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Open Siddur at PresenTense Institute Workshop

Regular readers (hi mom!) were disappointed when I didn’t post the last two months. Forgive!! Drama was afoot. I got involved in a relationship with a lovely young woman and I began to find a foothold in the world of Jewish social entrepreneurship.

Happenstance the first: a creative project I proposed to the summer bootcamp/workshop for social entrepreneurs known as the PresenTense Institute was accepted for a fellowship. Now I am in Jerusalem working on this project. More information is available regarding the Open Siddur is available at my developer blog for the project, opensiddur.varady.net.

Happenstance, the second: acceptance of a fellowhsip that will allow me to study at Yeshivat Hadar in Manahattan beginning early September. Concerned friends and relatives are all wondering what this is all leading to. A career in Jewish education? Rabinnical school? Urban and community planning of unbuilt or coalescing intentional communities? I don’t know the answer. But I’m pretty certain the answer isn’t located in Craigslist job listings or the many job posting listserves I’m subscribed to. But maybe it is, (so I’m still checking). I’m still working on that book on magic, art carved furnuture, and obscure Jewish lore, so perhaps this is all an involved research project for what I can only imagine will be my life’s work.

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on a post for the Omphalos based on a shiur I gave during a Tikkun Leil Shavuot retreat at an exurban development in the wilderness outside East Doylestown, Pa. Stay tuned for it: Azazel, the relationship between Shavuot and Yom Kippur, and why we eat cheese (and not blood) on the Hag Habikkurim.

About Aharon N. Varady


Aharon’s Omphalos is the hobbit hole of Aharon Varady, founding director of the Open Siddur Project. He is a community planner and environmental educator working to improve stewardship of the Public Domain, be it the physical and natural commons of urban park systems or the creative and cultural commons of libraries and museums. His advocacy for open-source strategies in the Jewish community has been written about in the Atlantic Magazine, Tablet, and Haaretz. He is particularly interested in pedagogies for advancing ecological wisdom, developing creative and emotional intelligence, and realizing effective theurgical praxes . He welcomes your comments, personal messages, and kind words.

1 comment to Open Siddur at PresenTense Institute Workshop

  • OK, the open-source siddur is 90 times more cool than I assumed it was from the name… also, I didn’t know you were the one building it. Serious good luck on the project, which I would definitely use!

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