בסיעתא דשמיא

Who we are

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

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.

Arik Ascherman

Rabbi Arik W. Ascherman is Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights, Israel.

Rachel Barenblat

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.

Stephen Belsky

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.

Moshe Ben Maimon

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)

Phyllis Berman

Rabbi Phyllis O. Berman has, since the early 1980s, been a leading Jewish-renewal liturgist, prayer leader, story-writer, and story-teller. From 1994 to 2005, Berman was Director of the Summer Program of the Elat Chayyim Center for Healing and Renewal. She is the co-author of Tales of Tikkun: New Jewish Stories to Heal the Wounded World (1996); A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven: The Jewish Life-Spiral as a Spiritual Journey (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2002); The Tent of Abraham: Stories of Peace and Hope for Jews, Christians, and Muslims (2006), and Freedom Journeys: Tales of Exodus & Wilderness across Millennia (2013).

Bradley Burston

Bradley Burston (Hebrew: בראדלי בורסטון‎) is an American-born Israeli journalist. Burston is a columnist for Haaretz and senior editor of Haaretz.com. He writes a blog called "A Special Place in Hell".

Emmy Cohen

Emmy Cohen studies Religion at American University and is interested in women's roles in religion. Emmy grapples with defining the word "holy."

Lieba B. Ruth

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.

Avi Dolgin

Vancouver native and active member of Congregation Or Shalom.

Hinda Tzivia Eisen

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.

Tamar Elad-Appelbaum

Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum is the founder of ZION: An Eretz Israeli Congregation in Jerusalem; and Vice President of the Masorti Rabbinical Assembly. Her work spans and links tradition and innovation, working toward Jewish spiritual and ethical renaissance. She devotes much of her energy to the renewal of community life in Israel and the struggle for human rights. Rabbi Elad-Appelbaum served as rabbi of Congregation Magen Avraham in the Negev; as a congregational rabbi in the New York suburbs alongside Rabbi Gordon Tucker; and as Assistant Dean of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary in Jerusalem. In 2010 she was named by the Forward as one of the five most influential female religious leaders in Israel for her work promoting pluralism and Jewish religious freedom.

Sam Feinsmith

Rabbi Sam Feinsmith teaches Judaic Studies and coordinates Jewish Life at Chicagoland Jewish High School, IL. Since his recent arrival to Evanston, he has been a regular teacher at the Center for Jewish Mindfulness, where he weaves in the depths of Chassidic and Kabbalistic wisdom. He holds degrees from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School and Jewish Theological Seminary. Passionate about prayer and contemplative Jewish practice, he has consulted for a number of innovative prayer and minyan-related projects, and has conducted Jewish meditation workshops and retreats for teens and adults. As a tikkun olam ambassador, he served as a Kol Tzedek Fellow and volunteered in Asia and Central America for American Jewish World Service.

Elli Fischer

Elli Fischer is a writer, translator, editor, and rabbi. Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, he studied at yeshivot and universities, earning a BA in computer science, an MS in Education, and rabbinical ordination from Israel’s Chief Rabbinate. Since making Aliyah to Modiin in 2006, Elli’s keen understanding of Jewish culture has helped him build an excellent reputation as a translator and writer.

Yehudis Fishman

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.

Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman

Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman received her rabbinical ordination from Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts in June 2014. She brings strong teaching, prayer-leading, musical, and pastoral skills to serve the Jewish community and beyond. Integrating her background in environmental studies with her calling to the rabbinate, she is passionate about bringing hope, resilience, and Jewish tradition to bear on the global ecological crisis. Shoshana is also a singer-songwriter who recently released her first album, Guesthouse. She is a graduate of Oberlin College of Arts & Sciences, the Jewish Organizing Initiative & Network, and the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, and is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post's ON Scripture – The Torah.

Gabrielle Girau Pieck

Born in 1967 in Omaha, Nebraska, Gabrielle Girau Pieck lives with her husband and two young sons in Basel, Switzerland, working as a freelance theologian in the fields of Liberal Judaism and Interfaith Dialogue while teaching mathematics and English. She studied Yiddish literature from a feminist perspective at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York and holds a Masters degree in Jewish Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Shmueli Gonzales

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.




Esteban Gottfried

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

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 Guski

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.

Joshua Gutoff

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

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

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).

