Contributors (A→Z)

The Open Siddur Project is a volunteer-driven collaboration between folk passionate about Jewish spiritual practice. Some are interested in the Siddur as a technology for preserving and disseminating an evolving history of Jewish ritual, practice, and sacred poetry. Others are energized by the design challenge of crafting Siddurim that function effectively for nurturing spiritual, emotional and creative intelligence. All of us see the potential that creative engagement holds for empowering students and teachers to take ownership of those ingredients comprising their shared cultural inheritance.

The Open Siddur is a non-prescriptive, non-denominational project whose only intent is to help revitalize Judaism by ensuring its collective spiritual resources — the creative content intended for communal use — remain free for creative reuse. The Open Siddur Project invites participation without prejudice towards ethnic heritage, skin color, nationality, belief or non-belief, sex, gender, sexuality or any other consideration. All we ask for is an intellectually honest commitment to the principles and sensibilities preserved in our mission statement.

Edgar Magnin
Edgar Magnin (July 1, 1890 – July 17, 1984) was rabbi and spiritual leader of Wilshire Boulevard Temple (previously Congregation B’nai B’rith), the oldest Jewish congregation in Los Angeles, California. Magnin served at the temple for 69 years and was considered one of the most prominent Jewish leaders in the United States, sometimes called the "Rabbi to the Stars" because of his close connections to the Hollywood film industry.
Sheikha Ibtisam Maḥameed
My name is Ibtisam. I am Palestinian, living in northern Israel. My primary focus is on improving relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel, and I also work to improve the status of women in both Arab and Jewish society. Even though Arabs and Israelis live very close to one another, most have no social connection whatsoever. Most of my work is in the Palestinian community in Israel, especially amongst women whose position in Arab society is still repressed. I try to help them build up their confidence, and then I introduce them to groups of people of the three major faiths - Islam, Christianity and Judaism. For many years I have been counseling Arab and Jewish women regarding the status of women in society. As a religious Muslim woman, I work with religious Jewish, Druze, and Christian women on promoting peace by learning about each other's religions and cultures. I am on the board of Middleway, an NGO for the promotion of compassion and non-violence, and I helped found the Women's Interfaith Encounter, a program of the Interfaith Encounter Association.
Avraham Maimin (fl. 16th c.) was a student of Rabbi Moshe Cordovero in his Safed School of Qabbalah. He is primarily known for his mystical piyyut, "El Mistater."
Akiva Males
Akiva Males is rabbi of Young Israel of Memphis, Tennessee. He grew up in Cleveland, OH, and received his Jewish education at the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland, the Wisconsin Institute for Torah Study (W.I.T.S.), and Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim (Rabbinical Seminary of America) based in Queens, NY -- where he received his semikha. From 2007-2016, Rabbi Males served as rabbi of Kesher Israel Congregation in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Ralph Marcus (translation)
Ralph Marcus (1900–1956), U.S. scholar of Hellenistic Judaism. Born in San Francisco the son of the talmudic scholar Moses Marcus, Marcus was educated at Columbia, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on Law in the Apocrypha (1927), and at Harvard where he studied with Harry A. Wolfson (1925–27). He taught at the Jewish Institute of Religion, at Columbia (1927–43), and at the University of Chicago (1947–56). Marcus is best known for editing, translating, and annotating four volumes of Josephus and two of Philo in the Loeb Classical Library series. His notes show an unusual wealth of lexical and historical knowledge, and his translations are accurate and lucid. His invaluable appendixes on select points in Josephus are careful, critical monographs. His bibliographies in these volumes and in separate works (PAAJR, 16 (1946/47), 97–181; Jewish Studies in Memory of G.A. Kohut (1935), 463–91) show his mastery of the literature and his critical acumen. He successfully undertook the extraordinarily difficult task of translating Philo's Quaestiones et Solutiones from the Armenian and restored the Greek in numerous places.
