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August 30, 2015 | 15th Elul 5775
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Prayer Book Writing Resources and Suggestions

  1. [At] [there are] great resources for creating a prayer book. Go to the site and click on "downloads" to find a full Shabbat Evening Service and Morning Service in Hebrew and the fonts that you need to download to your computer.

  2. There has surely never been a time in Jewish synagogue history when every Jew was content with the prayer book. The adults and children of most Reform congregations spend little enough time in their busy lives doing Jewish things and doing things Jewishly. When they visit other Reform congregations for bar/bat mitzvahs, etc., they should not be unfamiliar with the prayer book. I personally believe that every congregation affiliated with the Union should use one of the prayer books printed by the CCAR. There is always the opportunity to prepare and [photocopy] special services for special occasions. But, rewrite the siddur? Think twice.
    172 households

  3. I also have delightedly used Keshernet before, but would second David's recommendation for DavkaWriter--partly because it's bundled with the entire siddur and HHD machzor (v. 2.2.3 is, anyway--I don't know about the latest version.)

  4. You might consider the following:

    Hebrew can be more accessible if you include transliteration. The newest version of Gates of Prayer (gender sensitive, gray cover) includes transliteration for most of the Hebrew you would read, although it gives up some of the poetry of previous prayer books.

    Second, feel free to skip. Having the full service in front of them may encourage some to read additional prayers or to explore other prayers while their minds wander from the service you're leading. In an abbreviated prayer book, you lose the richness of the siddur.

    ...[Third], don't underestimate the importance of music and space. If you create an intimate setting (chairs in a circle, mood lighting) and employ familiar, singable music, the congregation may have a pleasant or positive experience even without a lot of "liturgy."



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