Sefaria's education team curates sample lessons that showcase innovative ways to leverage Sefaria's technology in the classroom. Our goal is to cultivate a constructivist approach to education in the Judaic studies classroom, and to explore the ways in which new digital tools can enhance learning.
This lesson is designed for young adults (college age or a bit older) to think about what we celebrate on Shavuot. It can also be used for a more general conversation about the significance of Torah learning.
This lesson is designed for a middle school class in a community day school who are studying stories in the book of Bereishit. It is inspired by one of Nechama Leibowitz’s gilyonot, or work sheets, and can be adapted for older students or students with stronger text skills as well.
This sheet was designed as background material for the curious learner who is competent in text but wants to explore some of the context for the development of the Oral law through the character of R' Akiva. It can also be adapted into a multi-class lesson plan. I would recommend using each of the sections as a separate class of approximately an hour's time.
This is a lesson on moral courage based on the story of the midwives as told in Shemot 1:15-21.
The lesson was written for grades 5-6 but can be adapted to fit a variety of ages, classroom environments, and skill levels.
The lesson includes an overall plan (this source sheet) and two linked source sheets that can be assigned to students.
This class is designed for fourth-grade students at a community day school. Their curriculum covers sections of the book of Bereishit. At this point in the year, they have read the main sections of the story of Noah and the flood (Genesis 6:9 - 9:17), as well as the story of Abraham and his covenant with God (sections of Genesis 16 and 17). The class is intended for students who read Hebrew with varying levels of understanding; some can translate common words, while others know only a few words and prefer to work almost exclusively in English.
This class is designed for high school students who are studying Talmud in a text based class, entirely or partially in Hebrew (but may be adapted for an all English class). The lesson plan is designed to model some uses of Sefaria in an advanced Talmud class.
Grade and level: 5-12th graders and their families
-What is the history and symbolism of the Israeli emblem?
-What can the emblem teach us about the core values of the State of Israel?
This class is designed for 10-12 grade students in a yeshiva high school setting, but can also be adapted, with more scaffolding, for students who are younger or have less facility with texts.
How might a deep understanding of halakhah help us solve real world problems?
How does the halakhic system take into account human needs and desires?
How might new technologies impact our observance of halakhah?
How might we make good decisions when a halakhah governs something that is in many ways beyond our control?
9-10, higher levels; 11-12, any level
Unit’s Essential Questions:
-How do these laws develop from the Torah to modern times?
-What are the skills necessary to research a halakha topic independently?
Students will choose an aspect of the laws of Shabbat and learn to effectively use Sefaria source sheets to aid in their halakha research.
9-10 any level; 11-12 lower and middle levels
Pre-Rosh Hashanah lesson (or for any fast day): By studying the Mishnah and Gemara Rosh Hashanah 26b regarding whether the shofar is curved or straight, the student will deepen textual skills, see the linkage between Jewish law, ideas and personal experience, and deepen one's preparation for the upcoming holiday.
Chumash class for 9-10th grades, higher levels; 11-12th grades, all levels.
A close comparison of the Dibrot as presented in Shemot and Devarim empowers our students to better understand the deeper differences between the two presentations of the Ten Commandments.
-How can the Aseret ha-Dibrot help me shape my relationship with myself, the world and God?
-Why are the Dibrot so crucial in the Jewish tradition?
-What is Hashem/Moshe’s larger goal in issuing/reviewing the Dibrot?
-What are the most important differences between the two sets of Dibrot, and what is their significance?