Jewish Communities on Six Continents Prepare for Global Day of Jewish Learning

Worldwide events to coincide with Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz's completion of first original Talmud commentary since Middle Ages

Oct 12, 2010, 11:39 ET from Aleph Society

NEW YORK, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- As momentum builds towards the culmination of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz's 45-year quest to translate the Talmud, over 256 Jewish communities around the world are planning study programs on the Global Day of Jewish Learning, Sunday, November 7th, to mark the occasion.  Just four weeks away, communities that have signed on for Global Day now include: Mumbai, Havana, Detroit, Miami, Bratislava, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, Washington, Moscow, Los Angeles, and all points in between.

Rabbi Steinsaltz will address participating communities in a live broadcast from Jerusalem, as he marks the completion of his monumental Talmud commentary translation. This event will celebrate Rabbi Steinsaltz's work and unite the widespread audiences.

"The Talmud belongs to all Jews, and not just a special sect or elite group," said Rabbi Steinsaltz.  "Through the power of these translations and the power of modern technology, we are awakening Jews to their shared heritage."

"It is fair to say that no one since Rashi – the 11th century pivotal interpreter of Jewish texts – has anyone accomplished such a task," said Ilan Kaufthal, Chair of the Global Day, referring to Rabbi Steinsaltz's Talmud commentary and translation.  "This is a truly historic achievement, which is why so many diverse Jewish communities from every corner of the world are excited to be involved."

In more than 80 cities and towns, activities are supported by the Global Day's main overseas partner, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).  More than 50 communities in the former Soviet Union have already registered to participate, engaging Jews in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Kyrgyzstan.

At the Jewish Community Center Nikitskaya in Moscow – under the auspices of the JDC and the Institute for Jewish Studies in the C.I.S. – more than 200 Jewish Muscovites will come together to engage in a full range of Jewish educational and cultural events, including a screening of the film "Talmud" by Henri Salfati and a theatrical performance, "Halomot Moshe," by the Israeli theater troupe, Mistorin.  An exhibition of Talmud editions and a special Talmudic art installation by Chaim Sokol will compliment lectures in classic Jewish texts, virtual tours of locales from the Talmud, a kabbalah-inspired jazz concert, and other workshops.

Meanwhile, the Jewish Community Center of the Greater Palm Beaches in Palm Beach, FL plans to premiere the documentary "An Article of Hope."  This hour-long film explores the journey of a Torah scroll which was smuggled into the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, rescued, brought to Israel after the Holocaust, and carried into space by Col. Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut.  Tragically, in 2003, the Torah was lost in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, along with the seven member crew.

Toronto's Jewish community events include: PJ Library in the North, a program that provides age-appropriate Jewish books to young children, is planning an hour-long children's program; Jewish teen organization BBYO will engage in a service learning program; eight Toronto synagogues will host a multi-synagogue, cross-generational trivia program; the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, along with Limmud and several downtown Toronto congregations, will host a cross-denominational Jewish learning program with various sessions; and the Orthodox congregation Shaarei Shamayim will conduct a program with the Jewish Day School and Yeshiva University there.

In Rio de Janeiro, the Global Day will culminate a two-month, Talmud-focused educational initiative already underway.  The day will include a series of classes throughout the city's Jewish community in two of the city's community centers.

A uniquely unifying endeavor, the Global Day of Jewish Learning counts among its supporting partners the governing bodies, leadership, and ordaining institutions of the Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox movements of Judaism, as well as the leadership of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.  

Along with the Aleph Society, organizing partners of the Global Day of Jewish Learning include: the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; the Jewish Community Center Association; Jewish Education Service of North America; Jewish Federations of North America; Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life; and the Shefa Institute.  Visit for the full list of partners.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is a distinguished scholar, teacher, mystic, and social critic.  He has written some 60 books and hundreds of articles on the Talmud, Kabbalah and Chasidut.  His works have been translated into English, Russian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Italian, Chinese and Japanese.

The Aleph Society was established in 1988 to support Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz's mission to make the Talmud and other sources of Jewish knowledge accessible to all Jews.  The organization also represents the central branch of his schools and educational centers throughout the world.  The Aleph Society's projects provide all Jews direct access to Rabbi Steinsaltz's teachings, and as a result, tens of thousands of Jews are learning what it means to be Jewish, identifying with their people and obtaining full access to the richness of their heritage.

For more information, visit

SOURCE Aleph Society