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.
“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 Resides; Mishkah 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 is active in men’s personal growth work, spearheading the creation of ManKind Project Israel. 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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