Reform Jewish Communities in North America and in the Southern Hemisphere to be Unified Via Prayer Book

Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) Partners With the World Union of Progressive Judaism in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and South Africa to Create "Siddur" for Progressive Congregations in the Southern Hemisphere

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| Source: Central Conference of American Rabbis

NEW YORK and TORONTO, Nov. 3, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The CCAR Press is publishing a new version of Mishkan T'filah, the official and newly developed prayer book of the Jewish Reform movement, to meet the needs of the Progressive Jewish communities in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and South Africa. CCAR Press is the publishing arm of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the professional organization of Reform rabbis in North America and throughout the world, the largest group of Jewish clergy.

Mishkan T'filah was first published in 2007 and is now used in most Reform congregations throughout North America. The differences between the original and the upcoming version of the siddur (prayer book) include respective national anthems, poetry by local poets and references to the cycle of seasons. In addition, the World Union version will reflect the desire of communities there to have the option to use more traditional rituals and references in certain places, while still maintaining the style and spirit of Mishkan T'filah.

Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus, President of the CCAR, said, "Mishkan T'filah is setting a new standard for liturgy not only in North America but around the world. How wonderful that this prayer book will unite Jewish communities in different countries. We are very excited to be part of this historic endeavor."

The World Union version is being created by CCAR Press in collaboration with rabbis and lay people from the communities adopting it. "This project is a wonderful collaboration," says the Union for Progressive Judaism (UPJ) President David Robinson. "The launch of the new siddur will be a central feature of our forthcoming celebrations of 80 years of Progressive Judaism in this region." The official publishing agreement will be signed in Toronto on Friday, November 6th, at the Union of Reform Judaism Biennial. Books are expected to be available in 2010.

"We are thrilled to be able to work with our friends in the Southern Hemisphere to create a siddur for them that meets their desires and needs. We are very proud that they have chosen Mishkan T'filah as the siddur that most closely fits their outlook and values," said Rabbi Hara Person, publisher and director of CCAR Press.

To arrange a conversation with Rabbi Hara Person, Publisher and Director of CCAR Press, please contact Itay Engelman of Sommerfield Communications, Inc. at 212-255-8386 or itay@sommerfield.com.

About the Central Conference of American Rabbis

The Central Conference of American Rabbis, founded in 1889, is the oldest and largest rabbinic organization in North America. As the professional organization for Reform Rabbis of North America, the CCAR projects a powerful voice in the religious life of the American and international Jewish communities. Since its establishment, the CCAR has a rich history of giving professional and personal support to Reform rabbis, providing them opportunities for study, professional development and spiritual growth beginning while they are still in seminary, through mid-careers, and into retirement. The CCAR is uniquely positioned to meet the ongoing needs of its nearly 2,000 member rabbis (virtually the entire Reform rabbinate) and the entire Reform Jewish community.

The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6492

About the Union for Progressive Judaism

The Union for Progressive Judaism (http://www.upj.org.au/) is the roof body for the 25 Progressive congregations and affiliated organizations throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.

About the World Union for Progressive Judaism

The World Union of Progressive Judaism (http://wupj.org/) is the international umbrella organization of the Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist movements, serving 1,200 congregations with 1.7 million members in more than 40 countries.

About CCAR Press

CCAR Press (http://ccarpress.org/), a division of the CCAR, publishes liturgy and resource materials for the Reform Movement, including prayer books for the home, congregations and other Jewish institutions, as well as Responsa, platforms and guidelines.

Sommerfield Communications, Inc.  
Media Contact:
Itay Engelman
212-255-8386