “Alden’s Bio”

  1. dave

    I saw your piece in the Times of Israel and sent it to my brother John, who is, perhaps you know or don’t, a rabbi.

    Reply
    • tobendlight

      Thanks. John sent me a note. I heard some time ago from your father z”l that John is a rabbi. Do you know that I worked for your dad at AHPI and was a member at Beth Emet? Shabbat Shalom, Alden

      Reply
  2. Reba

    First heard of you and your work from Charlie Kalech in Jerusalem, where I truly live although I currently reside in Philadelphia. Rabbi of a small shul, I am gratified and uplifted to be able to use your book in my Friday night tfilla. Chazak v’amtatz!

    Reply
  3. Francesca Tate

    We read your prayer poem, “Love Wins,” last night at a Prayer Vigil for the Orlando victims, that the Brooklyn Heights Interfaith Clergy Association organized on the Promenade overlooking New York Harbor. This is a beautiful, much-needed affirmation. Thank you.

    Reply
  4. Rabbi Saul Oresky

    Using two of your poems at Shabbat services, which coincide with Veterans Day: The Last Soldier and To the Soldier, To the Veteran. They are both beautiful. Kol hakavod! And thank you.

    Reply
  5. Jim Coutts

    Welcome from Beloit home of your alma mater Beloit College. I serve as moderator of a merged Presbyterian and Congregational Church and as a veteran and Army retiree I am researching Veterans Day prayers in remembrance of the 100 anniversary of Armistice Day to use in our Sunday Service. I came across your Veterans Day Prayer in the ‘To Bend Light’ site and found it very moving and appropriate for the day. I hope with proper credit for the author you won’t mind me using it in our service. If you haven’t been to Beloit lately I invite you back to see the transformation of the city over the past couple decades. God bless you and your work.

    Reply
  6. Dan Simms

    “Those teens in Cyprus are no ‘Real Men'”. Your post in the Times of Israel was truly the perfect verbiage to counter the celebratory nature of their arrival back in Israel. Everything you wrote was so on target that I won’t attempt to add to it. Anyone who celebrated these boys are mistaken in their interpretation of morals and values. And now they want to sue this girl… somebody needs to school these jerks in decency.

    Alden Solovy, thank you for using your writing skills to pen the perfect and sensible response to this awful occurrence. I searched for the right words to express my indignation… and was so pleased to find them all in your blog entry. You were a hero today. Your words were a badge of honor on a day when honor was not on view.

    Reply
  7. Beth Daughtry

    My Mom passed away yesterday and your poem that begins \\\”let us pray for wildly unimaginable blessings\\\” will be read at her funeral. Thank you for this poem. It has been my rod and my staff since I first heard Rabbi Buchthal quote it from Central Synagogue.

    Reply
    • Alden

      I’m glad that you’ve found meaning and consolation in this prayer/poem. May you find comfort among the mourners of Zion and Israel.

      Reply
  8. Alan Peres

    My Rabbi, Adir Glick at Temple Har Zion in River Forest IL, will often use one of your prayers when a special message is required. Whenever he mentions your name I always thought back to reading Hospitals and wondered if you were the same person. (How many could there really be.) Today, I decided to check out your bio, and I found out your story. I loved your writing then and do so now as well. Thank you for sharing your important words. Chag Purim Sameach

    Reply

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