Jewish Troops Get First New Prayer Book Since World War II

A prayer book developed for use by Jews in the U.S. military will be released this week.

Reform, Orthodox and Conservative rabbis cooperated in creating the prayer book, which was commissioned by the JWB Jewish Chaplains Council. The prayer book is the first of its type published since World War II.

The chaplains council, a program of the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America, which is holding its conference this week, received permission to reprint Hebrew and English texts from other prayer books in the new siddur.

“We had the ability to move freely through their prayer books, allowing us to create a book that each rabbi can use differently,” said retired Rear Adm. Rabbi Harold Robinson, director of the council. “Yet for each soldier, sailor or Marine, it will be the same, no matter where he or she is stationed.”

In recent years, Jewish chaplains and lay leaders leading services have used a variety of books, according to their personal preference, which meant that service personnel had to adapt to a new prayer book when moving to a different base.

The book includes a foreword by President Obama.

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