Master Style Sheet

CCAR Journal

Central Conference of American Rabbis


Webster’s online: The Chicago Manual of Style 17/e

General Style

Use serial comma: rabbi, cantor, and educator.
Use “that” for restrictive clauses, “which” for nonrestrictive.
Use American spelling: toward, gray, color.
Use hyphens in Hebrew word roots: b-r-ch.
Use one space following a period marking the end of a sentence.
Avoid doubling English consonants wherever the shorter variant exists: worshiper, worshiped, worshiping.

(See Transliteration for rules of spelling transliterated Hebrew and other Jewish languages.) Include titles (e.g., Rabbi) and degrees (e.g., PhD) in author bylines and table of contents.

Capitalization, Italics, Roman, & Quotation Marks

Use lowercase following a colon if what follows is only one sentence, unless it is a quote or a very long sentence.
Capitalize the names of groups and committees that belong to CCAR and CCAR Press (Board of Trustees, Publishing Summit, etc.). Do not capitalize derivatives that are nonspecific nouns or adjectival references.
Capitalize titles when preceding proper nouns (President Denise Eger, Rabbi Steve Fox), but not when titles stand alone or work as a stand-in for proper noun (the president of the CCAR, a member rabbi).
Capitalize and use roman for major Jewish events, concepts, festivals, schools of thought, and the names of the Hebrew months: Burning Bush, High Priest, Second Exile, Shabbat, Pesach, Kabbalah, Mussar, and Adar.
Use roman for foreign proper names, including organizations: Yochanan ben Zakkai, Magen David Adom.
Capitalize position titles when introducing or referring to colleagues: Sasha, Editorial Assistant at CCAR Press (this is for the sake of communications on the behalf of the CCAR only, and does not always apply to Press conventions).
Capitalize and italicize the titles of scrolls, books, magazines, journals, newspapers, pamphlets, works of art, pamphlets, and blog posts (any published material of substantial length) in English and transliterated foreign languages, except for internal articles, coordinating conjunctions, prepositions (unless four or more letters), and the to of infinitives. Do the same for any bibliographic information you are providing in the running text: the book Mishneh Torah. Do not abbreviate. Exception: Use roman for the Latin names of biblical books (Genesis, Deuteronomy).
Use roman and quotation marks for the titles of articles in periodicals or websites, chapters, lectures, short blog posts, etc.
Use roman and no quotation marks for the titles of websites that have never had a printed equivalent: Wikipedia, Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Capitalize references to God in English: the Divine, the Divine Presence, the One, You, Your, but who. Use lowercase for derivatives of references to God: godlike, godly.
Capitalize the names of religious movements and words derived from them: Chasidism, Chasidic, Judaic, Sephardic, Reform Jews.
Capitalize languages and language courses (English, Hebrew Literature), as well as the titles of specific courses (Philosophy 101), but not fields of study (BA in philosophy, etc.).
Capitalize BCE, CE (no periods).
Capitalize titles of prayers and ritual texts: Kiddush, Kaddish, Blessing after Meals, the Four Questions.
Capitalize and Italicize the Hebrew names of services, parts of the service, and prayers: Shacharit, Yizkor. Italicize transliterated words from foreign languages.

In running transliterated text, use lowercase only. No exceptions are made.

Use quotation marks for English words used as the word itself (not to represent the thing or idea it represents): the word “biblical.”
Use quotation marks and parentheses for definitions: tfilah (“prayer”).
Use the same font (roman, italic, boldface) as the main or surrounding text for all punctuation marks, including parentheses and brackets; i.e., in general, use roman for punctuation with word in italics. See Chicago Manual of Style 6.2–6.6 for exceptions.
Pattern for Hebrew, transliteration, and “translation” Follow one of the following patterns:
transliteration(Hebrew,“translation”):tfilah(תִפי לה ,“prayer”)
– “translation”(Hebrew,transliteration):“prayer”(תִפי לה ,tfilah) or an abbreviated version of both patterns above, omitting the Hebrew.


Do not abbreviate the first word of a sentence.
Avoid abbreviations in running text (except biblical references); abbreviations may be used in parentheses, footnotes, and references.
Spell out books of the Bible.
Spell out names of states in running text; use postal service abbreviations in references, tables, lists, and mailing addresses.
Unless referring to Hebrew Union College prior to the merger (1850), always use full abbreviation (without “the,” depending on context): HUC-JIR. First use of the name must be spelled out in whole (with abbreviation included in parentheses) before you may revert to just the abbreviation: Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion [note en dash] (HUC-JIR) [note hyphen].Use periods with lowercase abbreviations: a.m., p.m., p., e.g.
No periods with most capitalized acronyms: CCAR, URJ, BT; exception: U.S. No periods with academic degrees: PhD, RJE, BA.


Spell out numbers one through one hundred, including ordinals, in ordinary text (exceptions: percentages, dates).
Treat similar categories in a paragraph alike, using numerals if any are over one hundred: 20 through 115. Spell out round numbers (hundreds, thousands, millions, etc.): two thousand years, six million.
Use comma in numbers of 1,000 or more (except in dates).
Use en-dash for ranges: Deuteronomy 22:8–9, pp. 54–57, 1809–1897.
thirteen-year-old child
40 percent
twenty-first century
September 3, 1989 (NOT Sept. 3rd, 1989). Dates are set off by commas unless only year and month included, in which case commas are omitted (July 1897).
70 CE
ca. 200 BCE


Use lowercase for cross-references to parts of a book: see the appendix.
Use Arabic or roman numerals for cross-references to part and chapter numbers, depending on the format used for these headings: in chapter 7.


