The City Shul Siddur: Shirat HaLev opens with a title page—a collage of historical title pages from prayerbooks in multiple languages (Arabic, Ladino, Spanish, German, and of course, English) from around the world, including the earliest Reform prayerbooks. The twelve panels recall the gems of the breastpiece of the High Priest that represented the twelve tribes. The quilt-like design seems fitting to open the siddur, as the siddur can be imagined as a patchwork of texts—biblical, talmudic, medieval, and modern, all lovingly sewn together over the centuries. Our unique siddur is now a new addition to the ever-growing library of Jewish prayerbooks.
We have reproduced the pages here, with a short description of each book.
The siddur, Aḇodath Yisrael was first prepared for Temple Oheb Shalom (Baltimore, Maryland) by Rabbi Benjamin Szold (1829-1902).
A siddur in Hebrew with English translation compiled by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise for Liberal/Reform congregations establishing a Minhag America.
Seder Avodat Yisrael (Isaac Seligman Baer, 1868), a critical text of the nusaḥ Ashkenaz.
The front-page of a Yemenite Baladi-rite Siddur, printed in Jerusalem in 1899 by Avraham Al-Naddaf
A siddur in Hebrew with German translation compiled by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise for Liberal/Reform congregations establishing a Minhag Ameriḳa.
Olat Tamid by Rev. Dr. David Einhorn (1809-1878), in its German-Hebrew edition (1858) (see below)
A bilingual Hebrew-Ladino Sefaradi siddur from the Ottoman Empire.
The first bilingual Hebrew-English “kol bo” (comprehensive) prayerbook published by the Hebrew Publishing Company in 1906.
The first edition of the Union Prayer Book, the official prayerbook of the Reform Movement in the US.
A bilingual Hebrew-Italian prayerbook compiled by the chief Rabbi of Rome according to the Nusaḥ Italḳi.
Index page of a Greek-Hebrew kol bo siddur, nusaḥ sefaradi (minhag Corfu) (Yosef Naḥmuli 1885),
Rabbi David Einhorn’s (1809- 1878) prayer book `Olat Tamid (lit. the perpetual sacrifice) first penned in Germany, served as the model for the Reform Movement’s Union Prayer Book.
Images and descriptions courtesy of the Open Siddur Project.