Source: Aleph Society
The Global Day of Jewish Learning, a project of the Aleph Society and Rabbi Adin Steinzaltz, is one day a year in which over 500 communities will study a common theme. It reaches every corner of the Jewish world, with communities from over 40 countries on six continents participating and brings Jews of all backgrounds together in a day of study. We believe it is the largest world-wide community study of Jewish texts. This year’s Global Day is Sunday, November 16, 2014. This year’s theme ““Heroes and Villains, Saints and Fools: The People in the Book” explores biblical characters.
Our mission is to unite the Jewish people through learning our shared texts and to spark a love for Jewish learning, furthering Rabbi Steinsaltz’s mission —“Let My People Know.”
The curriculum is the core resource we provide for Global Day programming. It is comprised of eight text-based classes, with facilitator guides and source sheets. There are six units for adults and one each for middle school and elementary school. Our primary focus is adult learning, with the children’s units intended to make community programming possible for all ages. The curriculum is designed to be accessible to people with limited experience learning, while also being thought-provoking for those with significant learning experience, and to be relevant regardless of denomination. The curriculum seeks to explore essential questions and prompt discussion, helping participants see text study as relevant to and meaningful in their lives.
The curriculum is made available in English, Russian, Hebrew and Spanish. All adult units also contain an excerpt from the teachings of Rabbi Steinsaltz.
The PJ Library partners with us to provide book-based early childhood/family programming on the theme. The Jewish Book Council also partnered with us to develop a Book Club program on Rabbi Steinsaltz’s Biblical Images that communities can incorporate into their learning events.
In 2013 we piloted 24x24, the first use of Google Hangouts on Air for Jewish learning on a global scale. 24 speakers from 24 global locations broadcast live via YouTube. This year we will again hold 24x24 as our live internet-based learning component for the Global Day. Viewers will have the opportunity to ask questions of speakers and engage with each other. Sessions will address this year’s theme. It is the next step in our effort to make Jewish learning accessible - it transcends limitations of time and space, making luminaries of Jewish learning available to everyone everywhere with an internet connection. Beyond being a dynamic live event, the event creates hours of Jewish learning videos which are then available “on demand”. It also offers communities a wonderful way to bring internationally renowned speakers to their community. In addition, it can be a great way for educators to themselves recharge through learning with wonderful teachers.
The Global Day offers an opportunity to open wide the doors of your beit midrash and invite the community to join you in learning. It can be a way for your school/organization to build community within your broader Jewish community. You can seize the moment to help your students of all ages feel part of the global Jewish people. The Global Day offers its resources free of charge to help make it easy for you to offer this meaningful learning opportunity in your community.
Learn more about the Global Day here.