top of page
First-Timers' Service
Nusach for V'atem Hadvekim
El Na - the prayer for healing
Leyening tips
netzavim - levy-cohen.jpg
Breastplate - tova sowby.jpg
vaetchanan - chernett.jpg
ekev - pentel.jpg
chukat - levan.jpg


At Kol Nefesh, we aim continually to improve the quality of our services. Over recent years, Chazan Jacky has led our Shlichei Tsibbur (prayer leaders) in an initiative to deepen our connection to the liturgy and nusach (traditional melodies), with the aim of ensuring a richer, more meaningful prayer experience. At the same time, Rabbi Joel has led us in learning how all those present at a service can derive meaning from the liturgical texts, and can heighten the energy in a service by joining in as active participants, humming and singing along with the prayer leader.

On this page, you'll find useful resources put together by Chazan Jacky and some of our members. You'll also find a record of our learning and discussions on the question of egalitarian language in prayer.

First-Timers' Service

We restarted the First-Timers' Service in 2021.  The service is an opportunity for members to take on something new for Shabbat and Chag. 

We will add recordings of the relevant leyening here soon.

Here are the Haftorah blessings.

Haftara Blessings Shabbat
00:00 / 03:25
Final paragraph Haftara blessings for Sh
00:00 / 01:04
The Gift of the Gabbai


At KNM we want all members who wish to participate in running our services to be able to do so. These notes on the roles of the Shammas and Gabbai during the Torah Service were put together by KN's Nahum Gordon, and by Adam Levine of the NHC (National Havurah Committee) Summer Institute in the United States. We also occasionally run sessions for those who wish to take on these roles.

  • You'll find Nahum's Gabbai Notes here.

  • A step-by-step guide to the choreography of the Shabbat service for the Gabbai, Shammas and Segan can be found here.

  • Adam Levine's "Gabbinical School" notes can be found here.

V'atem Hadvekim


When we call up the first person to the reading of the Torah (often a Cohen but a Levi or Yisrael if there's no Cohen), the Gabbai chants a prayer, V’atem Had’vekim. This is a direct quote from the Torah (Deut 4:4): “And you who cleaved to the Lord your God are alive – every one of you – today!” For this reason, we recite it in the Torah trope (cantillation).

Click the links for the normal Shabbat melody and the one for the Yamim Noraim:




Va'atem Hadvekim-Shabbat -
00:00 / 00:00
Va'atem Hadvekim - Yamim Nora'im -
00:00 / 00:00
El Na - the Prayer for Healing

On Shabbat services we recite a prayer for healing, and we chant perhaps the oldest prayer in our liturgy,  El Na Refa Na La  (אֵל נָא רְפָא נָא לָהּ), said by Moses for his sister Miriam.  These two versions are sung by Cantor Jacky Chernett.

El Na R'fah Na Lah
00:00 / 00:59
El Na R'fah Na Lah (with Echo)
00:00 / 00:59
Yamim Nora'im Aliyah Blessings

On the Yamim Nora'im, a special nusach (melody) is used for the blessings chanted before and after each aliyah to the Torah. You can listen to it here:



For more on the Yamim Nora'im nusach, click here.

Blessings on the Yamim Nora'im -
00:00 / 00:00
Learning Your Leyening


At Kol Nefesh, we take pride in the fact that we leyen (chant) the full sedra from the scroll each week. For those who know how to leyen but feel overwhelmed by the process of learning their portion, Meira Ben-Gad put together some tips, which eventually became an article in Kol HaKehilah. 

You'll find Meira's leyening tips here.

Egalitarian Language in Prayer

In 2018 and 2019, we engaged in learning and discussion on the issue of egalitarian language in prayer, and specifically the question of whether (and how!) the Imahot – the Matriarchs – should be included in the first blessing of the Amidah. This is an ongoing topic of discussion within the community. Our plan is to prepare a booklet containing different versions of the Amidah, so that we can experiment with them during our services. 

  • You'll find the notes of these discussions here.

  • For comments by Rabbi Dr Barbara Borts on the issue, click here.

Service Guide for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

We have created guides to the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services.  These explain the various parts of these special services, and provide page numbers for the different machzorim (prayer books) we use at Kol Nefesh:

Rabbinical Assembly (US machzor, edited by Rabbi Harlow, 1972)

Silverman (US machzor, edited by Rabbi Silverman, 1939)

Lev Shalem (new US machzor, 2010)

Routledge (British machzor, 1906)



These guides can be downloaded and printed in A5 format.

For recordings of some of the Yamim Nora'im liturgy by our talented shlichei tsibbur (prayer leaders), click here.

Simchat Torah

Recordings for Purim

We have recordings of reading Chapter 9 of the Megillah for Purim - click here if you want to learn this chapter, or remind yourself of the Purim trope.


The Simchat Torah Leynathon was  a Kol Nefesh Tradition since 2009, when it was established by Sue Gordon of blessed memory. Sue cared deeply about Kol Nefesh, about Jewish tradition, and about the honour accruing to the Torah. It was her idea that we should encourage everyone to learn a verse so that when we end and begin the reading on Simchat Torah, every single member would be involved in it. And so the Kol Nefesh Leynathon was born.  Originally, to ensure that everyone in the community would get to leyen a verse or two, we extended the Torah reading on Erev Simchat Torah to include the verses from Bereshit that are normally only read on Simchat Torah morning.

Click here to access a recording for each verse individually.

Egalitarian Language in Prayer
Service Guide for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
The Gift of the Gabbai
Yamim Nora'im Aliyah Blessings
Recordings for the Purim Megillah reading
Simchat Torah leyening
bottom of page