The Open Siddur is an open source project and anyone can join by helping to code, transcribe, translate, scan books and facsimile editions, and compose new work shared with a free culture license. The project is non-denominational and non-prescriptive. What unites us is our intention to share our work on the Siddur and in Jewish spiritual practice. We come from many different backgrounds but share a passion for making the ingredients of the Siddur freely available.
Want to help with this project? We need folks to transcribe, translate, scan books and facsimile editions, code, and share work they’ve already written or illustrated using copyleft and free culture licenses. Communication is key in an Internet-based project like ours, so please take our survey and join our discussion list by first introducing yourself. Please don’t be shy. A table listing volunteer opportunities by skill set is here. We also accept financial donations using Razoo through our fiscal sponsor, the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity, a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit. A full list of the good people sharing their time and creativity by contributing to the project are listed here.
The Open Siddur Project is part of a growing number of Jewish organizations adopting open source strategies for sharing its creative work under free-culture compatible open content licensing. Regardless of whether you share your content with the Open Siddur, we invite you to share your work with open content licensing. In any case, please contact us so that we can help signal boost your project!
THOSE WHOSE HEARTS ARE STIRRED TO SHARE ❥ כֹּל אֲשֶׁר נַשָׂא לִבָּם
Trisha Arlin is a writer/performer of kavannah and piyyutim and a rabbinic student at the Academy of Jewish Religion (AJR). She will be the Liturgist In Residence at the 2014 NHC Summer Institute. Trisha received a BA in Theater from Antioch College in 1975 and a MFA in Film (Screenwriting) in 1997 from Columbia University School of the Arts. In 1997, Trisha joined Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of our Lives, a progressive unaffiliated congregation in Brooklyn NY, where she teaches classes on Writing Personal Prayers and regularly shares her work during services. Trisha completed the Davennen Leadership Training Institute (DLTI) in 2011 and was an Arts Fellow at the Drisha Institute 2009-2010. Trisha Arlin blogs at triganza.blogspot.com.
Rabbi Rachel Barenblat (a/k/a Velveteen Rabbi) is a writer and poet serving Congregation Beth Israel in North Adams, MA. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She is the author of five poetry chapbooks, among them Through (2009), a self-published collection of poems chronicling the experience of miscarriage and healing, and chaplainbook (laupe house press, 2006), a collection of poems arising out of hospital chaplaincy work. Her first book-length collection of poems, 70 Faces: Torah poems, was published by Phoenicia Publishing in early 2011. My second, Waiting to Unfold, was published by Phoenicia in 2013.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Stephen Belsky is a graduate of the Yeshiva of Flatbush, the State University of New York at Binghamton, and the Educators Program of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. He received semikha at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, and while studying there held internships at Beth David Synagogue in West Hartford, Connecticut, and the International Rabbinic Fellowship. Before starting semikha, Stephen taught at the Schechter high school in Teaneck, New Jersey, and after ordination, he returned to education, teaching Jewish Studies in the middle and high school divisions of Yeshivat Akiva in Southfield, Michigan. In addition to classroom teaching, Stephen has taught and lectured both in his local community and in synagogues across the eastern United States.
Mosheh ben Maimon (משה בן מימון), called Moses Maimonides (/maɪˈmɒnɪdiːz/ my-mon-i-deez) and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn (Arabic: موسى بن ميمون), or RaMBaM (רמב"ם – Hebrew acronym for "Rabbeinu Mosheh Ben Maimon" – English translation: "Our Rabbi/Teacher Moses Son [of] Maimon"), was a preeminent medieval Spanish, Sephardic Jewish philosopher, astronomer and one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages. He was born in Córdoba (present-day Spain), Almoravid Empire on Passover Eve, 1138, and died in Egypt on December 12, 1204. Although his writings on Jewish law and ethics were met with acclaim and gratitude from most Jews, even as far off as Iraq and Yemen, and he rose to be the revered head of the Jewish community in Egypt, there were also vociferous critics of some of his writings, particularly in Spain. Nevertheless, he was posthumously acknowledged to be one of the foremost rabbinical arbiters and philosophers in Jewish history, his copious work comprising a cornerstone of Jewish scholarship. His fourteen-volume Mishneh Torah still carries significant canonical authority as a codification of Talmudic law. In the Yeshiva world he is called sometimes "haNesher haGadol" (the great eagle) in recognition of his outstanding status as a bona fide exponent of the Oral Torah. (from "Maimonides" on wikipedia)
Lieba B. Ruth is the nom du rituèle of Lauren W. Deutsch. Her FaceBook page, “Jewish and Solar Holiday Graphics”, has other new approaches to traditions for our time.