Shai Held

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

Binyamin Holtzman

נולד בירושלים בשנת תשל"א. בוגר ישיבת הר-עציון ובעל הסמכה לרבנות מהרבנות הראשית לישראל. בוגר מכללת יעקב הרצוג להכשרת מורים. בוגר המכללה לרבנים, קורס גישור, ובית מדרש ניגון. ר"מ בישיבה משנת תשנ"ט, ורב קיבוץ מעלה גלבוע משנת תשס"א.‏

Mark X. Jacobs

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.

Abby Jacobson

Rabbi Abby Jacobson serves the community of Emmanuel Synagogue in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Seth (Avi) Kadish

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.

Emily Aviva Kapor

Emily Aviva Kapor, portraitShalom! 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!

Rabbi R. Karpov, Ph.D.

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.

Abe Katz

Abe Katz is the director of the Burei HaTefilla Institute.

Elie Kaunfer

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).

Emily K

Emily K, a/k/a “The Darwinian Artist,” is a consultant-artist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She works with hardworking and talented but often cash-strapped filmmakers on commission: painting, animating, designing, and illustrating.

Samuel Z. Klausner

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.

Rabbi Riqi Kosovske

Rabbi Raquel S. (Riqi) Kosovske is the rabbi of Beit Ahavah ~ The Reform Synagogue of Greater Northampton in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Joy Ladin

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.

Jewish Boston

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.

Nathan Lopes Cardozo

Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo is the founder and Dean of the David Cardozo Academy, Machon Aron and Betsy Spijer, in Jerusalem. He is the author of many books on Jewish Law and Philosophy and lectures in more than fifty Institutions of Jewish and secular learning around the world. He pens a weekly “Thoughts to Ponder” which is send electronically. To receive: please sign up at cardozoacademy.org.

Noa Mazor

When not working with Kids4Peace, Noa Mazor studies as a rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College.

Andrew Meit

Jewish artist who is disabled. Martin Buber and imagination scholar. Type designer and software tester. Creates restoration art of jewish documents.

Aurora Mendelsohn

Dr. Aurora Mendelsohn is a biostatistician who lives in Toronto. Her work can be read in the Forward and at her blog, "Rainbow Tallit Baby".

Dan Mendelsohn Aviv

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

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

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.

Miriam Rubin

I write,
to bring an ounce of medicine,
the perfect dosage
to awaken the healing potential within me and you

Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Reb Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi is one of the major founders of the Jewish Renewal movement.

Rabbi Sam Seicol

Rabbi Sam Seicol was ordained as a Reform rabbi in 1978 and is a volunteer at the Vilna Shul in Boston. There he offers classes and programs on a wide range of topics such as Understanding Judaism, Aging and Spirituality, Music and Humor as Pathways to Spiritual Well-being, and History and Development of American Jewish Humor. Most recently he served as MIT’s Hillel Community Education & Engagement Director. He previously worked with congregations as an interim rabbi in Hyannis, Pittsfield, and Tampa. Before that Rabbi Seicol was the Chaplain/Director of Religious Services at the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for the Aged in Boston from 1994 through 2003, and has worked in the field of Geriatric Chaplaincy since 1982.

David Seidenberg

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 Kabbalah and Ecology: God's Image in the More-Than-Human World, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. (To pre-order, click here and use discount code KEDMS14). 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.

Margot Seigle

Margot is a queer, white, Ashkenazi Jew born and raised in Elgin, IL, where her Great Grandpa arrived three generations ago, and where her parents met at the synagogue her Great Grandpa started. Growing up with more than enough, she believes that we would all – even the 1%! – be better off if everyone had enough, and fights to shift this paradigm. An organizer at heart, she does this through supporting the leadership development of individuals and building collective energy and shared decision-making structures around projects that shift power and resources to those at the frontlines of injustice. Margot sees learning about the impacts of privilege and oppression as well as building tools to support the healing of this impact as crucial to being an effective change maker. She seeks to bring her values, skills, and networks to the Jewish community to thinking about what healing looks like with the complex history as well as expanding our concept of and strengthening our obligation to community. In her free time, Margot enjoys crafting, singing, fiddling, cooking, meditating, biking, and bringing people together. Margot is currently the Ḥazon Transformative Experiences Fellow based out of Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center.

Andrew Shaw

Jewish spiritual seeker and creative liturgist.

