Many people want to seriously engage with their Jewish Heritage, but are not able to commit to a program of formal classes because of time, economic or geographical constraints. Through cutting-edge web technology, we have established Torahwithoutborders.org in order to make it possible for Jews anywhere in the world to dedicate blocks of time as small as half an hour, with maximal scheduling flexibility, to serious engagement with the study of Torah, our Jewish Heritage.
Our method is that encouraged by our Rabbis (Mishnah Avot), who recommended that one set for oneself fixed times for Torah study (עשה תורתך קבע – ‘Aseh Toratkha Keva) and that one find both a colleague and a mentor with whom to study (עשה לך רב וקנה לך חבר – ‘Aseh lekha rav ukeneh lekha chaver).
Say you want to learn Bible or Bible Commentaries or Talmud or Jewish Law or Jewish Thought or Prayer, our International Chevruta Exchange (ICE) will help you find a chevruta (study partner) at a compatible level who is interested in the same subject and who is available when you are. Whatever topic or text you want to learn or question you want to research, whether in translation (English or Russian) or in the original language, through online video conferencing (or through telephone conferencing if you prefer a low tech option), we’ll match you up with a colleague to learn with (unless you already have one) and provide you with access to a mentor who will join you online (or on phone conference) to help guide you. The mentor will help you find answers to difficulties and questions that arise in the course of your learning and help you develop the skills you need to advance as a learner.
Since the mentor tailors his or her help to the specific needs of the learning partners (chevruta), this opportunity is appropriate for learners at all levels from beginner through advanced.
Our InterContinental Beit Midrash (ICBM) will be available online around the clock, six days a week. At start up, mentors will be available for only some specific hours. We hope to expand hours and mentor availability as rapidly as funding permits. Torah Without Borders and the mentors who staff the ICBM are offering this online beit midrash as a service to the Jewish community world-wide, as Torah is our labor of love. We ask only that participants (and others who think this is a wonderful idea) donate what they believe the value of this service is to them (and to the community) to the extent that they can afford. We depend on these donations to expand this program to serve the maximum number of people possible and to compensate our mentors for their time.
Torahwithoutborders.org encourages all Jews, regardless of their background or affiliation, to seriously engage in studying the sacred literature (ספרי קדש) of the Jewish people as that literature has come down to us through the Rabbinic tradition.
Torahwithoutborders.org is an intiative of Rabbi Leonard R. Levy, Ph.D. (bio)