Beauty and Ugliness: Opportunities for Reflection

Join the 8th Annual Global Day of Jewish Learning
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Curriculum available for registered communities

August 21, the sun has been eclipsed by the moon, and at only 75% coverage, there is still a dramatic change in the light. The sound of the city dwindles as everyone on the street, in their offices, in their homes, stops. Everyone looks up, and is filled with wonder.

Looking up at the sky during an eclipse, we are confronted with the awesome beauty of such an event. This awe has a caveman-level tingle of fear, and a modern citizen’s anxiety to get back to work, but the beauty and wonder cannot be denied. Such things are rare in a time of increasingly ugly moments: as the world around us becomes more divided, discourse has become more crude, and global culture is increasingly superficial.

The Global Day of Jewish Learning offers an antidote to that. We will look at Beauty & Ugliness with especial care this year, using Jewish texts as a lens through which we can focus more clearly on the issues facing Jews today.

The Global Day is an opportunity to look with more depth and clarity at where our values and preconceptions come from. A project of the Aleph Society and Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz, the Global Day continues to spark a love of Jewish learning in participants the world around. Whether in a synagogue or at a kitchen table, Jews from all walks of life and backgrounds are welcome to join in the learning. This is a worldwide movement of community building that increases engagement with Jewish content for all ages.

Participation is free and easy: communities of all sizes and shapes are welcome to join this worldwide movement that makes Jewish learning fun, accessible and personal. To participate, host a local in-person event that invites community members to learn together in a day of text-based learning sessions.

The 2017 Global Day of Jewish Learning theme is Beauty & Ugliness, exploring how our perceptions affect our actions, relationships and experiences. Participating communities receive the following resources at no charge:

  • Curriculum materials for adults, Middle School and Elementary School children (available in English, Russian, Spanish, Hebrew and German). These easy-to-use guided sessions explore “Beauty & Ugliness” through hour-long units accessible to all ages and interests. Adapt the units, use them for inspiration, or use them as they are: the curriculum is designed to help anyone lead a session.
  • Early childhood family programming content in partnership with PJ Library
  • Video Classes, featuring master educators teaching on this year’s theme. Bring an interactive component to your day by watching videos paired with curricular units, use them to inspire your own learning sessions, or share them with your community any time!
  • Live webcast series on November 12: Brings renowned Jewish educators, rabbis, artists and thinkers to your Global Day event with the Global Day ON AIR – no plane ticket necessary!
  • Community resource guidebook: tips and step-by-step guides for planning local in-person events.
  • Marketing materials: a quick and easy way to spread the word about your event.
  • Support Forum: ask questions and share your insights with other community coordinators around the world. First time coordinators and multi-year veterans alike can find support or share success stories.

The Global Day is dedicated to the life and legacy of Ralph I. Goldman z”l. To learn more visit or contact Karen Sponder, Project Director: