Slingshot 2017 is out! The Slingshot Fund has (once again!) selected Sefaria as one of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations out there today.
Here's what the 2017 guide has to say about us:
Using your smartphone to access the entire Jewish canon was once a pipe dream. Sefaria is making that a reality by digitizing Jewish texts, complete with full English translations, and making them available for free on the Web, tablets, and mobile devices. This project, launched in 2013, transforms the experience of Jewish learning through technology by digitizing Hebrew texts, acquiring the highest-quality translations of those texts, and designing and engineering digital interfaces and products for exploring them. For millennia, the heavy volumes of Jewish literature were available only to a privileged few, those who had enough money to acquire them or the keys to the right institutions or libraries—and even then, only those who read antiquated Hebrew or Aramaic could understand them. In 2017, Sefaria added the acclaimed Steinsaltz edition of the Talmud, in both Hebrew and English, to its library. This is the first time this edition has been published in its entirety for free.
Attracting 50,000 unique visitors every month, Sefaria is an open-source project, a playground of discovery for the entire Jewish community, and a model of interactivity. Students and scholars are more than passive learners; they are active participants. “Our students created their own living and breathing Haggadah,” reported a first-grade educator in Baltimore. “They put themselves into the text through art, questions, and commentary, as well as stories and anecdotes...the process has inspired me as a teacher.” Most recently, a team of engineers spent more than a year rebuilding Sefaria from scratch to make the design more interactive and easier to use. Sefaria released its first mobile app in 2016 and is moving ahead full force to finish acquiring and digitizing the core canon by the end of 2018. For the Jewish people, their texts are their collective inheritance, and Sefaria is ensuring the community will have unfettered access to them.
Learn more about the Slingshot Fund and its guide to Jewish organizations here!