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The Four Best Jewish Websites You've Never Heard Of

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Okay, I might have oversold this post with that title. But the truth is, the internet is chock-full of amazing Jewish websites that you might not have come across yet. Here are a few that are worth checking out.
 

BimBam (formerly GodCast)
This site features a series of educational videos, most no longer than 2-minutes, that introduce basic Jewish values and practices. There’s an animated video collection, called Judaism 101, that introduces some basics of Jewish living, such as using a mikvah, how to dance the hora at a Jewish wedding and how to bless your children on Friday nights.

There’s also a video collection for Jewish parents that explains Jewish values such as hakarat hatov (gratitude) and kavod (honor/respect). They also produce a companion animated series called Shaboom for kids, with slightly longer episodes that explore Jewish values in kid-friendly ways.

ELI Talks
If BimBam is too basic for you, you may enjoy ELI Talks, which are modeled after TED Talks and feature Jewish topics.  ELI stands for Jewish religious engagement (E), Jewish literacy (L), and Jewish identity (I). With 130 talks in their catalog, each under 15 minutes, you’re sure to find a few that expand your Jewish thinking.

Talks are categorized by topic and the range of topics includes parenting, modern Jewish life, Jewish literacy, arts and culture and much more.  Some of their most popular talks include a personal perspective on inclusion in the Jewish community with Pamela Schuller, who grew up with Tourette’s and how parenting can be a spiritual practice, with Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, author of Nurture the Wow: Finding Spirituality in the Frustration, Boredom, Tears, Poop, Desperation, Wonder, and Radical Amazement of Parenting.  

 
Jewish Festival Calendar
In the mid-1980s, I finished studying for an adult Bat Mitzvah ceremony at a Reform congregation. I went to class every Shabbat morning for about a year. Understandably, I felt confident about my own Jewish knowledge. That summer, I attended the Jewish-American Festival in Baltimore and took a Test-Your-Jewish-Knowledge type quiz. There were 10 questions. I didn’t get a single one right. That was humbling.
 
The site lists upcoming Jewish cultural festivals, Jewish book festivals, Jewish film festivals, Jewish food festivals and more throughout the US. Go have fun. You’ll certainly learn something new.
 
Sefaria
Once upon a time, all Jewish texts were handwritten on parchment and in scrolls, the way a Sefer Torah and mezuzot are still written. In the mid-15th century, the first printed bible, known as the Gutenberg Bible, revolutionized the concept of a book.
 
Today, Sefaria is digitizing classic Jewish texts to enable their use in new ways. The goal is to eventually make 1,000 classic Jewish texts, what they call “the core Jewish canon”, available for free online.
 
The site’s name Sefaria is related to the Hebrew word sefer, which means a scroll or a book and also to sifria, which is the Hebrew word for library.
 
The site to date includes 8.5 million words in categories such as Tanach, Mishnah, Talmud, Midrash, Halacha, Kabbalah, Liturgy, Philosophy, Tosefta, Chasidut, Musar, Responsa, Apocypha, and more. You can get a Jewish education just by understanding their index.
 
I'm curious to know how many people already knew about all four of these Jewish sites. Please comment below if you're a Jewish website maven.
 
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