Hinda Tzivia Eisen is a cantorial student at Hebrew College in Newton, MA, where she anticipates achieving cantorial ordination with a masters degree in Judaic Studies in June of 2014. She serves as a part-time shlichat tsibbur at Congregation Kehillath Israel in Brookline, MA, and as the assistant to the conductor for the Zamir Chorale of Boston, with whom she has been a proud alto since 2006. Hinda maintains http://tekhines.wordpress.com/, where she publishes new and translated editions of tekhines texts.
I have been teaching Torah and Chassidic writings for over forty years to students of all ages and backgrounds, both on the East Coast and the Midwest. I have been a director of several Jewish organizations in Santa Fe and Colorado. My articles and poetry on a wide variety of Jewish topics have been printed in many publications, and also are available online.
Shmueli Gonzales is a Mexican-American punk and ḥasid. He shares his transcriptions of Jewish liturgy here at the Open Siddur and his divrei torah via his blog, Hardcore Mesorah.
Rabbi Esteban Gottfried is a Director, Playwright and actor and is the leader of Beit Tefilah Israeli (The Israeli House of Prayer) in Tel Aviv, which he founded with Rani Jaeger, and other friends.
Leon Gunther has been on the Physics Department faculty at Tufts University since 1965. He got his PhD in Physics from MIT in 1964 and has published over 100 articles, the vast majority being in the field of Condensed Matter Theory. Having begun studies of the violin at the age of seven, he has played in numerous Community Symphony Orchestras, most notably the Newton Symphony, where he was the principal second violinist for ten years, from 1974-1984. In 1994, he founded the community chorus of Temple Emunah in Lexington, MA, known as the Mak'haylah. Programs include music of a wide range of genres - folk, liturgical, and classical. His compositions and arrangements include Hebrew renditions of three movements of the Brahms Requiem.
Chajm ist Autor und Bewohner des Ruhrgebiets, Herausgeber von talmud.de und Organisator des Minchah-Schiurs im Ruhrgebiet. Einige seiner Artikel gibt es nicht nur im Internet, sondern beispielsweise auch in der »Jüdischen Allgemeinen«. Über die Kontakt-Seite kann man Chajm eine Nachricht senden.
Rabbi Josh Gutoff, Ed.D., is the Assistant Professor of Jewish Education at Gratz College in Philadelphia. Following his ordination and his five years as a pulpit rabbi, Dr. Gutoff was the executive director of Hillel at the University of Minnesota, a Jewish chaplain and philosophy instructor at C.W. Post College, the rabbinic educator at the Solomon Schechter High School of New York and a lead instructor for the 92nd Street Y’s Derekh Torah program for adults exploring Judaism. He is also the author of a number of widely read articles on Jewish thought. Professor Gutoff holds a B.A. in literature from Yale College and an M.A. from The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), where he also received his rabbinic ordination.
Amit Gvaryahu is a faculty member of Yeshivat Hadar, the Drisha Insitute and Yeshivat Talpiot in Jerusalem. He is an alum of Yeshivat Hadar, Yeshivat Har Etzion and the Hebrew University, from which he graduated with a degree in Talmud and Classics. He is also Graduate student at the Hebrew University, where he taught Talmud for three years. He is married to Yedidah Koren.
Ḥaim Hames is the Chair of the History Department, Ben Gurion University of the Negev and the author of I (do not) Believe: Israel and Judaism – Past, Present, Future (in Hebrew, Ktav 2011).
Rabbi Shai Held is Co-Founder, Dean and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar. Before that, he served for six years as Scholar-in-Residence at Kehilat Hadar in New York City, and taught both theology and Halakha at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also served as Director of Education at Harvard Hillel. A renowned lecturer and educator, Shai is a 2011 recipient of the Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education. He has taught for institutions such as Drisha, Me'ah, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, and the Rabbinic Training Institute, and currently serves on the faculty of the Wexner Heritage program. Shai has a PhD in religion from Harvard; his main academic interests are in modern Jewish and Christian thought and in the history of Zionism. His book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence was published by Indiana University Press in the fall of 2013
Mark X. Jacobs was the Founding Executive Director of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL, from 1994 to 2003). Under his leadership, COEJL grew from a short-term project of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment into a permanent coalition of 29 national Jewish agencies with affiliated institutions across North America. Mark X. Jacobs currently serves as a Senior Mediator and Program Manager at the Meridian Institute, where he designs and facilitates collaborative processes that help diverse parties identify critical issues, build relationships and trust, construct innovative solutions, and implement durable decisions. Mark is currently focused on multistakeholder efforts to address challenges at the intersection of agriculture, environment, and public policy.
