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High School Siddur Translation Project

  • Votes: 128

Submitted by: Hillel Broder

Cultural Considerations

Some schools may be uncomfortable with the idea of personalizing the siddur. I would recommend that all schools think of this as cultivating kavanah--teaching students the steps to realize kavanah in tefila. First, they must know what they're saying; then, they can say it beautifully, and in a personalized key. Finally, they can take that writing from their young adult lives into full adulthood--and it will serve them well, I'm sure, as the siddur is the most oft-used text by practicing Jews!

School Name(s)

SAR High School

Innovation Type


Full Name(s) of Collaborator(s) (If Applicable)



Every day for each year of high school, students break the siddur into verses (1-10 words per line) and offer an initial translation. This "document" is digital and is kept, from year to year, for revision. Students retain the prior year's translation, but revise it with a more mature sense of self and language. Goals by grade: 9th grade-basic verse breaking and translation; 10th grade-poetic technique; 11th grade-revision and integration of voice; 12th grade--formatting, revision, illustration.


Various siddur translations; various running commentaries on the siddur; Access to a google doc on a daily basis; access to printing/binding; oversight and guidance with a teacher/mentor


As a high school teacher of tefila and poetry, I imagine high school students spending part of their designated tefila time in structured translation work, with guidance to research standard siddurim and with lessons/guidance on creative translation, personalized commentary writing, poetic technique, and formatting. Goal: students engage in this every day for four years and emerge at the end of high school with their own translated siddurim that they take with them for the rest of their lives.

Subject/Grade Level

9th-12th; Tefila; Prayer; English (Poetry)

Comments (1)

Jacob David said:

Posted 2 years 25 weeks ago

Wow, this is actually a really great idea.

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