Reference numbers in text: superscript.
For bibliography and notes, follow Chicago Manual of Style, chapter 14 (see examples of format below). In notes, use short form for subsequent references (see examples below). Do not use “ibid.” or “op cit.” For titles in languages other than English: follow rules of capitalization for English titles.

Format for Notes:

  1. Norman Lamm, The Shema: Spirituality and Law in Judaism (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1998), 101–6. [book]
  2. Lawrence A. Hoffman, “The Liturgical Message,” in Gates of Understanding, ed. Lawrence A. Hoffman (New York: CCAR Press, 1977), 147–48, 162–63. [chapter in a book]
  3. Richard Levy, “The God Puzzle,” Reform Judaism 28 (Spring 2000): 18–22. [article in a periodical]
  4. Karen L. Fox, “Whither Women Rabbis?” Religious Education 76, no. 4 (July–August, 1981): 361. [article in a periodical]
  5. Mindy Portnoy, “A Mommy, a Rabbi: The Jewish Juggling Act,” Washington Jewish Week, May 5, 1988. [newspaper or periodical with date only]
  6. Jonathan Kligler, “Remembering the Words of Rev. Martin Niemoller,” Lev Shalem Institute of the Woodstock Jewish Congregation, January 5, 2017, martin-niemoller/. [online source, with publication date]
  7. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “Martin Niemöller: ‘First They Came for the Socialists . . . ,’” Holocaust Encyclopedia, accessed February 27, 2017, [online source, no publication date]
  8. Lamm, Shema, 102. [short form for subsequent reference]
  9. Levy, “God Puzzle,” 20. [short form for subsequent reference]


Format for Bibliography:

Lamm, Norman. The Shema: Spirituality and Law in Judaism. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1998. [book]

Hoffman, Lawrence A. “The Liturgical Message.” In Gates of Understanding, edited by Lawrence A. Hoffman, 147–48, 162–63. New York: CCAR Press, 1977. [chapter in a book]

Levy, Richard. “The God Puzzle.” Reform Judaism 28 (Spring 2000): 18–22. [article in a periodical]


Biblical References

Capitalize and use roman for English scroll titles in the running text, as well as in notes and the bibliography: “In the beginning” (Genesis 1:1); the Book of Genesis; Genesis 1:1–3 [en dash for ranges].
Spell out books of the Bible.
Use roman numerals for I Samuel, II Samuel, etc, when cited by chapter and verse: I Samuel 3:19.

Talmudic and Other Judaic References

Capitalize and italicize scroll and book titles in the running text, as well as in notes and the bibliography: “From when do we recite” (Mishnah Brachot 1:1). Do not abbreviate tractates.
Spell out in full Mishnah Brachot 1:1; Babylonian Talmud Brachot 2a; Dvarim Rabah 3:3.



These essays are intended for use by educated laypeople as well as clergy; they are not meant to be scholarly. Therefore please transliterate any Hebrew as heard in contemporary Hebrew:
“ch” for chet and chaf
“f” for fe
“k” for kaf and kuf
“tz” for tzadi
“s” for samech and sin
“sh” for shin
“z” for zayin
“i” for chirik and yud
“e” for segol and tzere
“ei” for tzere followed by a yud
“a” for patach and kamatz
“o” for cholam and kamatz katan
“u” for shuruk and kibbutz
“ai” for patach with yud
Yiddish: “a” for alef; “e” for ayin
Final “h” for final he; none for final ayin (with exceptions based on common usage): atah, shma, but Moshe.
No apostrophe for shva nach; for shva na use e if reflecting Israeli pronunciation.
Apostrophe for two vowels together where necessary for correct pronunciation: ne’eman, same’ach, na’ar, ki’ilu .
No apostrophe for prefixes unless necessary for correct pronunciation: babayit, hashem, yom ha’atzma’ut.
Do not double consonants (with exceptions based on common usage): tfilah, chayim, but tikkun, sukkot.
See Word List for exceptions to the above guidelines, based on dictionary spelling or common usage.

CCAR Press Guide to Gendered Language

We learned that all language is gendered and that gender is a matter of degree and self-identification more than binary biological categories. The CCAR aspires to make its publications accessible and inspiring for all its potential readers. We provide our authors with an overview on possible gendered references for our publications (additional options can be discussed with CCAR Press). It is the authors’ decision which kind of language to use; please disclose your decision at the beginning of your publication in an endnote.

Gendered language referring to individuals:

  • Man / men or woman / women or male-identifying or female-identifying
  • He/his/him or she/her/hers or they/them/theirs or XXX who identifies as XXX
  • XXX who was identified at birth as . . . and now identifies as (use the person’s current preferred pronoun)

Gendered language referring to groups:

  • Jews who . . . they/them/theirs
  • A Jew who . . . he/him/his or she/her/hers or they/their/theirs or XXX who identify as XXX used interchangeably whenever historically applicable (“a Jew living in France during the Middle Ages . . . he or she;” but “the High Priest . . . he/his/him)

Gendered language referring to God:

God-language has to be gender neutral, unless the argument of the text requires otherwise.

God – God/God’s or, if necessary: He/His/Him or She/Her/Hers or They/Them/Theirs