Rev Simeon Singer

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Simeon Singer

Also Known As: "Simeon"
Birthplace: London, UK
Death: Died in London, UK
Place of Burial: Greater London, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of Julius Singer and Fredericka Singer
Husband of Charlotte Singer
Father of Fredericka (Freda) Abrahams; Julius Singer; Samuel Alexander Singer; David Jacob Singer; Richard Arnold Singer and 1 other
Brother of Aaron Singer; Jacob Singer and Miriam Singer

Managed by: Private User
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About Rev Simeon Singer

Simeon Singer (1846 – 1906) was a Jewish preacher, lecturer and public worker.

He was born in London, and after a short stay at a Hungarian school, became a student at Jews' College, of which he was subsequently for a time the principal.

In 1867 he became minister of the Borough Synagogue, London. In the following year he married. He moved to the New West End Synagogue in 1878, and remained the minister of that congregation until his death. He was the first to introduce regular sermons to children; as a preacher to the young Singer showed rare gifts. His pulpit addresses in general won wide appreciation, and his services were often called for at public functions. In 1897 he strongly opposed the Diggle policy at the London School Board, but he refused nomination as a member. In 1890 the Rabbinical Diploma (Semicha) was conferred on him by Lector Weiss of Vienna, but again he evidenced his self-denial by declining to stand for the post of associate Chief Rabbi in the same year. Singer was a power in the community in the direction of moderate progress; he was a lover of tradition, yet at the same time he recognized the necessity of well-considered changes. In 1892 at his instigation the first English Conference of Jewish Preachers was held, and some reforms were then and at other times introduced, such as the introduction of Bible Readings in English, the admission of women as choristers and the inclusion of the express consent of the bride as well as the bridegroom at the marriage ceremony.

Singer did much to reunite Conservatives and Liberals in the community, and he himself preached at the Reform Synagogue in Manchester. He had no love for the minute critical analysis of the Bible, but he was attracted to the theory of progressive revelation, and thus was favorably disposed to the modern treatment of the Old Testament. His cheery optimism was at the basis of this attitude, and strongly coloured his belief in the Messianic ideals. He held aloof, for this very reason, from all Zionist schemes. His interest in the fortunes of foreign Jews led him to make several continental journeys on their behalf; he was one of the leading spirits of the Russo-Jewish Committee, of the International Jewish Society for the Protection of Women and of other philanthropic organizations. Despite his devotion to public work, Singer published some important works. In 1896 the Cambridge University Press published Talmudical Fragments in the Bodleian Library of which Singer was joint author.

But his most famous work was his new edition and English translation of the Authorized Daily Prayer Book (first published in 1890), a work which has gone through many large editions and which has probably been the most popular (both with Jews and Christians) of any book published by an English Jew. It remains (in its revised edition of 1992 and more recently 2006) the standard prayer book for most orthodox Jews in Great Britain and for many Jews around the world and is often informally known as the "Singer's Siddur".

His son was the historian Charles Singer.



SINGER, SIMEON (1848–1906), English rabbi. After serving as headmaster of Jews' College School, he was appointed minister of the Borough New Synagogue in London and from 1879 until his death of the fashionable New East End Synagogue. He edited and translated into English the Authorised Daily Prayer Book, first published in 1890 and known since as "Singer's Prayer Book," of which 522,000 copies in 27 editions had been distributed by 1970. Although minister of an Orthodox congregation, he was progressive in his religious views. He was not a Zionist but it was nevertheless in his home that Herzl first explained to Anglo-Jewry his idea for a Jewish state. He helped Sir Samuel *Montagu (later Lord Swaythling) to draw up in 1892 a petition to the sultan in the name of the Ḥovevei Zion for the cession of lands in Transjordan for Jewish settlement. His literary remains, including some historical studies, were published in three volumes by his son-in-law Israel *Abrahams (1908).


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Rev Simeon Singer's Timeline

November 5, 1846
London, UK
Age 22
July 8, 1870
Age 23
Age 25
Age 27
November 2, 1876
Age 29
Paddington, London, England
Age 31
August 20, 1906
Age 59
London, UK
August 23, 1906
Age 59
Greater London, UK