Jewish Care launches its first inclusive, dementia-friendly siddur

The prayer book has larger font, transliteration and colourful images


Geoff and Gila (standing right) Hartnell, who have supported Jewish Care's inclusive siddur in memory of Geoff's father Isaac z'l. Also pictured are his aunts Rita and Lillian and Ilana Greenblatt, Jewish Care's culture and faith manager (standing, left) (Photo: Jewish Care)

Jewish Care has launched its first accessible, inclusive dementia-friendly siddur for use in their care homes.

For ease of use, the font is large to help residents with visual impairment and there is colourful imagery. The lines are numbered, and there is transliteration so that residents, carers and volunteers can follow the service easily, said charity heads.

Richard Shone, director of community services, volunteering, social work and hospitality, told the JC: “Jewish Care is proud of our new accessible, inclusive, dementia-friendly siddur, which is supporting our care home residents to enjoy and feel fully included in Shabbat services, run by our dedicated volunteers.”

Shone paid tribute to Geoff and Gila Hartnell, who volunteer at Shabbat services and who have supported the project. The couple have dedicated the siddur to the memory of Geoff’s late father, Isaac z’l, who inspired Geoff to start volunteering.

Geoff said: “Volunteering for so many of us is in our DNA and we are delighted to support the new Jewish Care siddur for Shabbat services, reflecting the egalitarian approach and the cross-communal ethos of Jewish Care.”

“We enjoy the company of the wonderful residents and staff, many of whom actively participate in the morning services, and we are pleased that the residents can continue to enjoy the beautifully designed siddur.”

Anita Boston, who is one of around 40 residents who attends the Shabbat services at Jewish Care’s Anita Dorfman House at Sandringham, welcomed the new prayer book, saying: “I love the new siddur. It gives directions for what to do in an inclusive way and doesn’t assume that everyone is able to stand. It’s very good to have the translation and the line numbers, making it easy to follow, and the print is good, so you don’t have to squint.”

Ilana Greenblatt, Jewish Care’s culture and faith manager, added: “It’s great to know our residents and the volunteers and carers who run and support residents at our Shabbat services are already enjoying using this wonderful new siddur. It’s making everyone’s experiences at Shabbat services more meaningful.

“One of our carers was particularly touched to see that we add in our own prayer for the community in our service, thanking our carers for the care they give our residents. I’d like to thank everyone involved in creating the siddur with all its special features and making this a reality.”

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