Sefaria Training with Aleph


Introductions: Who is in the room?

  • Who are you?
  • What's been your experience using Sefaria, personally or professionally?
  • What is one area in which you are trying to grow as your prepare for your rabbinical or cantorial career?
  • Questions before we get started?
  • Introductions: Sefaria

    Democratizing Torah study and education:
  • Digitizing texts
  • Translate those texts
  • Acquiring new and formerly copyrighted texts
  • Empower today's voices
  • What can you do and make with Sefaria?

    ...אלא כשנתן הקב"ה את התורה לישראל לא נתנה להם אלא כחטין להוציא מהן סולת וכפשתן לארוג מהן בגד...
    "...Rather, when the Holy One Blessed Be He gave the Torah to Israel, it was only given to them as wheat from which to bring forth fine flour, and as flax from which to weave a garment..."
    "My community and I worked this summer to put together a haggadah for the high holidays and wanted to thank you for all the help sefaria provided as a source for hebrew texts and inspiration. We couldn't dive as deep into our faith as we do without you! You offer us an ocean of Torah and boats to set sail upon it."
    "As a pulpit rabbi I am always running from one thing to the next and Sefaria gives me easy access to the texts I need and use. I create sheets, use other people’s sheets, refer my members to Sefaria, and use Sefaria as a launchpad to other websites and resources. I don’t know how a person survives in the congregational world without Sefaria."

    Sefaria Tour, Features, and Tips (Take-home points)

    Texts - The "stacks" organized based on categories. Also includes links to Learning Schedules, Collections, and more.
    Topics - Texts and sheets organized by topic, issue, or theme (mostly user-generated).
    Community - Daily selections of source sheets related to the calendar, Talmud, and Sefaria tips. Also includes the latest sheets being created in real-time.
    Educator Home Page - for all your education needs!
    Search Tips:
    • Icons can help you best guide your search (e.g., for topics, books, authors, users, and collections).
    • Use "Search for: XYZ" to search or that word and its shoresh. Use "Exact Matches Only" on the search results page to exclude shoresh and related words.
    • Wait for auto-suggestions based on your search entry
    • Use filter function to narrow down search results more precisely.
    • Sort based on relevance or chronology, depending on your needs.
    • Search in Hebrew when you can, and try multiple English spellings if the transliterated word you are using to search with can be spelled in others ways.
    • For some works, you can search with shortened titles, e.g., Gen 1:1, Ex 1:1
    Visual Tools: A-א button.
    Save texts without adding to sheet: Use "bookmark icon." Bookmarks and history available at the top of the screen.
    Dictionary on-demand: Highlight any Hebrew word
    Talmudic Sage bios on-demand: Click on the rabbi's name, in Hebrew or English
    Subtle, but helpful tools on the Resource Panel (not in order of appearance):
    • About this Text: Tells you about the author, work, and which version or translation you are looking at.
    • Table of Contents: Access the book by chapter or parashah (for Chumash)
    • Translations: Pick the translations you like, or add your own under "Advanced." If you translate a text we don't have translated for a shiur or other purposes, please add it to our library with the "Advanced" tool.
    • EN: You will find English texts in that selection
    • Sheets: User-generated source sheets that cite that text
    • Compare Texts: Compare texts side by side and conduct new searches without leaving your original text
    • Web Pages: External sites and articles that site that text
    • Notes: Write down notes on that particular text to keep in mind for the future. Access the notes by clicking "Notes" from your profile home.
    • Chavruta: Share that link with someone else who has a Sefaria account and you will be able to video chat/learn and message one another on Sefaria.
    • Topics: User-generated topical associations with that text
    • Manuscripts: Great for Tanakh, Bavli, and Yerushalmi
    • Torah Readings: Audio of the parashah reading, if you are in Chumash.
    • Feedback: Think a translation might be off or find another error with the text or its layout? We read all messages that get sent via Feedback.

    Your Rabbinic Profile on Sefaria (and off)

    Full out a full profile:
    • Add your professional affiliations / roles
    • Add a professional biography
    • Include a profile photo
    • Invite others to follow / message you (and do the same for others!)
    Share your Torah:
    • Create source sheets
    • Make your sheets public
    • Add tags and summaries to your sheets
    • Add graphics, narrative, framing, guiding questions, and/or YouTube, soundcloud, or mp3 recordings to the sheest.
    • Share your sheets on social and with the people you are learning with
    • Create "Collections" of your shiurim (by topic, genre (shiur vs Dvar Torah vs lesson plans etc).
    • Make those Collections public
    • Share those collections!


    • Reflecting on our conversations today, what do you think you'd want to try out in your own learning or teaching?
    • What else would you want to see on Sefaria to help empower you as rabbinical school students, either while in school or in your future rabbinates?

    Stay in touch!

    Questions? Email [email protected] any time
    Want to follow up with me? [email protected]
    Looking for how-to's? Try Sefaria's Help Center
    Interested in a Sefaria 101 webinar? Watch a recording here.