Rabbi Abby Jacobson serves the community of Emmanuel Synagogue in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Rabbi Dr. Seth (Avi) Kadish teaches medieval Jewish philosophy and history at Oranim Teacher’s College, and in the Overseas School at the University of Haifa. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Haifa (2006), and previously studied at Yeshiva University (where he received his rabbinic ordination and master’s degrees in Bible and Jewish Education). For many years he also taught immigrant soldiers in the Nativ program of the IDF education corps, and adult Israeli Jewish education for the Hebrew University’s Melton School. He lives in Karmiel, Israel with his wife and children, where he is involved in building modern Orthodox communities that are meant to be open and welcoming to the entire public. Rabbi Kadish is the author of Kavvana: Directing the Heart in Jewish Prayer and The Book of Abraham: Rabbi Shimon ben Zemah Duran and the School of Rabbenu Nissim Gerondi.
Shalom! My name is Emily Aviva Kapor. I am a radical transfeminist rabbi and activist. I am an autistic and hearing-impaired transgender woman. My rabbinic work focuses on creating innovative yet traditional Jewish law, liturgy, and ritual, in order to celebrate affirm trans identities and experiences. I also work for acceptance and accessibility for people with visible and invisible disabilities. My first book, Ein Self: Early Meditations, has recently been published by Vatichtov Press. I studied classics and history of religion at Reed College and the University of British Columbia. My other projects include playing chamber music, advocating for alternative education, and smashing systems of institutional oppression. Interested in booking me for a book reading or speaking or teaching engagement? Contact me!
Having been active in congregations of 3 different Chassidic dynasties (ChaBa”D over the course of a lifetime, Twersky, and Bostoner Rebbe), Rabbi R. Karpov, Ph.D. has for 30+ years been making available traditional liturgical sources’ deep spiritual core, and since the early 1990s translating ceremonial texts of 16th-century Lurianic Kabbalists of Tzfat (Safed), including: Tikkun Leil Shavuoth (ABQ rollout 2013/5773), Tikkun Leil Hoshannah Rabbah, 7 Adar, Leil Sh’vii Shel Pesach (Mishmar—anniversary of crossing the Sea of Reeds); and Tikkun Chatzoth. Ordained by 3 Orthodox-ordained rabbis, Rabbi Karpov maintained a Shomereth Mitzvoth path while serving Conservative pulpits for 7+ years, beginning in 1989 as 1 of the first 10 woman rabbis to serve a solo United Synagogue pulpit. Having in the mid-1980s expanded the Navajo/Jewish dialogue that Dr. Avrum Organick pioneered, she continued to serve the Window Rock centered expanse between Albuquerque, Flagstaff, and the Farmington/Durango area that she helped open up with a 1997 Pesach Seder receiving front-page Durango newspaper coverage. After serving as Traditional Egalitarian synagogue rabbi, founded and served the Window Rock area based Jewish Center(s) of Indian Country, identifying and drawing together ~60+ Jewish family units for Pesach Seders, High Holidays (mechitzah down in front), Purim and Jewish/Native dialogue, while teaching at Navajo Community College/Diné College. Available to run ceremonies.
Rabbi Elie Kaunfer is co-founder, rosh yeshiva and executive director of Mechon Hadar and on the Talmud faculty at Yeshivat Hadar. A graduate of Harvard College, he was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he also completed an MA and is pursuing a doctorate in liturgy. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, Elie is a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar and in 2009 Newsweek named him one of the top 50 rabbis in America. He was selected as an inaugural AVI CHAI Fellow, and is the author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us About Building Vibrant Jewish Communities (Jewish Lights, 2010).
Dr. Samuel Klausner is an Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. He has continued his lines of research in the Sociology of Religion and in Methodology-Philosophy of Science, applying sociological thought to the clarification of classic documents. Currently, his long range project is a comparison of Hebrew and Muslim dietary systems as a window to their theological presuppositions. He is completing a methodological critique of wissenschaft Bible scholar’s work on interpreting a verse in the Books of Exodus and Deuteronomy.
Joy (formerly Jay) Ladin is the author of a memoir, Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders (U. of Wisconsin Press), and six books of poetry, The Definition of Joy, Forward Fives award winner Coming to Life, Transmigration (a 2009 Lambda Literary Award finalist), The Book of Anna, and Alternatives to History, all from Sheep Meadow Press, and Psalms, a collection of original psalms from Wipf & Stock. Her poems and essays have been widely published. She holds the David and Ruth Gottesman Chair in English at Stern College of Yeshiva University, where, in 2007, she became the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution. She has given many talks on writing, literature, Judaism, and gender identity. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Keshet.
