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Announcing…the contest winners!

The Sefaria Project is pleased to report that the results of our contest are now in! Thanks again to all those who participated in our efforts to produce the first complete freely-reusable online Mishnah translation.

Over the fifteen days of the contest, 1,727 Mishnayot were translated – approximately fifty percent of the entire Mishnah! Our goal was to complete our Mishnah translation, and at the end of the contest, the translation was ninety-seven percent complete. With the continued assistance of our volunteers, including our winners, the translation will be finished by the end of the month.

We would like to introduce you to the three amazing people who contributed so many Mishnah translations to Sefaria. Our runners up will each receive an iPad mini, and our winner will get a new iPad Air!

Meet the Runners Up:

Noah Santacruz – 276 Mishnayot

Noah Santacruz is currently a Sophomore at Cooper Union, studying Electrical Engineering, who managed to squeeze in some Mishnah translations during finals. He was surprised to discover that he was competing against his friend, Ilan Griboff, and is glad that they both made it! His parents recently made Aliyah and he now travels back and forth often to visit – it’s an excellent excuse to visit Israel. Noah heard about Sefaria about two months ago from his roommate, and found something new to do during class.

Asked to share some thoughts about Sefaria, Noah told us:

Thank you so much for creating this project, I think the project will help to provide people with access to sources they might otherwise not be able to access. The source sheet creator is also r eally nice. I hope that one day the library will be as comprehensive as some of the other paid softwares (though it does need a little bit of format editing).

Ilan Griboff – 432 Mishnayot

Ilan Griboff is twenty-two years old and is from Edison, NJ. He is currently a senior at Cooper Union, studying civil engineering. He first heard about Sefaria from his friend Pnina Grossman, over the summer, and had translated a couple of mishnayot then. He received an email about the contest ,which conveniently took place as he was finishing finals for the semester and was therefore able to put in a lot of time the first week or so.

Asked to share some thoughts about Sefaria, Ilan told us:

I took this contest as a great opportunity to review a lot of mishnah, (though obviously the incentives were nice too) and at least for now I am very familiar with a lot of Mishnah in Kodshim.

Ilan graciously agreed to keep translating mishnayot, even after the close of the contest, and has helped to bring us closer to our goal of acquiring a complete Mishnah translation by the end of the month!

Meet the Winner: 

Dr. Joshua Kulp – 547 Mishnayot

Dr. Joshua Kulp is co-founder of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem where he has taught Talmud and halakha for the last 17 years. Dr. Kulp is the author of The Schechter Haggadah: Art, History and Commentary (Schechter Press, 2008). He is also the co-author of the forthcoming book, An Introduction to the Academic Study of Talmud, to be published in 2014 by Mechon Hadar Institute.

Beginning in 2001 and continuing through 2013, Dr. Kulp authored a commentary in English on the entire Mishnah, which served as the basis for the Mishnah Yomit project of United Synagogue and the Conservative Yeshiva. Each day, the Mishnah Yomit commentary and discussion questions are sent to the inbox of thousands of participants. In 2013 Dr. Kulp began the Daf Shevui program, the study of one daf of Talmud per week. Similar to the Mishnah Yomit program, this involves the translation and commentary of the Talmud and reaches thousands of participants through e-mail and the internet.

Dr. Kulp has also published articles on various topics in rabbinic literature and is a frequent lecturer at congregations in North America. He is currently at work on a modern Talmudic commentary on the first tractate of Ketubot.

Dr. Kulp earned his PhD in rabbinic literature from Bar Ilan University, an M.A. in Judaic Studies from the University of Judaism, and a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan. He has also studied at the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies and at the Shalom Hartman Institute.

Dr. Kulp was raised in Margate, New Jersey. He made aliyah in 1994 and currently lives in Modiin with his wife, Julie Zuckerman, and their four children. In his spare time, he is an avid triathlete and runner and has completed two full Ironmans, five marathons and eight half Ironmans

Asked to share some thoughts about Sefaria, Dr. Kulp told us:

In Talmudic times the Oral Torah was just that—only preserved orally. If you wanted access, you had to travel to Babylonia. The first revolution in Torah learning was when the Talmud was committed to writing. It could now travel. The printing press allowed it to travel even further. The internet represents the greatest opportunity to make this treasure available to anyone who wants it, wherever they are. It is more revolutionary than we have even begun to imagine.

Sefaria is at the forefront of allowing Torah to be available in ways previous generations could only dream of. Its simple userface, the ability to cooperate in translations and creating study material and the freedom it allows for use of its resources makes this one of the best sites on the web for Torah content in English. I am glad I could be of help.

Dr. Kulp graciously agreed to continue translating mishnayot for us, and is currently making his way through the final mishnayot of Tractate Keilim – not the easiest section of the mishnah – and we appreciate all of his his hard work!

Stay tuned for more Sefaria translation contests to come, and thanks again to all those who participated!

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