David Evan Markus
David Evan Markus (born 1973) is an American attorney, public officer, rabbi and spiritual director. He currently serves as Deputy Chief Counsel in the New York State Judiciary, Judicial Referee in New York Supreme Court, senior builder with Bayit: Your Jewish Home, and co-rabbi of Temple Beth-El of City Island (New York City, New York). Markus formerly served as Special Counsel to the New York State Senate Majority and co-chair of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. A leader of Jewish Renewal, Markus resides in Westchester County, New York.
Dalia Marx
Rabbi Dalia Marx (PhD) is an Associate professor of liturgy and midrash at the Jerusalem campus of Hebrew Union College-JIR, and teaches in various academic institutions in Israel and Europe. Marx, tenth generation in Jerusalem, earned her doctorate at the Hebrew University and her rabbinic ordination at HUC-JIR in Jerusalem and Cincinnati. She is involved in various research projects and is active in promoting liberal Judaism in Israel. Marx writes for academic and popular journals and publications. She is the author of When I Sleep and when I Wake: On Prayers between Dusk and Dawn (Yediot Sfarim 2010, in Hebrew), A Feminist Commentary of the Babylonian Talmud (Mohr Siebeck, 2013, in English) and the co-editor of a few books. Marx lives in Jerusalem with her husband Rabbi Roly Zylbersztein (PhD) and their three children.
The book of Deuteronomy (sefer Devarim) is considered the composite of two layers of redaction, ‘D1’ and ‘D2.’ Together, these layers (commonly referred to as the ‘Deuteronomist’) are thought to have formed by a complex process that reached probably from the 7th century BCE to the early 5th. D1 is primarily responsible for incorporating the law code of Deuteronomy into the Pentateuch and adding a layer of redaction concerned with theodicy in the books of Joshua-Kings.
Biblical scholar Dr. Alexander Rofé posits a Deuteronomic strata which "reflects the strength and demands of the Jerusalem priesthood" following upon the reforms of King Yoshiyahu in the mid- to late 7th century BCE. The third Deuteronomist (and the latest) is the most easily identified, since they are the Deuteronomist most interested in Priestly themes such as purity, proper sacrifice, and the priests. This third Deuteronomist seems to have confined his additions to the book of Deuteronomy (almost exclusively confining himself to hortatory and laws).
The book of Deuteronomy (sefer Devarim) is considered the composite of two layers of redaction, 'D1' and 'D2.' Together, these layers (commonly referred to as the 'Deuteronomist') are thought to have formed by a complex process that reached probably from the 7th century BCE to the early 5th. In general, D2 shares a particularly non-Judean perspective following the split between the north (Ephraim/Israel) and the south (Judah) after the reign of Solomon, a perspective that was ignored by D1 (and successive authors). D2 thus adds a parallel summary of the Northern Israelean monarchs, and brings in the prophetic narratives of Elijah and Elisha which take place in Northern Israel during the time of the Northern Israelean monarchy. In Deuteronomy, D2 adds hortatory (sermons) to D1’s narrative introduction at the beginning of Deuteronomy (the focus of which is the observation of the commandments and divine justice), and otherwise supplements D1’s work. D2 also adds some verses to the book of Exodus (sefer Shemot) in Parashat Bo.
Rabbi Moritz Mayer, born 1821 in Dürckheim-on-the-Haardt, Germany, fled to the United States and to New York as a political refugee of the 1848 revolution. In 1856, after a five year stint as a rabbi in Charleston, South Carolina, he returned in poor health to New York where he contributed frequently to the Jewish press, and translated various German works into English: Rabbi Samuel Adler's catechism, Abraham Geiger's lectures on Jewish history, and Ludwig Philipson's pamphlet, Haben die Juden Jesum Gekreuzigt? (the Crucifixion from the Jewish Point of View), et al. In 1866, he published an english translation of Fanny Neuda's Stunden Der Andacht. The following year, Moritz Mayer passed away. He was 45 years old.
