Introductions: Who is in the room?
Democratizing Torah study and education:
What can you do and make with Sefaria?
- Quick access to Topics-based texts and sheets for intentions or Jewish framings a la carte.
- Scavenger hunts for all ages and bar trivia nights using Sefaria sheets. Examples: Seeing the Light: A Chanukah Scavenger Hunt; Finding Ruth: A Shavuot Scavenger Hunt; Hide and Seek: A Purim Scavenger Hunt.
- Narrative, guided and replicable source sheets. Examples: Any number of the sheets on Sefaria Education.
- Virtual art and mixed media galleries. Examples: Pirkei Avot: In the Image; Bird Songs and Tree Music for Tu Bishvat and Shabbat Shirah
- Crowd-sourcing sources. Examples: Tu Bishvat with Jewish Learning Collaborative; Why are we celebrating Chanukah?
- Creating your sermons or Divrei Torah on Sefaria (or copying them onto Sefaria), in addition to Substack and other forms of dissemination.
- Using collections for shiur or Divrei Torah series (or bespoke). Example collections: Responsa Radio; Divrei Torah by Yitz Greenberg; Sermons on Sefaria; Jewish Food for Thought: The Animated Series by Hanan Harchol
- Creating "rabbinic presence" with public sheets (tagged appropriately), detailed profile, messaging, and more.
- ^All of this is possible, once you've mastered the basics and know the nooks and crannies of Sefaria...
"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!
- 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?