18 January 2018
Liberal Judaism is inviting synagogues and communities to help us shape the first new Liberal Jewish Siddur since 1995.
As the initial stage in this process, Siddur editors Rabbis Elli Tikvah Sarah and Lea Mühlstein have produced a first draft of a new Shabbat morning service with the input and support of Liberal Judaism’s Rabbinic Conference.
The liturgy is designed to be fully accessible and inclusive, so that all members and guests in any of our communities can easily follow and play a full part in the service.
For the first time, the Hebrew will be accompanied on the page by both English translation and transliteration. Feminised Hebrew is also being used for the first time for some prayers.
And now it is time for the most important part – communities testing it out and sending us your feedback.
To ensure everyone is able to participate fully in the process of creating this new Siddur, we are requesting that congregations use the draft Shabbat morning service at least once a month during 2018, and then submit feedback by the end of the year.
The draft Shabbat morning service will also be used at the Liberal Judaism Biennial Weekend at the end of June, when the process for submitting feedback will be launched.
In order to cover part of the cost of printing and postage of the 98 page service booklets, we are asking each community to contribute £3 per copy. Community chairs can order copies, by clicking here. Booklets must be ordered by Friday 26 January 2018.
Copies can only be ordered by community chairs on behalf of their congregation and cannot be photocopied, distributed or resold – so please speak to your rabbi so that you can order the correct amount.
Taking its cue from the ‘new song’ – shirah chadashah – that the Israelites sang at the shore of the sea following the exodus from Egypt, the new prayer book will be called Siddur Shirah Chadashah. A new song for a new age.
As far as Liberal Judaism is aware, this is the first mainstream Siddur anywhere in the world ever edited by two women rabbis.
Other Liberal rabbis to contribute to the content of the Siddur, and form its Editorial Group, are Rabbis Janet Burden, Dr Margaret Jacobi, Dr René Pfertzel, Mark Solomon and Alexandra Wright.
Rabbis Elli and Lea said: “Why do we need a new Siddur? Liberal Judaism has published a new prayer book every 25 to 30 years ‘in order to satisfy the needs of the age’ – a core principle first articulated by one of our founders Lily Montagu in 1899.
“And now, having enjoyed Siddur Lev Chadash since 1995, the congregations of Liberal Judaism have the opportunity to participate in the creation of a new prayer book that is fit for a new generation.
“Since the dawn of a new millennium, alongside Liberal Judaism’s championing of equality, the new watchword has been inclusion. And so, in preparing this draft Shabbat morning service, we have considered how the individual may be included and enabled to participate.
“We look forward to hearing your feedback as we join together on this exciting adventure towards a new Siddur.”
Click here to order your copy.
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