Sefaria Raising Funds to Make Prayer Texts Project Possible
A new project was announced last week to compile and translate hundreds of Jewish texts regarding prayer to be made publicly available. Announced last week by Sefaria, the project is first undergoing crowdfunding on Jewcer to enable it to come to fruition. The project will be spearheaded by Rabbi Elliot Kaplowitz, who will compile hundreds of Jewish texts and, according to a video posted on the Jewcer page, “translate them into English that is accessible and understandable.” Furthermore, Rabbi Kaplowitz added, “In exploring these topics, I have developed an approach and understanding that is accessible to those with limited background in Jewish learning while enlightening and engaging those who are much more experienced.”
In Sefaria‘s announcement, they said that they are “supporting Rabbi Elliot Kaplowitz’s campaign to raise $6,000 to translate a collection of sources on prayer. This prayer anthology will be integrated into a soon-to-be-released feature for creating and navigating collections of texts on Sefaria.” With further information on this prayer anthology, the Jewcer information page provides:
This anthology will draw upon more than one hundred Biblical, Rabbinic, and medieval texts, law codes and responsa literature. Within a year of the close of the campaign, rabbis, teachers and students alike will be able to freely access Rabbi Kaplowitz’s anthology on prayer using a next-generation search engine. Users will be able to dynamically explore texts chronologically or geographically, as well as filter by approach to prayer, ideas presented, or chain of influence. This tool will allow users to reveal the interconnected network and intergenerational discussion on prayer that spans across the globe.
As to the raising of these funds, the Jewcer page states that
The goal is to raise $6,000 to pay Rabbi Kaplowitz for the time he spends collecting and translating sources that will be published on Sefaria. If the community contributes more than $6,000 to this campaign, the additional funds will pay Rabbi Kaplowitz to expand the size of the anthology and translate more texts. Donations to this campaign are tax-deductible as allowed by law because Sefaria is a 501c3 charitable organization.
As an example of the work that Rabbi Kaplowitz aspires to put together, Sefaria announced today that “Rabbi Elliot Kaplowitz put together a source sheet that examines the universal practice of taking three steps forward prior to reciting the Amidah.” The source sheet that Rabbi Kaplowitz put together provides sources from the Bible, Talmud, Medieval scholars, Shulhan Arukh, and more, including a couple of 20th century writings.
So far, more than half of the $6000 has been raised, with 26 days left to go for crowdfunding. Tax-deductible donations can be made here and funders can get various opportunities and more with higher levels of giving.