JewishBoston.com is a website for Jews in Boston where you can find an immediate connection to all the amazing Jewish things that are happening in Boston right now. Discover links to cultural events (music, dance, film, lectures, cooking classes), Jewish education (courses, lectures, trips), organizations (synagogues, community centers, professional networking) and lots more. Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) created the world of JewishBoston.com so that, finally, there is an easy-to-find, vibrant online place to connect Jews, especially young Jews, with one another and the community at large. No more endless searching for ways to experience Jewish life. JewishBoston.com is a natural extension of CJP and was born out of the realization that a new way of thinking was needed to bring the community together.
Jewish artist who is disabled. Martin Buber and imagination scholar. Type designer and software tester. Creates restoration art of jewish documents.
Dr. Dan Mendelsohn Aviv has been engaged in Jewish learning as an educator, lecturer, professor, published scholar and author for almost twenty years. His book End of the Jews: Radical Breaks, Remakes and What Comes Next came out in 2012. Having spent three years creating an alternative model for informal education, he recently returned to his greatest passion-classroom instruction at Bialik Hebrew Day School in Toronto, Canada. He is also an itinerant blogger (at The Next Jew), inchoate podcaster and MacBook zealot. Most of all, he is proud of his darling Noa and three children.
Jonah Rank co-founded and serves as Creative Co-Director of Jewish Eyes On The Arts. Jonah worked as Secretary of Mahzor Lev Shalem, and is in the position for the upcoming Siddur Lev Shalem. A multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, his music can be heard to be heard on iTunes and--if you scan the Internet well enough--the website of The New York Times. Jonah holds a B.A. in Music from Columbia University and a B.A. in Jewish Music from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where Jonah will be ordained in 2015. Jonah married his life-partner Raysh Weiss in August 2013. Some of Jonah's thoughts can be found at jonahrank.com.
Laurie Rappeport lives in Safed, Israel. She teaches about Israel and Judaism online to day school and afternoon school students in North America and is involved in Safed tourism. She has studied Safed's history as a refuge for Jews and kabbalists who fled the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions and this has fueled her interest in the history of the first Jews in Colonial United States.
to bring an ounce of medicine,
the perfect dosage
to awaken the healing potential within me and you
Rabbi David Seidenberg, the founder of NeoHasid.org, teaches text and music, Jewish thought and spirituality, in their own right and in relation to ecology and the environment. David's book on ecology and Kabbalah will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2014. David has smikhah (ordination) from the Jewish Theological Seminary and from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, and he has taught at over 100 synagogues, communities, retreats and conferences across North America (and a few in Europe and Israel), and is published widely on ecology and Judaism. David's teaching empowers learners to become creators of Judaism through deep study and communion with texts and tradition. Areas of specialty include Kabbalah and Chasidut, Talmud, davenning, evolution and cosmology, sustainability, Maimonides, Buber, and more.
Jewish spiritual seeker and creative liturgist.
Dr. Alex Sinclair is the Director of Programs in Israel Education at JTS. He has published numerous articles on Israel education, and his forthcoming book is entitled Loving Israel in a Time of Complexity: An educational agenda for Liberal Zionism.
Beverly Socher-Lerner is the Assistant Director of Congregational Learning at Temple Beth Sholom. She has a soft spot for chocolate chip cookies and beautiful mountains. When she is not at Temple Beth Sholom, she loves to pick vegetables at her CSA, enjoy and protect nature, craft, and especially bake. She is one of the organizers of Minyan Tikvah, an egalitarian, full liturgy community in Center City Philadelphia.
Virginia Avniel Spatz is a writer, education advocate, and inter-denominational/interfaith activist in Washington, DC. Spatz participated in Hartford Seminary's "Building Abrahamic Partnerships" program and served for two years as program director for Clergy Beyond Borders. She participates in worship and education across the Jewish community -- including Temple Micah (Reform), Fabrangen havurah (independent), and Kesher Israel's Women's Tefillah and Study (orthodox) -- and directed the non-denominational Jewish Study Center for four years. Her Jewish thought appears on her own blog and on sites such as RJ (Reform Judaism) and Women of the Wall. Jewish print publications include pieces in Living Text: The Journal of The Institute for Contemporary Midrash and All the Women Followed Her: A Collection of Writings on Miriam the Prophet and the Women of Exodus.
