The Jewish Innovation
In coordination with Sefaria — a digital library of Jewish texts that’s free to use — Rabbi Kaplowitz has decided to create an anthology on prayer to address these and other important questions. To do so, he will gather Hebrew texts that explore the subject of Jewish prayer, translate them into English, and publish these translations in Sefaria’s library.
These translations will provide a framework for understanding and exploring prayer, focusing on themes such as the development of prayer, paradigms of prayer in the Jewish tradition, and different approaches to the question of why Jews pray.
This anthology will draw upon more than one hundred Biblical, Rabbinic, and medieval texts, law codes and responsa literature. Within a year of the close of the campaign, rabbis, teachers and students alike will be able to freely access Rabbi Kaplowitz’s anthology on prayer using a next-generation search engine. Users will be able to dynamically explore texts chronologically or geographically, as well as filter by approach to prayer, ideas presented, or chain of influence. This tool will allow users to reveal the interconnected network and intergenerational discussion on prayer that spans across the globe. With just a few clicks, anyone can build a customized source sheets by filtering the texts; sample topics include “Biblical Sources for Prayer,” or “Maimonidean Approaches to Prayer”.
How did the project get started?—
Sefaria is building the largest digital collection of Jewish texts–in Hebrew and translation, interconnected, free, and in the public domain. As such, Sefaria is always looking for new translation contributions from our community. In choosing to publish his prayer anthology on Sefaria, Rabbi Kaplowitz is allowing his work to be released into the public domain (with no copyright restrictions for reuse).
By publishing the prayer anthology in a digital format on Sefaria, everyone can access teachings about prayer in a new, interactive interface. Sefaria’s technology will allow people to explore the texts, discover connections between texts and make source sheets, all with a just a few clicks.
Bio: Rabbi Kaplowitz was born in Boston and grew up in Livingston, NJ. Rabbi Kaplowitz received semicha from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School.
Along with his wife Toby, Rabbi Kaplowitz served as co-Director of the Orthodox Union’s Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus at Brandeis University.
After six meaningful years at Brandeis, Rabbi Kaplowitz served as Rabbi in Residence at Beth Tfiloh Congregation in Baltimore, where he also taught in the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community Day School. Today, Rabbi Kaplowitz leads Netivot Shalom, a congregation in Baltimore, and is pursuing his MBA from the University of Baltimore.
What Will You Do with the Money?
If the community contributes more than $6,000 to this campaign, the additional funds will pay Rabbi Kaplowitz to expand the size of the anthology and translate more texts.
Donations to this campaign are tax-deductible as allowed by law because Sefaria is a 501c3 charitable organization.