Noa Mazor
Rabbi Noa Mazor (HUC Jer '16) Educator, inter-religious and peace activist.
Oded Mazor
Rabbi Oded Mazor is a Reform rabbi and the rabbi of the Leo Baeck school in Haifa. He engages students at Hannaton Educational Center in Jewish text related to many daily and life-cycle issues in Judaism, including brit milah, kashrut and romantic relationships and helps connect the Halakha with real-life issues. Oded is a member of Kibbutz Hannaton.
Dafna Meir
Dafna Meir, z"l, mother of 6, was a nurse who treated patients at the Neurosurgery department at Soroka Hospital in Beersheva, Israel.
Lev Meirowitz Nelson
Rabbi Lev Meirowitz Nelson is the Director of Rabbinic Training for T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. Lev was ordained in 2013 from Hebrew College, where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. In 2017, Lev was honored by the Covenant Foundation with a Pomegranate Prize, which recognizes early-career Jewish educators. Before attending rabbinical school, Lev taught fifth grade at the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan for three years and worked for many summers at URJ Eisner Camp. He holds an AB in Geology from Brown University and spent a post-baccalaureate semester at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, where conservation and sustainable development are approached in the context of Arab-Israeli peace efforts.
Andrew Meit
Andrew Meit is a scholar of the imagination, scholar on Martin Buber, a type designer and software tester, and a Jewish artist who is disabled. Andrew is legally blind, legally deaf, and has several learning problems stemming from contracting congenital rubella. Through out his life Andrew has striven to turn his disabilities into well made art that inspires and celebrates beauty and truth. Although mainly self-taught in calligraphy, drawing and design, Andrew formally studied at the Cleveland Art Institute. With the font editor Fontographer, he created the well known font GoodCity Modern (a version of the typeface used in Gutenberg’s bible) and Final Roman, a template font for type designers. Recently, after decades of work, Andrew produced a digital recreation of the first page of Genesis from the Gutenberg Bible. Currently he is working on a new translation of Ich und Du and a font based on Buber's handwriting. In 1984, Andrew earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies with minors in Mathematics and Philosophy from Stetson University. Originally from Lousiville, Kentucky, he currently lives in Plantation, Florida.
Eliezer Meler (1889-1967), Yiddish translator, poet and novelist, wrote under the pseudonum L. Miler. In 1940, he published what is to this day the fullest and most satisfactory translation of Whitman's verse and prose into Yiddish.
Aaron Melman
Aaron Melman is head rabbi at Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook, IL. Originally from Toronto, he graduated York University with BA in Judaic Studies. He attended the Jewish Theological Seminary where he received his ordination in May 2002.While at JTS, Rabbi Melman taught Hebrew School at Or Zarua, a Conservative synagogue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and served as a student chaplain with the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). Rabbi Melman is involved in the community through the Northbrook Clergy Association, serves on the Board of Directors of The Norton and Elaine Sarnoff for Jewish Genetics, and is the immediate Past-President of the Chicago Region of Rabbinical Assembly. Rabbi Melman also serves as the only Chaplain to the Northbrook Fire Department.
Shimon Menachem, a/k/a "Shimonides" is a writer and educator living in St. Louis, Missouri.
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".
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.
Abraham Pereira Mendes
Abraham Pereira Mendes (February 9, 1825 in Kingston, Jamaica – April 18, 1893 in New York City) was an English rabbi and educator. He was the first master of the Beth Limud School of Kingston, but resigned in order to prepare in London, England for the vocation of preacher and rabbi. He studied under Dr. David Meldola, son of Haham Raphael Meldola, as well as under his future father-in-law, the Rev. D. A. de Sola, known as "the learned Hazzan" of the Sephardic community, and received his diplomas. He returned to Jamaica and became for a short time assistant to the Rev. Isaac Lopez, minister of the Kingston Sephardic congregation, but was soon called from that position to be the minister of the Montego Bay community. In 1883, he was called to the ministry at the historic Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, by the guardian Congregation Shearith Israel of New York and continued as its minister until his death ten years later. He was the first among the Sephardim to publish a volume of sermons in English (1855). He translated the Daily Prayer-Book of the German Jews (Valentine's edition), and finished the translation of the Festival and Holy Day Books left incomplete by the death of Rev. D. A. de Sola. He published, besides, The Law of Moses, Post-Biblical History of the Jews (to fall of Jerusalem), Interlineary Translation of the Prayer-Book (German), and the Haggadah.
