Hebrew College honors Sefaria for achievement in Jewish education

Earlier this month, Hebrew College honored Sefaria with the Dr. Benjamin J. Shevach Award for achievement in the field of Jewish education at the school’s graduation ceremony. Our co-founders Joshua Foer and Brett Lockspeiser accepted the prize on behalf of the whole team. We were especially moved by Hebrew College President Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld’s remarks on why Sefaria was selected for this award:

“It is not an overstatement to say that Sefaria has transformed the world of Jewish education over the last several years. [It has] given access to a vast wealth of Torah -- in the original and in translation, whole works as well as a large and growing collection of source sheets created and shared by individuals who are engaged in the teaching of Torah in diverse settings around the world. Part of what is so compelling about your work is the paradoxical nature of the invitation you have offered: the first is the invitation to go deep, to delve into the vast reservoir of Torah that is our shared inheritance. The second is the invitation to go wide, to open that reservoir of Torah to a much broader audience of readers, and, even more than that, to see those readers – all of us – as co-creators, as part of the unfolding conversation that is Torah.”

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Sefaria founder, Joshua Foer addresses the 2019 Hebrew College Graduates with co-founder, Brett Lockspeiser.

Photo courtesy of Hebrew College, Photographer Zachary Sherman

In their acceptance speech, Brett and Joshua thanked the Sefaria team and addressed the 2019 Hebrew College graduates:

“Sefaria is a technology project, but everything we’ve built and aspire to build in the future is a reflection of what Torah is and how it works. Torah is rooted and generative; polyvocal and interconnected; expansive and interpersonal. Our mission is to make Torah alive and resonant in the world, but we clearly can’t accomplish this mission alone.

So to those of you who are becoming Rabbis and Chazans and educators today, we most especially want to thank you. As teachers, students, and chavrutas bringing text to life, you are the only reason that our work matters. We’re continually inspired by the ways we see you engaging with Sefaria. May you constantly find new ways to make our texts and our traditions meaningful to our community, and to the world.”

Left: Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, President of Hebrew College introduces Sefaria founders Joshua Foer and Brett Lockspeiser.

Right: Sefaria founder, Brett Lockspeiser addresses the 2019 Hebrew College Graduates, with (left to right) Joshua Foer - Sefaria co-founder, Rabbi Art Green - Director of Hebrew College Rabbinical School, and Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld - President of Hebrew College.

Photos courtesy of Hebrew College, Photographer Zachary Sherman

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