Sefaria in Action

July 10, 2017

Source: Sefaria


Congratulations to the 2016-2017 Educational Partnership Initiative cohort for a fruitful school year! Starting in 2014, Sefaria launched the Partnership to invite teachers of Torah to formally be part of building Sefaria. The initiative, which began with four day schools and 100 students, was created to: (1) help teachers harness digital tools effectively and improve pedagogy around Jewish texts; and (2) provide Sefaria with a cohort of educators who use Sefaria in the classroom and deliver feedback on product development and refinement. This past school year, the program directly served 19 day schools, along with nine communal institutions, and reached more than 1,000 students.

Through the process of planning, implementing, and evaluating usage of Sefaria in their classrooms and lesson plans, Sefaria’s partner educators discovered new ways to engage students. The Sefaria classroom encourages student choice, skill development, and critical thinking — not to mention improved textual fluency.

We asked our teachers to share some of their work with the Sefaria community. Here are two examples of Sefaria in action:

  • Sefer Bemidbar: Year 40

    Subject: Honors Chumash
    Grade Level: 9
    Teacher: Yael Goldfischer
    School: The Frisch School (Orthodox Day School)

    Essential Questions: We know generation II will make it into Eretz Yisrael while generation I was decreed to die in the midbar. But why does generation II get a happy ending? Are they much better than the previous generation? How does generation II differ from their parents?

    Assignment: Submit an annotated Sefaria source sheet. The source sheet must include all biblical texts, commentaries and analysis. Click here for the full description of the assignment.

  • Sanhedrin 72b: The Tunneler

    Subject: Talmud
    Grade Level: High School
    Teacher: Joshua Cahan
    School: Solomon Schechter School of Westchester – Upper School (Conservative Day School)

    Lesson Description: Students were studying the discussion in Rashi and the Yad Ramah about what distinguishes the tunneler from other burglars, which is found in Sanhedrin 72b. The teacher created a source sheet and assigned it to his students using the Assignments feature. The students wrote translations and questions on the source sheet, which the teacher reviewed and corrected online for the students to see.

    Sefaria is a non-profit organization dedicated to building the future of Jewish learning in an open and participatory way. We are assembling a free living library of Jewish texts and their interconnections, in Hebrew and in translation. With these digital texts, we can create new, interactive interfaces for Web, tablet and mobile, allowing more people to engage with the textual treasures of our tradition.

Read more at the Sefaria Blog.

Updated: Jul. 12, 2017