Joseph B. Meszler (translation)
Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler is the spiritual leader of Temple Sinai of Sharon, Massachusetts. He also has a regular blog on the Huffington Post and is the author of several books and articles. Rabbi Meszler has lectured widely and been heard in many venues, including Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio. He has also been an instructor at the Kehillah Schechter Academy and previously served at Washington Hebrew Congregation in Washington, DC. He was ordained at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati in 1999.
Carole L. Meyers
Rabbi Carole Meyers (1957-2007) was the first woman in Southern California to lead a congregation full-time. Meyers was ordained in 1983 by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and spent three years as assistant rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in Houston. She became the rabbi of Temple Sinai of Glendale in 1986, when she was 29. She resigned in 2001, and died in 2007 of bone cancer. Posthumously, a book of her sermons was published, titled Leaning on God: Sermons (2018). She first became interested in becoming a rabbi after her father died when she was 13 and her stepfather died when she was 19, and the rituals and community support of the synagogue helped her through her grief.
Sarah M. is a third year medical student in Israel studying how to be a doctor, a friend, and an engaged citizen.
Yosef Ḥayyim miBaghdad
Yosef Chaim (1 September 1835 – 30 August 1909) (Iraqi Hebrew: Yoseph Ḥayyim; Hebrew: יוסף חיים מבגדאד) was a leading Iraqi ḥakham (Sephardi Rabbi), authority on halakha (Jewish law), and Master Kabbalist. He is best known as author of the work on Halakha Ben Ish Ḥai (בן איש חי) ("Son of Man (who) Lives"), a collection of the laws of everyday life interspersed with mystical insights and customs, addressed to the masses and arranged by the weekly Torah portion.
Netanel Miles-Yépez
Netanel Miles-Yépez is an artist, religion scholar, and spiritual teacher. Born into a Mexican-American family, in his late teens, Miles-Yépez discovered his family's hidden Jewish roots and began to explore Judaism and other religions seriously. After studying history of religions and comparative religion at Michigan State University, he moved to Boulder, Colorado to study with the innovative Hasidic master and leader in ecumenical dialogue, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal movement. In addition to Schachter-Shalomi, he also studied with various Sufi masters and teachers of Buddhism, and counts Father Thomas Keating, Trappist monk and founder of the Centering Prayer movement, as an important influence. In 2004, he and Schachter-Shalomi co-founded the Sufi-Hasidic, Inayati-Maimuni Order, fusing the Sufi and Hasidic principles of spirituality and practice espoused by Rabbi Avraham Maimuni in 13th-century Egypt with the teachings of the Ba’al Shem Tov and Hazrat Inayat Khan. Currently, he teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. As a writer on religious subjects, he is known for his critically acclaimed commentaries on Hasidic spirituality (written with Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi), A Heart Afire: Stories and Teachings of the Early Hasidic Masters (2009) and A Hidden Light: Stories and Teachings of Early HaBaD and Bratzlav Hasidism (2011). He is also the editor several ecumenical works, including The Common Heart: An Experience of Interreligious Dialogue (2006) and Meditations for InterSpiritual Practice (2011). As an artist, Miles-Yépez is mostly known for his vibrant paintings, influenced by traditional religious imagery and his Mexican-American heritage. His work in general represents a lifelong fascination with religious iconography, myth and symbol, image and archetype, cultural impressions and his own ancestry. Most of his work is concerned with the acculturation and use of traditional symbols and iconic forms in a new multi-cultural paradigm.
