Sefaria

New York, NY   |  www.sefaria.org

Mission

Sefaria is a non-profit organization dedicated to using technology to build the future of Jewish learning in an open and participatory way. We are assembling a free, living library of Jewish texts and their interconnections, in Hebrew and in translation. With these digital texts, we are creating new, interactive interfaces for Web and mobile, which enable more people than ever to engage with the textual treasures of our tradition.

Ruling year info

2014

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Daniel Septimus

Main address

228 Park Ave S. Suite 79262

New York, NY 10003-1502 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-4406454

NTEE code info

Jewish (X30)

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

Humanities Organizations (A70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Sefaria envisions a world in which Jewish texts are alive and resonant in the digital age. In 2013, best-selling author Joshua Foer and former Google product manager Brett Lockspeiser founded Sefaria in response to a unique problem and opportunity: the Jewish world had yet to take advantage of major technological developments that could yield unprecedented new opportunities for learning. Josh and Brett envisioned a tool that would lower the barriers to engagement with Jewish texts. Today, Sefaria offers easy access to more than 250 million words of Jewish texts and commentaries, resources to deepen learning, and tools to make teaching more impactful and interactive.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

The Library: Making Jewish Texts Accessible

More than a collection of books on a shelf, the Jewish canon is a giant corpus of interconnected texts that speak to each other. Sefaria is making it easier than ever to explore the conversations of the past, while also creating a space for ancient conversations to continue in new ways, with new participants, new questions, and new layers of dialogue. We are the generation charged with shepherding our texts from print to digital in a way that can expand their reach and impact in new and unprecedented ways.

Today, the library contains 250 million words, of which more than 51 million are words in translation.

In 2017, we reached an unprecedented intellectual property deal to launch The William Davidson Talmud, which includes Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz’s complete English and Modern Hebrew translations. This has revolutionized access to the Talmud, one of the Jewish people’s greatest contributions to world civilization.

We have opened up hundreds of additional works with Creative Commons licenses -- including translations of major Tanakh commentaries like Rashi and Ibn Ezra, major collections of Midrash, as well as modern works. Our ever-growing library is unique because it has allowed innumerable Jewish texts to become free for use and re-use by anyone, anywhere through the use of Creative Commons licenses.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

One of our key objectives is to make Sefaria the go-to platform for teaching and learning Jewish texts in the digital age. As such, our product development efforts are designed to make Sefaria into a better teaching and learning platform. To achieve this objective, Sefaria works in partnership with educators to explore and develop the frontiers of Jewish educational technology.

In addition to working with teachers, we host public trainings and offer one-on-one support to anyone who seeks assistance. We also maintain a resource center for educators that highlights tools and tips for using Sefaria. It also showcases innovative projects and best practices.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total Number of Words in the Library

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

The Library: Making Jewish Texts Accessible

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The library comprises the core Jewish canon - including Tanakh, Talmud, and works of Jewish law and philosophy. Our digitization process has made countless texts available for free use and reuse.

Number of unique website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Sefaria is used by individuals and organizations around the world. These numbers reflect our average monthly unique visitors.

Number of Source Sheets Created by Users

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Source sheets are study guides made by our users. As people explore the library, they can save and share their insights and favorite passages with others.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Sefaria is building and maintaining a digital platform that lowers the barriers of engagement with Jewish texts, creates interactive opportunities for teaching and learning, and provides educators, scholars, and technologists with an open source database of texts to make new educational applications simpler and more viable to develop.

Sefaria is permeating Jewish learning in schools, synagogues and homes, allowing those who have never studied texts before to learn alongside teachers and scholars. Since the beginning, we've forged meaningful relationships with users of all backgrounds to inform product design and content acquisition. In 2016, after extensive prototyping, Sefaria launched a redesigned website and native mobile apps for iOS and Android. Today, more than 425,000 people access Sefaria for learning and teaching each month.

Product Development — We will work to make Sefaria’s resources more accessible and easy to navigate. We will add dictionaries, explanatory tools, and continuously work to ensure the our library is of the highest quality.

Content Acquisition — We will focus on acquiring more key translations and texts by women and Sephardic authors, as well as supporting texts to make learning Talmud easier.

Education — Our education department will create a critical platform for lesson plans and materials that highlight the best of what technology can do for Jewish education. To showcase this innovative pedagogy, which brings Judaic studies into the 21st century, we conduct hundreds of trainings for educators and students worldwide.

Marketing — Our marketing and engagement team seeks to bring new and diverse audiences into conversation with Jewish texts through robust communications with users, SEO/SEM, and other tactics.

Sefaria is an cutting-edge non-profit, comprised of creative engineers, educators, and non-profit professionals. The team is spread from California to Jerusalem, and our geographic diversity better equips us to engage and serve various communities. Operationally, we are similar to a tech start-up. We invest heavily in R&D, release product developments early, iterate often, and have attracted donors who are passionate about the intersection of technology and education. While we are a new organization, we have secured major funding from established foundations and individual donors.

Since we launched in 2013, we have continued to innovate and develop our library and other resources. Our strong emphasis on research and metrics, engagement with our users, and organizational sustainability makes us capable of optimizing the possibilities of Jewish texts in the digital era.

Sefaria's library is vast and it is visited each month, on average, by more than 425,000 people around the world. The library contains more than 250 million words in Hebrew and English translation. It is easy to navigate and shareable, and has truly revolutionized Jewish learning and accessibility to texts. Through our Source Sheet Builder, users have created more than 280,000 source sheets on topics that range from Shabbat rituals to the theories of justice (www.sefaria.org/topics).

Our project is ongoing and there is still much to be done. Over the next few years, we will focus on increasing and diversifying the audience for Jewish texts. We plan to add more dictionaries and explanatory tools to make the texts more accessible to people without a background in text study. We also are also developing our product to make text study more social and customizable, encouraging deeper and more lively conversation on our platform.

Financials

Sefaria
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Sefaria

Board of directors
as of 7/21/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Joshua Foer

Atlas Obscura

Term: 2013 -

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/16/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data