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Siddur Lakol – how we helped

11 July 2022

Hadassa Kessler, Kisharon’s Director of Operations and Development, played a key role in developing the groundbreaking Siddur Lakol, a Siddur for everyone.

Support Worker Bertha Giordano with Joanne

She trialled early versions of the Siddur with people Kisharon supports to see what they found easier, or harder, to use, and the text was adapted accordingly. 

“It’s been a privilege to be involved with Siddur Lakol, and especially so, knowing the benefit it will bring to the people with learning disabilities we support at Kisharon. Siddur Lakol really is a siddur for everyone and it will open the doors to orthodox Jewish communal life for those who may have felt excluded in the past. 


“Through its pages, people with learning disabilities will be able to follow the service, connecting with Shabbat prayers and melodies that are sung every week making synagogue attendance, or even prayer at home, more engaging and meaningful,” she said. 

Hadassa helped decide the prayers to include, and in this, was inspired by Rabbi Neuman who runs Kisharon’s weekly Zoom Kabbalas Shabbos services. She adapted the text at the beginning of each prayer so people and those supporting them would be able to understand the context and practical instructions. 

“I was also involved in proofing both Hebrew and English, including ensuring that the PECS symbols were appropriate and easy to understand,” she added. PECS is a set of graphic icons to help those with autism spectrum conditions convey their thoughts and needs. All tefillot and songs in Siddur Lakol appear with matching PECS.

Salomé, a pupil at Kisharon Noé School, follows in the Siddur with Necola Reid-Warner, Operations Manager

Siddur Lakol focuses particularly on Kabbalas Shabbos, as communities running inclusive services have found this service successful. It also features in the Friday tefillot at Jewish schools.

Hadassa was on a working group developing the Siddur with Jweb, the US and Gesher School for 18 months.

The siddur will be produced in both A4 and A5 formats. Larger font sizes will help people with visual disabilities and the larger edition may help people who find it difficult to hold and read smaller siddurim.

It will be available to buy from September. Training videos are coming to support the new Siddur and help service leaders to develop more inclusive services. 


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Pirkei Avos
“The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G-d, and deeds of kindness.” Kisharon looks at the person not the disability, teaching Torah, Middos and Mitzvot embracing and cherishing everybody’s special talent and bringing out the best in them.