Sefaria Partnership Initiative Repository

Organization: Sefaria Inc., New York, NY

Grant Year: 2017

Project Director: Russel Neiss

Type of Grant: Signature

Grant Amount: $150,000.00 (3 years)

Website: https://www.sefaria.org/

Sefaria Inc. – To create the Sefaria Partnership Initiative Repository through which Sefaria will document and distribute best practices and tools related to the teaching and learning of Jewish texts online.

Dedicated to building the future of Jewish learning in an open and participatory way, Sefaria is assembling a free “living library” of Jewish texts in Hebrew and in English translation. By providing a platform where users can access these digital texts, Sefaria creates new interactive interfaces for Web, tablet, and mobile devices, allowing more people to engage with the textual treasures of the Jewish tradition. 

In order to fully utilize the platform’s benefits in their day-to-day teaching, the Sefaria team has observed that educators need proper training and support. In 2014, Sefaria launched the Educational Partnership Initiative (EPI) in an effort to increase the use of Sefaria in Jewish day schools and to provide Sefaria with a cohort of educators to supply feedback. This grant will allow Sefaria to provide additional resources to teachers and organizations that are not formally part of the EPI as well as those who have already graduated from the program through the creation of the 

Sefaria Partnership Initiative Repository (SPIR), which will involve the documentation and distribution of best practices and tools related to the teaching and learning of Jewish texts online. Through its SPIR initiative, Sefaria will ensure that educators have access to more translations of sacred Jewish texts in English; more lesson plans and other curricular content and strategies for teaching with digital tools; and new interfaces and customized tools for teaching and learning.