My spring semester ends
Another mother poem: eating the apple

Signal-boosting the Open Source Siddur

My online wanderings recently led me to the Open Siddur Project, which is -- as you might imagine -- so far up my alley it's in my backyard. 

The Open Siddur Project aims to produce a free software, web-based toolkit for users to prepare siddurim and other high quality Jewish liturgical works (such as haggadot and bentchers) to be printed out, shared online, or accessed via e-readers. In a general sense, the application we’re developing might be called a collaborative publishing platform: collaborative like a wiki but designed with the ultimate goal of generating print media. Online, the platform will provide a space for individual users to select from, author, and share all the components of a siddur including prayers, translations, commentaries, art, and layout templates for incorporation in new, custom designed siddurim. Alternately, the platform could be used as a novel educational tool for the study of Jewish liturgy.

Our project’s mission encompasses the values of pluralism (acceptance for the diversity of Jewish cultural expression), historical awareness (the text of the siddur is an aggregate of thousands of years of creatively inspired works), and individual freedom.

(That's from their What we do page.) The project is at the intersection of three things about which I care deeply: Jewish liturgy, liturgical creativity, and free culture / open source. Someday when I have a little more time again (this probably means in 2011 after my ordination!) I'd love to find a way to really lend a hand. For now, I don't have the time for Hebrew transcription work (and don't have the tech chops for coding work), but I do have some contemporary prayers kicking around; I just contributed my dvar tefilah on the prayer for dew, and I'm planning to contribute a few of my morning blessing variations too.

Anyway: kol hakavod ("all the honor" -- in other words, props) to the folks behind this project! If this is your cuppa too, check out the How you can help page.