JTA — An annual Shavuot learning program established by an Israeli rabbinic group has gone global.
Hundreds of sessions of Learning Torah Together on Shavuot, organized by the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, will take place in dozens of locations throughout Israel, as well as in India, Sweden and Greece.
It is a tradition to study Jewish texts all night on Shavuot, which marks the event during which the Jewish people received the Torah.
The informal learning sessions, held in coordination with Ohr Torah Stone, a modern Orthodox network of learning institutions, will take place in homes of Israelis from diverse backgrounds in at least 90 cities and towns throughout Israel. The hosts receive the learning materials, help with publicizing the event and cash for refreshments.
Source sheets have also been delivered to Dharamshala in India, Stockholm in Sweden, and in northern Greece where young Israeli travelers have been invited to join small study sessions followed by Shavuot prayers at sunrise, coordinated by Tzohar volunteers.
“On Shavuot, every Jew deserves to learn in a way that is relevant,” Rabbi David Stav, founder and chair of Tzohar, said in a statement. “When Torah learning is viewed as coercive and forced, it’s natural that we feel apprehensive. Shavuot is a wonderful opportunity to invite Jews of all backgrounds to engage in their Jewish heritage in a warm, welcoming and thought-provoking environment.”
Tzohar also arranges public Yom Kippur services and Purim Megillah readings, which attract Israelis of all religious backgrounds.