You may have seen Sefaria’s visualizations in the past, and maybe you’ve wondered where they come from, or how our team decides what kinds of visualizations to build. Because all of our texts are digital, Sefaria’s engineers and educators can use the data to help people see texts in new ways and gain new insights into ancient texts.
Our newest visualization was designed and created by one of our summer interns, Sarah Engel. Originally from the Bay Area, Sarah is now a student at Stern College, double majoring in Computer Science and Jewish Education. She is interested in new ways of presenting and learning Torah. Sefaria’s team had recently completed two significant projects related to mitzvot: Rabbi Francis Nataf, Sefaria’s translator, completed our translation of Sefer HaChinukh, and Shanee Rosen, one of our engineers, was able to generate more than 10,000 links between mitzvot as they are described and counted in different halakhic works.
So Sarah decided to create a parallel sets visualization to see how various categories of the 613 commandments connect with one another and reveal some of the patterns hidden the text.
Looking to learn a bit of Torah as you surf the web?
We are excited to announce Torah Tab — a Google Chrome Extension that brings Sefaria to your browsing experience!
Developed overnight at a hackathon by a Sefaria engineer, this extension gives you a snippet of Torah each time you open a new tab.
Customize it for your own preference by selecting one of seven learning cycles, including the weekly parashah, Daf Yomi, and Rambam Yomi. Feel like being surprised? You can also select the random setting which will deliver a passage from anywhere in Sefaria’s growing library.
Open up a new tab and download the extension here!
Aliza Rosenbaum has been teaching Judaic Subjects to seventh and eighth grade students at Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School in Skokie, Il for seven years. She has spent much of that time experimenting in her classroom in the hopes of developing the most effective ways to teach and work with her students. In 2017, she applied for the Sefaria’s Educational Partnership Initiative to see what might happen when Sefer Devarim (Deuteronomy) goes digital.
The result, Aliza explains, was student-led learning come to life: “It’s the best – it’s how I’ve always wanted to do it.” In the past, she would select a given text, translate it, print it for her students, and they would have to respond to accompanying questions. However, it never felt to Aliza like they were truly learning as much as they could be. They were completing their coursework, to be sure, but because so much of the process was done for them, the students weren’t really owning their work. Unsurprisingly, she found that it was hard to get thoughtful answers out of them. With the introduction of Sefaria to her classroom, “it’s been a world of difference. They’re doing it on their own.” Read More
That’s the number of people who took advantage of Sefaria resources in the two weeks leading up to Shavuot!
And 338 people from 38 countries added themselves to Sefaria’s interactive teaching and learning map.
From Budapest to Brooklyn, Haifa to Helsinki, Melbourne to Milan….
“We’ve come a long way since schlepping around scrolls in the desert. Thanks to Sefaria, you can now read the Talmud on your smartphone, making 3,000 years of Jewish texts available in Hebrew and English.” (Slingshot Guide 2018)
Click here to check out Slingshot’s feature on Sefaria.