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Our new draft Rosh Hashanah morning Machzor

Reform Judaism’s Machzor, or High Holy Days prayer book, was last revised in 1985. In 2014 we published a draft edition of the Rosh Hashanah evening service and then carried out an extensive process of collecting feedback about it by survey and consultations in all of our synagogues that wished to participate. This coming Rosh Hashanah your synagogue will be able to celebrate Rosh Hashanah with a draft edition of our new Machzor containing services for the whole of Rosh Hashanah morning.

What will be inside?

  • A look and feel in harmony with the Reform Judaism Siddur, published in 2008, Seder HaTefillot
  • Very clear ‘navigation’ so that you always know where you are in the service
  • Notes to help give meaning to all of the traditional prayers on the page where they occur
  • Additional material to enhance the second day of Rosh Hashanah service
  • New gender inclusive translation of all of the prayers
  • New transliteration of all of the prayers
  • Inspiring creative pieces alongside the traditional prayers and in the new study anthology, many written especially for the book, dealing with issues of today and also the timeless concerns of the Jewish people
  • New commentary on all of the Torah and Haftarah portions reflecting today’s Bible scholarship
  • Printed in two colours to easily differentiate between reflective or modern and liturgical writing

How can synagogue members help us to get the draft Rosh Hashanah morning Machzor right?

As part of the process of creating the draft Machzor the editors, Rabbi Professor Jonathan Magonet and Rabbi Paul Freedman and the Chair of the Machzor Editorial Group, Rabbi Mark Goldsmith are holding two open consultation events to which all are welcome. We ask that you register ahead of the consultations at machzor@reformjudaism.org.uk so that you will be e-mailed a copy of the draft Machzor ten days before the consultation. We invite you to ensure your congregation is represented by people who would like to help Reform Judaism publish excellent prayer books.

Southern Machzor Consultation: Wednesday 20 April, 20:00-22:00, the Shofar Building, the Sternberg Centre, 80 East End Road, London N3 2SY

Northern Machzor Consultation: Sunday 22 May, 10:30-12:30, Manchester Reform Synagogue, Jackson’s Row, Manchester M2 5NH

What is the timetable for publication?

  1. We need to receive your synagogue’s orders for copies of the draft Rosh Hashanah morning Machzor by 16 May 2016. Please send your orders simply stating how many copies you require to machzor@reformjudaism.org.uk or call Marcia Singer at the MRJ offices on 020-8349 5642. The cost per copy will be under £2.00. The draft Machzor will be published in book format similar to that which was used for the draft Rosh Hashanah evening Machzor.
  2. Loose leaf copies of the Draft Machzor will be available for rabbis, cantors, choir leaders and shlichei tzibbur (prayer leaders) in the first week of June 2016. These can also be ordered from Marcia Singer at a cost of £3.00 each.
  3. Copies of the draft Machzor will be available to look though at Chagigah.
  4. We aim to organise a music sharing and teaching event on Sunday afternoon 3 July 2016 at the Sternberg Centre to help choir leaders and others to build the music for this Rosh Hashanah.
  5. Your synagogue book form copies will be distributed from mid-August ensuring that you receive them well ahead of Rosh Hashanah.
  6. We will organise a process for members of our congregations to feedback to the Machzor Editorial Group their impressions and ideas stemming from their experience of using the draft Machzor to help us to get the final edition right.
  7. We are aiming for the whole two volume final Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Machzor to be published in time for congregants to buy for the High Holidays in 5779/2018 at a total price similar to that which we charge today for the 1985 Machzor.

Any questions about the draft Machzor?

Please feel welcome to contact Rabbi Mark Goldsmith at machzor@reformjudaism.org.uk, on 020 8457 8791 or Alyth (North Western Reform Synagogue), Alyth Gardens, London NW11 7EN.

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