Prison Ministry

Devar Jonah


Devar Jonah is a ministry for incarcerated felons, security officers, and civilians. While our programs follow the Jewish calendar, our teachings are relevant to inmates, officers, and civilians of any religion. The programs (Seders) stress the values of respect and order at all times. In fact, the word Seder means order!

Our programs teach all how to operate with ethical behavior, recognize the value of each person, and protect human dignity. We offer Leadership and support to all. Our focus is on individualized rehabilitation via Torah values. Our mission is to enhance public safety by helping to create law- abiding citizens.

 Devar Jonah is present to facilitate opportunities to improve ethical and moral skills and the decision-making process. Enhancing public safety by having incarcerated persons return home less likely to revert to criminal behavior is best done by religious education.

 Devar Jonah is an advocate of a strong chaplaincy that is unified and has a vision. 

We also supply books and materials for workshops on how to avoid the Jonah syndrome. This syndrome described by Dr. Abraham Maslow speaks of the failure of individuals to live up to their fullest potential. (On both sides of the barbed wire!)

We who serve live up to our mission when we facilitate the transformation of incarcerated felons into law- abiding citizens, and create safe and secure facilities for offenders and for all staff. We believe that ethical/religious programs are the key to fulfilling our mission.

Our goals include:

·      Opening a University Within Walls in every facility.

·      Literacy via Torah study.

·      Celebration of time in the holydays.

·      Interaction between religions to teach tolerance.

·      Individualized ethical and moral guidance.

·      Creating a library of materials for disciplined learning.

·      Supplying inmates with organic wholesome kosher food. (Ecosure)


This is the program:

(I am doing it myself.)


·      Look through your library and make a list of books you are willing to donate for the spiritual edification of  those behind

        bars.Send the list to the address below.

·      Make a list of music you own that you are able to copy or just donate.

·      Identify hardware and software you are willing to donate for learning labs in the prisons.

·      Join our “letterhead list” of leaders who advocate for resources for those in jail.

·      Join our volunteer list for those willing to conduct services and give lectures.       

·      Send a check to Devar Jonah for resources that are not donated and need to be purchased.

·      Send a response to any point in this  ministry,  and join the congregation of concerned citizens.

(By the way, in 2015 I was inspired to expand the vision of Devar Jonah, (which I founded in 1985), by a letter in the New York Times from an incarcerated felon at Attica who needs books music and spiritual guidance. Help, please!)

Rabbi Alpern

Devar Jonah/Temple Shabbat Shalom

POB 53

Porter Corners NY




(Rabbi Alpern has been in the prison ministry for over thirty years.


Explore The A Mountain to experience what the good (VERY) Rabbi experienced as a Chaplain.


It is truly the highest calling to be a prison minister.


Support Devar Jonah; Rabbi Alpern’s Prison Ministry.


Call him today at 518 893-0808.)