Louis Miller (translation)
Louis E. Miller (1866–1927), born Efim Samuilovich Bandes, was a Russian-Jewish political activist who emigrated to the United States of America in 1884. A trade union organizer and newspaper editor, Miller is best remembered as a founding editor of Di Arbeiter Tsaytung (The Workers' Newspaper), the first Yiddish-language weekly published in America, and a co-founder with Abraham Cahan of the Jewish Daily Forward, the country's first and foremost Yiddish-language daily.
Rabbi Uri Miller
Rabbi Uri Miller (1906 - 1972) joined Beth Israel synagogue in New Orleans in 1935, a post he would hold through the early 1940s. He was president of the Hebrew Theological College Alumni from 1936 to 1938, and of its successor the Rabbinical Council of America from 1946 to 1948. He was the rabbi of Beth Jacob in Baltimore from 1945 to 1972. From 1963-1965 he served as president of the Synagogue Council of America.
Jessica Minnen
Rabbi Jessica Minnen is the founding director of Seven Wells and the assistant director of the Jewish Journey Project. She is an alumna of Washington University in St. Louis, the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Paideia: The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden, Baltimore Hebrew University, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Jessica sits on the Board of Directors of the American Jewish Society for Service and is a visiting rabbi at Beth El in Bethesda, Maryland.
Ephraim Mirvis
Ephraim Mirvis (born 1956) is an Orthodox rabbi who serves as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. Traditionally the post has entailed that he also serves as the head of all British Jews as the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth. He served as the Chief Rabbi of Ireland between 1985 and 1992. (via his Wikipedia article)
Mishkan Shalom
Mishkan Shalom, founded in 1988, is a Reconstructionist synagogue located in the Roxborough-Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia, dedicated to repair of the world through prayer, study and acts of caring.
Nina Jane Mizrahi
Rabbi Nina Mizrahi is the director of the Pritzker Center for Jewish Education of the JCC of Chicago. Raised as a free-range child, Rabbi Nina Mizrahi’s deep spiritual center is rooted in the woods of upstate New York. After studying Biology and Environmental Chemistry in college, she worked in a research lab. Later ordained at HUC-JIR, her approach to Jewish life draws from all expressions of Judaism and is influenced by science, nature and neo-chasidism. Rabbi Nina honors all learning styles and inspires learners to think in new ways. Identified as a community rabbi, she seeks to bring together believer, atheist and agnostic, humanist, deist and seeker, to discover a shared tradition of ethical and spiritual values.
Yosef ben Yuzl Mogilntski (also Magilntski and Magilntzky, Americanized: Joseph Magil, March 17, 1870-February 10, 1945) was born in Raseyn (Raseiniai), Kovno district, Lithuania. Until age fourteen he attended religious elementary schools and yeshivas, while stealthily studying modern Hebrew and Russian. At age sixteen he published essays in Hamelits (The spectator) and Yudishe folksblat (Jewish people’s newspaper). In 1889 he moved to Mitave (Mitava), Courland. There he studied German and acquainted himself with German literature. In 1890 he returned to Raseiniai and became a teacher in the school for the society “Banot Tsiyon” (Daughters of Zion). In 1892 he made his way to the United States, settled in Philadelphia, and founded there a Hebrew-Yiddish school called “Bene Tsiyon” (Children of Zion). In 1894 he founded in Philadelphia Yudishes folks blat (Jewish people’s newspaper), a biweekly published by the Mogilnitski Brothers and edited by Yoysef Mogilnitski, which came out for approximately one year. He also published articles in Der literarishe shtrahl (The literary ray [of light]), “monthly with an English division”—motto: “Literature and Science”—in Philadelphia, first volume (September 1899), last issue (February 1906). He also wrote (using the pen name “A. Mogil”) for Nyu-yorker yudishe folks-tsaytung (New York Jewish people’s newspaper) (1886-1889) and other publications. He