Dr. Devora Steinmetz is a senior faculty member at Yeshivat Hadar where she teaches Talmud and Midrash. She is the author of From Father to Son: Kinship, Conflict, and Continuity in Genesis and Punishment and Freedom: The Rabbinic Construction of Criminal Law. She has taught rabbinic literature at Drisha and the Jewish Theological Seminary. She was a visiting scholar at the Hebrew University’s Hevruta Program and the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Steinmetz is the founder of Beit Rabban, an innovative day school that is profiled in Daniel Pekarsky's Vision at Work: The Theory and Practice of Beit Rabban. She serves as an educational leadership consultant to the Mandel Foundation.
In June 2006 Alan Jay Sufrin released his first solo EP, Folky American Pop, and has since been making music and honing his craft as a singer/songwriter/producer. His latest project, a duo with acclaimed singer-songwriter Miriam Brosseau known as “Stereo Sinai,” is lending renewed relevance to ancient Jewish texts by taking original Hebrew, Yiddish, and Aramaic verses and mixing them with synthesized pop arrangements they call “Biblegum Pop.” Learn more about Stereo Sinai at stereosinai.com.
T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, formerly Rabbis for Human Rights - North America) was founded in 2002 as a multi-denominational rabbinical organization giving voice to the tradition of human rights in Judaism.
Rabbi Ethan Tucker is co-founder and rosh yeshiva at Mechon Hadar and chair in Jewish Law. Ethan was a faculty member at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, where he taught Talmud and Halakhah in the Scholars' Circle. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a PhD in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Harvard College. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar and a winner of the first Grinspoon Foundation Social Entrepreneur Fellowship. He was named one of America’s Top 50 Rabbis by Newsweek in 2011 and 2012.
Founding director of the Open Siddur Project, Aharon Varady is a Jewish educator (M.A. J.Ed.) and community planner (M.C.P.) working to improve stewardship of the Public Domain, be it the physical and natural commons of urban park systems or the creative and cultural commons of Torah study. His work and writing have been featured in the Atlantic Magazine, Tablet, and Haaretz, as an outspoken representative of the free-culture and open-source movement in the Jewish community.Aharon Varady serves as hierophant, welcoming new users, and administering opensiddur.org as its webmaster and editor-in-chief.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow is the director of The Shalom Center. In 2013, Rabbi Waskow received T’ruah’s first Lifetime Achievement Award as a “Human Rights Hero.” His chapter, “Jewish Environmental Ethics: Adam and Adamah,” appears in Oxford Handbook of Jewish Ethics and Morality (Dorff & Crane, eds.; Oxford Univ. Press, 2013). Rabbi Waskow is the author of 22 books including Godwrestling, Seasons of Our Joy (JPS, 2012), and Down-to-Earth Judaism: Food, Money, Sex, and the Rest of Life. With Sister Joan Chittister and Murshid Saadi Shakur Chisht he co-authored The Tent of Abraham: Stories of Hope and Peace for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and with with Rabbi Phyllis Berman wrote Freedom Journeys: Exodus & Wilderness Across Millennia (Jewish Lts, 2011). He edited Torah of the Earth (two volumes, eco-Jewish thought from earliest Torah to our own generation). These pioneering books on eco-Judaism are available at discount from “Shouk Shalom,” The Shalom center's online bookstore.
Levi Weiman-Kelman is the founding rabbi of Congregation Kol Haneshama, a Reform community in Jerusalem devoted to prayer, study and social action. He is a founding member of Rabbis for Human Rights and teaches at the Hebrew Union College.
Rabbi Hillel Ḥayyim Lavery-Yisraeli has served Masorti congregations in Israel for the past five years and has taught Talmud at the Conservative Yeshiva. In July 2012 he became the rabbi of the Jewish Community of Gothenburg, Sweden. More of his instructional videos can be found on youtube here and here.
Tzemah Yoreh, PhD, Resident CLAL: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. His purpose in life is to make Bible and Prayer meaningful and accessible to people with conventional and non conventional views. He posts new research and writings at his websites: biblecriticism.com, humanistprayer.com, and modernscriptures.com.
Founding director of the Open Siddur Project, Aharon Varady is a Jewish educator (M.A. J.Ed.) and community planner (M.C.P.) working to improve stewardship of the Public Domain, be it the physical and natural commons of urban park systems or the creative and cultural commons of Torah study. His work and writing have been featured in the Atlantic Magazine, Tablet, and Haaretz, as an outspoken representative of the free-culture and open-source movement in the Jewish community. Aharon Varady serves as hierophant, welcoming new users, and administering opensiddur.org as its webmaster and editor-in-chief.
Efraim Feinstein is the lead developer of the Open Siddur web application.