It sure was good of nice Jewish boy Sergey Brin to come up with the perfect venue for teaching Torah on a global scale. This Sunday marks the fourth annual Global Day of Jewish Learning, and this time it’s accessible to anyone with Internet.
With 24 free classes from 24 speakers around the globe, the 24×24 event will be broadcast live using Google Hangouts On Air and YouTube.
The jam-packed schedule of speakers includes rabbis, artists, filmmakers and authors who aim to unite 400 communities in 40 countries through all-day study of Jewish texts in accessible, enjoyable lectures and lessons.
Accessibility is the key: The event is organized by the Aleph Society, which is under the patronage of Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz whose life’s work is making the Talmud and other texts readable for all. To that end the secular-born-turned-religious Israeli has recently completed a 45-volume Hebrew translation and commentary of the Talmud.
In keeping with this year’s theme, “Creating Together: Jewish Approaches to Creativity and Collaboration,” in addition to high-profile rabbis such as David Wolpe and Elie Kaunfer and other Jewish educators, project director Karen Sponder has lined up an eclectic mix of artists, some of whom will perform in their hour-long slot.
Novelist Dara Horn‘s recent hit book, “A Guide for the Perplexed” deals with the mash-up of technology and text. In her 24×24 presentation she will speak on the “The Theological Art of Storytelling.”
Calling itself “Biblegum pop” Stereo Sinai takes Hebrew phrases from the Bible and puts them to an Eighties beat. The band will be performing live.
This emphasis on arts in addition to standard educational lectures is very intentional and in line with Steinsaltz’s inclusive ethos. The learned rabbi will take to the virtual podium, too, and reach out to the new media masses.
As the exuberant Rabbi Ariel Kleiner from Montevideo, Uruguay, says, “Here with Global Day, I can join with others and be One People, a People of the Book, a People of Learning.”