Efraim Feinstein

Efraim Feinstein is the lead developer of the Open Siddur web application.


הגדה לסדר פסח | Haggadah for the Passover Seder, with an English translation by Dr. Eve Feinstein

Contributed on: ז׳ בניסן ה׳תשע״ג (2013-03-17) by Eve Levavi Feinstein | Efraim Feinstein |

The Hebrew and Aramaic text of the Passover seder haggadah set side-by-side with an English translation by Dr. Eve Levavi Feinstein. . . .

סדר עבודת ישראל (אשכנז)‏ | Seder Avodat Yisroel, a critical text of the Siddur annotated by Isaac Seligman Baer (1868)

Contributed on: י״ח באב ה׳תש״ע (2010-07-28) by Isaac Seligman Baer | Efraim Feinstein |

Join us in creating a faithful digital transcription of the Seder Avodat Yisrael (Isaac Seligman Baer, 1868), a critical text of the nusaḥ Ashkeanaz. After transcription and proofreading, this new digital edition will be shared under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) Public Domain dedication. The edition will then be encoded in TEI XML and archived in the Open Siddur database, a libre Open Access liturgy database. . . .

Copyright and Commercial Use: the Problem with Creative Commons’ Non-Commercial Use Licenses

Contributed on: ד׳ באדר ב׳ ה׳תשע״א (2011-03-10) by Efraim Feinstein |

This post continues the series of advocacy posts directed at Jewish content creators and aggregators. Other parts of the series discussed the global communal benefit of free primary data resources and issues of copyright license compatibility and the connection between copyright licensing and remixability. While my previous post briefly mentioned the non-free Creative Commons licenses, this post details why you should choose a free culture license. In particular, it urges you to avoid the licenses with the non-commercial-use only (NC) terms. . . .

Openness, remixability, and free culture (Efraim Feinstein, 2010)

Contributed on: י״א בכסלו ה׳תשע״א (2010-11-17) by Efraim Feinstein |

Advocacy for creative works’ freedom represents a paradigm shift in thought among content creators: In a free culture, a premium is not placed on the material as-such or even the particular rights associated with the material. Instead, it is on the users’ freedom, and it is that freedom that is the prerequisite to large-scale creative engagement with educational material. . . .

Technology is a “plus” not “or” proposition: thoughts after NewCAJE 2010 by Efraim Feinstein

Contributed on: כ״ט באב ה׳תש״ע (2010-08-08) by Efraim Feinstein |

In education, technology is a means to an end, not an end in itself. There are some problems technology can solve, and others it can’t. As Joel Grishaver said better than I can, technology is a “plus” not “or” proposition. Learners will have different success rates using technological solutions, such as distance learning, and the use of computers cannot take the place of a real-world social community. On the other hand, technology also has the potential to transform learning and learning environments and to make both learning materials and the teachers to guide their use accessible where they would not have otherwise been. . . .

Efraim Feinstein presents the Open Siddur Project at NewCAJE, 2010

Contributed on: כ״ב באב ה׳תש״ע (2010-08-01) by Efraim Feinstein |

At the beginning of the talk, the audience expressed some discomfort with the idea of copying from one website to another, even if the original author is attributed. The main concern seemed to be that the author potentially loses control of his/her message if he/she has no idea of the remainder of the content of the website. On the other hand, one audience member who posts reviews on book review sites had an innate sense of the concept of mutual benefit: she posts reviews of the books she reads in part because she reads reviews posted by others. . . .

An Economic Argument for Open Data by Efraim Feinstein

Contributed on: כ״ו בשבט ה׳תש״ע (2010-02-09) by Efraim Feinstein |

Free, open data prevents the necessity of duplication of effort, which, in turn, prevents the community as a whole from unnecessarily wasteful spending. Particularly for organizations with a social mission, its use is a win for everyone. . . .

Architecture of the Open Siddur

Contributed on: ב׳ בטבת ה׳תש״ע (2009-12-18) by Efraim Feinstein |


Lead . . .

Jewish Content, Free Culture and “Content Compatibility” by Efraim Feinstein

Contributed on: ג׳ בכסלו ה׳תש״ע (2009-11-19) by Efraim Feinstein |

The free culture community has developed mechanisms to make sharing and collaborative development easier. The principles that define works of free culture are:

  1. the freedom to use the work and enjoy the benefits of using it
  2. the freedom to study the work and to apply knowledge acquired from it
  3. the freedom to make and redistribute copies, in whole or in part, of the information or expression
  4. the freedom to make changes and improvements, and to distribute derivative works

Note that these freedoms do not discriminate on the basis of endeavor, and all free culture works allow creation of derivative works and commercial use. . . .

Why all the software? by Efraim Feinstein

Contributed on: ט״ו במרחשון ה׳תש״ע (2009-11-02) by Efraim Feinstein |

One question I’ve been asked a number of times about the Open Siddur Project is: why are you developing all that software? It’s a fair question. After all, the siddur is just text. There are other do-it-yourself siddur kits out there. They sell you (or, more accurately, license you) a text. You open the text in a word processor, make a few stylistic changes, and voila, you have your own custom siddur. The “advanced” ones may even hand you one copy of a “nusaḥ Ashkenaz” siddur, one copy of a “nusaḥ Sefard” siddur, and one copy of a “nusaḥ Edot Hamizrah” siddur, giving you some choices. All good, right? So, once again, why does the Open Siddur need so much software? . . .

Invitation to Young Technologists

Contributed on: ט׳ באלול ה׳תשס״ט (2009-08-28) by Efraim Feinstein |


The . . .