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A Center for Local and Global Community

Jews use synagogues not only as places to express faith but also to study and gather together in community. In the synagogue, people make connections to Jews around the corner and across the world.


Prayer Books

1. Orthodox Prayer Book, c. 1900 – This Orthodox siddur (Sabbath prayer book) uses only Hebrew (no English), and allows each worshiper to pray at his or her own pace. The service included rites recalling the sacrifices of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem thousands of years ago. This siddur was printed in Warsaw, Poland, and was owned by an immigrant in Wilson, who prayed in the custom of his homeland.

2. Zimrath Yah Hymnal, 1879 – Printed in New York, this hymnal belonged to New Bern’s Chester B’nai Scholem congregation, established by nineteenth-century German immigrants. Reflecting the Jews’ multicultural heritage, it includes prayers in English, German, and transliterated Hebrew.

3. Union Prayer Book, 1894 -This prayer book reflects Classical Reform Judaism, with a “minister” and a choir leading a service, mostly in English, that leaves out many ancient prayers associated with the priesthood and sacrificial rites. Reform congregations in North Carolina – including Wilmington, Asheville, Greensboro, Statesville, and Goldsboro – adopted this book in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

4. Selected Jewish Songs, 1943 – This prayer book for soldiers is one of a series of military Jewish worship books produced by the USO and the Jewish Welfare Board. In the Second World War, North Carolina had nine Jewish chaplains at seven bases./p>

5.Cates of Prayer, 1994 – Many Reform congregations, including Judea Reform in Durham, have used this bilingual prayer book. It includes English, Hebrew, and transliterated Hebrew for those who cannot read the ancient language.


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