Soldiers getting first new Jewish prayerbook in decades

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

Reform, Orthodox and Conservative rabbis cooperated in creating the prayerbook, which was commissioned by the JWB Jewish Council. It 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, received permission to reprint Hebrew and English texts from other prayerbooks, “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, service personnel had to adapt to a new prayerbook when moving to a different base. The book includes a foreword by President Barack Obama. — jta