Jewish Educational Siddurim (Prayer books) in Eretz-Israel, 1899-2020: Development, Ideology and an Annotated List


  • Reuven Gafni


Siddur, prayer, Liturgy, Education, Eretz-Israel, Israel, Synagogue, School, Shul


Beyond its liturgical role, the Siddur (Prayer Book) is also a significant component of the traditional Jewish educational system. The first siddur is usually given to young children as part of a special event, and is later used as a tool for creating a common prayer in class, but also for teaching the prayer’s structure and contents, and for improving reading and comprehension skills in Hebrew. As the siddur is part of the unique pedagogical, religious and ideological identity of each school, a very wide variety of educational siddurim have been created over the years, reflecting through their content and design the nature of the prayer in each institution; the ideological context in which the school operates; and of course, also the time and place in which each siddur was printed.

This article reviews the wide offer of educational siddurim printed in modern times in Eretz-Israel, while referring to the chronological development of this genre, as well as to other fundamental issues concerning it. This review is based on the detailed and annotated inventory list of all educational siddurim printed in Eretz-Israel, presented in the second part of the article.