In an unprecedented unity initiative, the matching platform is connecting thousands of Jews to learn more about Shabbos, together.
Jerusalem, Israel, November 9, 2020, Partners in Torah, an organization that facilitates 1:1 connections for learning Torah, is turning technological innovation into achdus for this year’s worldwide Shabbos Project. Through their online platform, thousands of Jews across the denominational spectrum are signing up to get matched with a study partner and learn about Shabbos with a focus on connection, unity and growth.
Shabbos has always been a pillar of our emunah. And while specific levels of Shabbos observance may vary between individuals, there is broad consensus regarding the power and beauty of Shabbos as an opportunity to disconnect from everyday distractions and reconnect with our friends, our family, and our relationship with Hashem.
The opportunity for Partners in Torah to use its solution for The Shabbos Project was born out of necessity. The Shabbos Project is a global grassroots movement that has been uniting Jews worldwide through the Shabbos experience with yearly events celebrated in more than 1,600 cities globally. This year, due to COVID-19, these live events and gatherings were obviously not possible. So Partners in Torah came up with a creative solution: a virtual, 3-week mega event for individuals around the world to connect, grow and learn more about Shabbos, together.
Users can quickly and easily sign up online to learn with someone specific or to learn with someone new using the platform’s matching algorithm. Engaging Divrei Torah and guided study materials ensure that everyone involved has the opportunity to enhance their connection to the Shabbos experience, regardless of their religious affiliation or background.
Large initiatives such as this are nothing new to Partners in Torah, an organization that has already matched over 76,000 men and women in 29 countries as “chavrusas”. These one-on-one study partnerships allow people to learn Torah together from the comfort of their homes, either by phone or video conferencing.
Their celebrity partners include the likes of Jaime Geller, Nikki Schreiber, Mayim Bialik, and Allison Josephs. Many of the partners in this program have been learning together for well over a decade, and countless Jews have discovered the beauty of Yiddishkeit through the learning and relationships fostered through the Partners in Torah program.
“Through this exciting initiative, we are broadcasting Shabbos to Jews around the world,” says Moe Mernick, COO of Partners in Torah. “We will also provide tips and tools for those less affiliated to make the learning and the observance of Shabbos as enriching as possible. In our post-pandemic world that has managed to throw even the best of us off-track in terms of stability and spiritual well-being, every Jew deserves to develop a kesher with Shabbos as a way to recharge and reconnect to what is truly important. Thanks to our framework, learning becomes more approachable as new members can pair themselves with a friend or family member, or choose to get matched with someone new. Together, these partners can study a Shabbos-related topic for 30 minutes per week, for 3 weeks at a time and at pace that uniquely works for them. The scale of concentrated Shabbos learning and Shabbos observance achieved through this project is truly awe-inspiring”.
“I’m so excited that this year, The Shabbos Project and Partners in Torah are joining forces,” says Chief Rabbi of South Africa, Rabbi Warren Goldstein, the Founder of the Shabbos Project. “We’re so excited that there will be an opportunity for people to learn one-on-one, and go on a journey of learning, and discover the incredible magic and inspiration of Shabbos. Let’s all join in, and learn it together!”
About Partners in Torah:
Founded in 1993, Partners in Torah’s vision is to make Judaism and Jewish wisdom as accessible as possible for Jews around the globe. No judgment. No hierarchy. No commitment. No cost. Also, we aim to bring Jews of different backgrounds together in an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual respect and put an end to polarization among Jews. We stood together at Mount Sinai — as one person with one heart — and were equal partners in Torah. Okay, so we got a little sidetracked. And we’re trying to get it back together, to unify the Jewish community — two people at a time.