Sefaria is all about making the texts of the Jewish tradition accessible to everybody. So far we’ve been accomplishing this by making texts and translations available on our website, in our mobile apps, and as data that people can download in a variety of formats.
But could a blind or visually impaired person access these resources? Unfortunately, until recently, most of us on the Sefaria team hadn’t spent enough time thinking about this question.
More than fifty years ago, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel took it upon himself to make the Talmud, the central text of Jewish life, available to all. In 1965, he began translating the 37 tractates of the Talmud from ancient Aramaic into Modern Hebrew, with an English translation published in the Koren Talmud Bavli Noé Edition. Ninety percent of the world’s Jewish population speaks English or Hebrew as a first language, so making the Talmud intelligible in these two languages is a colossal achievement, but until now, this precious content was only available to those with access to a physical volume.
Today, Sefaria is excited and humbled to announce the release of The William Davidson Talmud, a free digital edition of the Babylonian Talmud with parallel translations, interlinked to major commentaries, biblical citations, Midrash, Kabbalah, Halakhah, and an ever-growing library of Jewish texts.
It’s been a while since we last updated you. Hopefully you’ve all been making use of our updates and notifications page!
Here is a list of everything we’ve added to our library since mid-September when we last updated you:
Search for “Torah” on the iOS App Store.
Go ahead – we’ll wait.
Every fall, our education team selects a diverse set of educators to join Sefaria’s Educational Partnership Initiative. The purpose of the Initiative is for educators to experiment with Sefaria, explore what Jewish learning looks like in a digital age, and discover how we might create new forms of engagement around Jewish texts in conjunction with Sefaria. Participating educators think through best practices of teaching with Sefaria and work together to foster a more innovative spirit in the community Jewish learning. In the 2016-2017 school year, there are two distinct cohorts: day schools and Jewish organizations.
The 2016-17 cohort includes 19 schools and 9 Jewish organizations.