Over 500 communities will participate in the Global Day of Jewish Learning on November 16, 2014. The Global Day will be the largest Jewish unity event ever to take place, spanning 40 countries across 6 continents. Participating communities are as diverse as Brooklyn and Beersheva, Melbourne and Mumbai.
The event’s theme is “Heroes and Villains, Saints and Fools.” Sessions will focus on the people of the Bible, particularly personalities like Deborah, Moses and Abraham. Issues addressed include “what makes a leader?” and “how do you know who is a hero?”
The Global Day is under the aegis of Rabbi Steinsaltz, the noted Jewish scholar, whose commentaries on the Talmud are contemporary classics and have sold more than 2 million volumes. The Koren Talmud Bavli with Rabbi Steinsaltz’s English translation and commentary is a winner of a National Jewish Book Award.
Explaining the theme, Rabbi Steinsaltz said, “The men and women of the Scriptures are more than mere life portraits. These are not ordinary historical figures but archetypes; as such, their lives are carried on and continue not only in literature and philosophy but in the lives of their descendants throughout the generations.”
The Global Day includes 24×24, an online global conference featuring luminaries of Jewish learning. The conference is broadcast live using Google Hangouts On Air. Over the course of the Global Day, scholars, artists, rabbis and authors will present their perspectives on biblical characters.
Sessions will be broadcast from over 30 speakers, in seven countries and in five languages. Rabbi Steinsaltz will speak at 00:00 GMT/UTC (7pm EST on Saturday, November 15). Speakers include: Dr. Daniel Fainstein (Panama), Judy Klitsner (Jerusalem, Pardes Institute), Sarah Lefton (San Francisco, G-dcast), Rabbi Asher Lopatin (NY, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah), Michael Sebban (Paris, Akadem). Viewers are invited to engage with the speakers and each other.
Karen Sponder, director of the Global Day, said that 30+ organizations have partnered with the lead organization, the Aleph Society. “Our partner organizations include national and international organizations and every religious denomination – this diversity demonstrates that Jewish learning is for everyone.”
“The best part of the Global Day is hearing participants’ reactions. In their evaluations many tell us that they wish we could offer the Global Day every month! The Global Day has taken its place in Jewish Nashville as one of the most anticipated events on the annual calendar,” said Mark Freedman, Executive Director, Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.
For more information on the Global Day and 24×24 visit theglobalday.org