On Sunday 9th September, Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks launched the new Tribe Children and Families siddur at Hampstead Garden Suburb United Synagogue.
The siddur, known as ‘Siddur Shevet Asher’, has a colour coded layout which easily categorises the prayer services. The siddur, based on the previous Siddur Shevet Asher has several new sections, including prayers for Jewish festivals, Yom Ha’Atzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim, regular blessings and specific individual prayers.
Across the siddur, illustrations, translations and commentary explain the functions of many prayers and blessings in a user friendly format.
Following a children’s ‘tour’ of the siddur, Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks addressed the school children present and the team involved in the production of the siddur. He noted that this edition was ‘a quantum leap from other children’s siddurim’ and praised the help of the Loftus family in supporting the project. Turning to the children, he reminded them that the prayers they learn when young stay with them throughout their lives.
Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks said: “There is nothing more moving than watching children pray. It is prayer of the purest kind. This siddur, so beautiful and accessible in its design, is a fitting tribute to a special man, Asher Loftus z”l. He was someone who recognised that the reason our people have survived for more than four thousand years is because in every generation Jews made it their highest priority to hand their faith on to their children. In giving Asher’s name to the first and this – the second – edition of the children’s siddur, the Loftus family has made a significant contribution to helping children across the Jewish world connect with their faith in a more meaningful and lasting way. I commend all those involved in this project, in particular Simon Goulden and all the team at Tribe for the work that has been put in to making this such a special contribution to the future of British and world Jewry.”
Rabbi Andrew Shaw, Executive Director of Tribe said;
“I am delighted with how the Tribe Children’s siddur has turned out and I hope that it will be a part of our children’ lives for many years to come. I am so proud that Tribe has been heavily involved with this vital project.”
Six year old Daniel Frankel of Wolfson Hillel Primary School was one of the school children invited to test the siddur. He added;
“I really enjoyed being with the Chief Rabbi. The siddur is really good and I could find Anim Zemirot and the Shema very easily”.
Head of Jewish Studies at IJPS Deborah Harris praised “all the hard work that the Tribe team had put in to producing such an excellent Siddur. The children are now looking forward to using their new Siddurim in school”.
This new siddur is an update of the United Synagogue’s original Children’s siddur which was widely used by thousands of Jewish children across the community, since its publication in 1995.
Siddur Shevet Asher, the Tribe Siddur for Children and Families can be purchased through Jewish bookshops or on line at www.tribesiddur.net.
Above photo: Mrs Rebecca Loftus, wife of the late Asher Loftus, receving a siddur from the Chief Rabbi