By Rabbi Rebecca Ben-Gideon
Prayer is not supposed to be rote. The rabbis of the Talmud taught that each day, we should add something new to our prayers, mechadesh bo davar, We should not merely “get through” the prayers, they taught. Rather, for prayer to be effective, it has to be alive, infused with feeling and personal connections.
We are thrilled to have a new tool to help our students achieve this goal. On Thursday we said Shehechiyanu as for the first time, we used our new siddur (prayerbook) for grades 2 through 8.
Siddur Lev Sholom, was customized specifically for B’nai Shalom by its creator, educator Alex Weinberg. Alex worked with our Judaics faculty to create a book that fits with our program’s goal of making tefillah accessible, joyful and meaningful to students and their families. This edition of the weekday siddur makes prayer understandable and relevant to learners of all ages through the use of color, images, connections to Jewish values, accessible translations, as well as inspirational quotes and questions related to each prayer.
We are very grateful to the Hampel family for sponsoring this new siddur in memory of their son. Thanks as well to Gail LeBauer for helping to make this a reality for our school.
Our previous school siddurim remain precious to our students, who love the cover decorations their parents made. In the coming weeks look for an email inviting you to customize your children’s new siddur with words and photographs!