A Match Made in Heaven Malcolm Lester z’l and Siddur Pirchei Kodesh
By: Brenda Saunders, Siddur Committee Member
In a fortuitous and happy series of events, the renowned and greatly respected Canadian publisher Malcolm Lester became the publisher of Siddur Pirchei Kodesh.
Supported by generous donors, the early vision of our Siddur became increasingly ambitious. It needed a publisher. A congregant familiar with the publishing world suggested Malcolm Lester.
In his early twenties, Malcolm lived around the corner from Holy Blossom Temple. At that time he decided to be a Rabbi and went to Rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. He very soon realized that books, rather than being a Rabbi, were his future. Although the publishing world claimed him, his connection to the Jewish world remained. One of his most successful ventures was the publication of ‘None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe 1933-1948’.
Malcolm’s early foray into Rabbinical studies was unknown to the Siddur Committee at first. Later commenting about his time at Hebrew Union College, Rabbi Splansky, the editor of Siddur Pirchei Kodesh, said, “He was really able to take up these Jewish themes again – theology and Hebrew poetry and a look at translations of the Psalms… Siddur Pirchei Kodesh was more than just another book.” Malcolm Lester, the illustrious publisher, had come full circle, returning to his youthful connection to Holy Blossom Temple and his Rabbinic inclinations.
Calm and gentlemanly in the face of many challenges, ethical and committed to social justice, the quintessential mensch, Malcolm was the perfect fit for Siddur Pirchei Kodesh. Assembling a team of experts in every aspect of publishing, he was sensitive to the immensity of this humbling and sacred task which captures the essence of Rabbinic Judaism.
Malcolm’s publishing expertise and his unwavering partnership with the Siddur Committee helped make Siddur Pirchei Kodesh the enriched and wondrous Siddur we have today.
In the news:
Copies of Siddur Pirchei Kodesh are currently available for dedication. A bookplate with your dedication will be affixed to a siddur at Holy Blossom Temple. Dedicating a siddur is a meaningful way to honour someone special. Click here for the online form.