Nili Simhai

The former director of the Teva Learning Center, Nili Simhai is a leader of the Jewish environmental education movement. She has trained and counseled hundreds of educators in the pedagogy of Jewish environmental education and has put environmental sensibilities and programs squarely in the middle of Jewish educational programming and outreach. In 2009 she was the recipient of the Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education. In addition, she is proud of her role in the creation of Teva’s Shomrei Ḥayyot, Yitziah, and “Bringing It Back to Our Schools” programs, as well as her contribution to the development of several Teva curricula. Passionate about all of Creation, Nili’s background includes study and work in ecological concerns ranging from wildlife conservation, wetland remediation, and entomology (Ohio State University) to ornithology (International Birdwatching Center in Eilat, Smithsonian Institute) and natural history (Natural History Museum of Cleveland). She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts with her husband Yosh and her little boy, Tal.

Alex Sinclair

Dr. Alex Sinclair is the Director of Programs in Israel Education at JTS. He has published numerous articles on Israel education, as well as the book, Loving the Real Israel: An Educational Agenda for Liberal Zionism (2013) by Ben Yehuda Press.

Beverly Socher-Lerner

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 Spatz

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.

Devora Steinmetz

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.

Alan Jay Sufrin

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

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.

Ira Tick

Ira Tick is a Jewish educator.


Ethan Tucker

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.

Aharon Varady

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.

Arthur Waskow

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

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.

Hillel Ḥayyim Yisraeli-Lavery

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.

Tzemaḥ Yoreh

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

Aharon VaradyFounding 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.

Lead Developer

Efraim Feinstein is the lead developer of the Open Siddur web application.
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What for is Open Source in Judaism?

The Open Siddur is a G'MaḤ for Tefilot and related text and art. Transcribe or translate a prayer and share it. Help us develop our software. If you can't share a text or code, then please help us by telling others about this project or by donating some money to help us pay someone else to pick up the slack. Every shekel, drachma, or dollar you contribute helps to liberate the ingredients of Jewish spiritual practice for all collaborating free/libre and open source initiatives. Your tax deductible donation will help us afford to maintain this website, grow this project, and complete our web application.

Recent Posts

"Rainbow God's Earth Covenant" (Virginia, credit: ForestWander, license: CC BY-SA)The Rainbow Haftarah by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

I call you to make from fire not an all-consuming blaze
But the light in which all beings see each other fully.
All different,
All bearing One Spark.
I call you to light a flame to see more clearly
That the earth and all who live as part of it
Are not for burning:
A [...]

"Tea bowl fixed in the Kintsugi method" (Public Domain). Kintsugi  is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer resin dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.סידור ולא נבוש | Jewish Prayer as Shame Resilience Practice: Siddur v’Lo Nevosh for Shaḥarit by Rabbi Shoshana Friedman

For those of us who speak a religious language, we can understand our journey of building shame resilience as one of the many ways we can uplift, exalt, praise, and honor not just our own lives but the Life of life itself. Whenever we feel unworthy of love and belonging, we can remember that the [...]

"Fruits of Prunus domestica" (credit: YAMAMAYA, license: CC BY-SA)Prayer Before Studying Kabbalah by Rav Yitzḥak Luria (translated by Aharon Varady)

Master of the worlds and Lord of Lords,
Father of Compassion and Forgiveness,
we give thanks before you [haShem] Elohainu, Elohai of our ancestors,
by bowing and kneeling for having brought us near to your Torah and to your sacred work,
and for granting us a portion in the hidden insights of your holy Torah.

"Kipppunkt Ei" (an egg symbolizing a tipping point) credit: Jovel, license CC BY 3.0.יום כיפור | HaVidui Ha-Mashlim, Complementary Confession by R’ Binyamin Holtzman

Ahavnu – We have loved,
Bakhinu – we have cried,
Gamalnu – we have given back,
Dibarnu yofi – we have spoken great things!
He’emanu – We have believed,
v’Hish’tadalnu – and we tried to give our best effort,
Zakharnu – we have remembered,
Chibaknu – we have embraced,
Ta’amnu Sefer – we have chanted [...]

"Shmita sign." A resident of Holon, Israel, announcing the fruits on the trees in his backyard are hefker (ownerless property) during the year of Shmita, and that anyone can enter and harvest them.
עברית: תושב חולון מודיע כי הפירות על העצים בחצרו הם הפקר לרגל שנת שמיטה. (credit: Drork, Public Domain.)הרחמן | Haraḥaman, Prayer to the merciful One for the Shmita Year, R”H seder additions, and other liturgical tweaks by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

This Haraḥaman (prayer to the merciful or compassionate One) for the Shmitah or sabbatical year can be added to Birkat Hamazon (blessing after meals) during the whole Shmitah year, in order to remember and open our hearts to the sanctity of the land. Say it right before the Harachaman for Shabbat, since Shmitah is the [...]

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