published textbooks for schools and Talmud-Torahs (in Yiddish with English translation), including: Mogilnitskis linyen skul khumesh, oder oyzer hamore vehatalmid (dem lehers un shilers hehilfe) (Mogilnitski’s linear school Pentateuch, or an aide for the teacher and the student), “an entirely new and easy method of instruction in the entire Pentateuch, without change or abridgement, with great success, with assistance from a new ‘linear system,’ for [secular] schools, religious elementary schools, Talmud-Torahs, and self-study” (Philadelphia, 1899); Mogilnitskis hamekhin lakhumesh (Mogilnitski’s preparation for Pentateuch [study]) (Philadelphia, 1906), 199 pp.; Mogilnitskis linyen megiles ester (Mogilnitski’s linear Scroll of Esther) (Philadelphia); Mogilnitskis hagode shel peysekh (Mogilnitski’s Passover Haggada); Mogilnitskis kovets shire tsien veshire am (Mogilnitski’s collection of poems of Zion and poetry of the people) (Philadelphia, 1906), “fifty-six of the best poems in Hebrew, Yiddish, and English, with notes to sing and play in pocketbook format.” He also published: Sider lebote-seyfer velam (Prayer book for schools and the people) (Philadelphia, 1904), 176 pp., “complete prayer book for the entire year, all of the prayers all in one place, for every Jewish home, religious elementary schools, and schools, with important remarks and special notes by means of which everyone can know where one finds the two kinds of shva, by Yoysef son of Yude Mogilnitski.” He died in Philadelphia. (from the short biography by Zaynvl Diamant posted at Yiddish Leksikon. See there for sources.)
Emmeram Morning is the CEO of Robot Morning.
Lada Moskalets (translation)
Lada Moskalets is a historian, graduate student at Jagiellonian University (Kraków, Poland), and coordinator of the “Jewish Studies” program at Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv, Ukraine). Her academic interests include the social history of Eastern European Jewry, and Yiddish.
Masorti Movement in Israel
The Masorti Movement in Israel creates opportunities for all Jews to live Jewish lives in Israel unhindered, and on their own terms. It is a religious movement based on values of inclusion combined with traditional practice and Halakha (Jewish Law). Masorti represents a “third” way. Not secular Judaism. Not ultra-Orthodoxy. But a Jewish life that integrates secular beliefs. Halakhah with inclusion and egalitarianism. Tradition that recognizes the realities of today’s world. The Masorti Movement is committed to a pluralistic, egalitarian, and democratic vision of Zionism. Masorti engages tens of thousands of Israelis each year, young and old, native born as well as olim from around the globe.
Ben Murane works for the New Israel Fund, the leading organization promoting social justice and equality for all Israelis. Ben’s focus has been developing emerging Jewish communities around Israel, prayer, and social justice. Previously, he worked for New Voices, Hazon, and Breaking the Silence. He has held local and national lay leadership positions for J Street, Kol Zimrah, and the National Havurah Committee. He is also a co-publisher of
Isaac Henry Myers (1811-June 22, 1877), secretart to Sir Moses Montefiore and rabbi of the latter's Ramsgate synagogue from 1833-1877. Rabbi Myers officiated at weddings in Canterbury, of which congregation he was a honorary member. According to the Jewish Chronicle of 1st October 1847, he delivered the opening sermon at the laying of the foundation stone of the new Canterbury Synagogue by Sir Moses Montefiore. Isaac Myers was also an active educator and before 1842 he established a small boarding school at Ramsgate, the curriculum of which included Hebrew, English, Latin, German and French. The school was open to Jewish and non-Jewish pupils. In 1845, together with another brother, the Rabbi Moses Henry Myers, who was then assistant Reader of the Duke's Place synagogue, and Hebrew Master at its Talmud Torah school. Together, they published a booklet entitled Twelve hundred questions and answers on the Bible. The school was well supported and in 1865, after reorganization, it became known as the Ramsgate Middle Class school.

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