A bespoke Siddur (prayer book) designed to meet the needs of older Jewish people residing at Belong Morris Feinmann has been unveiled at a special Sabbath service, marking the culmination of years of collaboration between the Didsbury care village’s chaplain and community volunteers.
The new version distils hundreds of pages of a traditional prayer book into a focused, large print version, making it easier for Belong’s customers, including those living with dementia, to follow and take part in the monthly services. Countless hours of meticulous translation, transliteration and proof reading has brought the prayer book to fruition, thanks to generous support of Belong Morris Feinmann chaplain, Rabbi Perez, and community volunteers, Alex Crawford and Elaine Newman.
The project was the brainchild of Helen Lister, Trustee of The Feinmann Trust, which works closely with the Belong village to provide a Jewish cultural and religious input. She said: “The goal was to produce a prayer book that was easier for Belong’s customers to handle and find their way around. We are delighted that we can finally share the finished version with everyone, and we are happy that it has been so well received.”
The book is dedicated to the late Tom Einstein, funder of the prayer book and son of a co-founder of the original Morris Feinmann Home, set-up during World War II to support Jewish refugees settling in Manchester. Today, it is run by not-for-profit dementia specialist, Belong, having opened the state-of-the-art care village on the former Palatine Road site to continue caring primarily for the Jewish community.
Adding to the special nature of the occasion was the 80th Bar Mitzvah anniversary of resident, Harold Franks, who read the Va’etchanan haftorah portion of the service. A beautiful Kiddush, provided by the Feinmann Social Committee, followed in the on-site Bistro for customers and their families to enjoy.
Angela Luckett, religious and cultural coordinator at Belong Morris Feinmann, said: “A lot of effort has gone into creating this book and our customers have been expressing how much more they are enjoying the services, with our personalised Siddur making it easier for them to participate. We are very grateful to The Feinmann Trust and all those involved for their generosity and their thoughtfulness.”