Subscribe to 18Forty's NEW PODCAST "18 Questions, 40 Israeli Thinkers" on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen

Josh Foer: How Can You Make a Digital Library for All?



This series is sponsored by an anonymous lover of books.

In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we talk to Joshua Foer, co-founder of Sefaria, about the revolutionary digital Jewish library of which he was the visionary.

Prior to Sefaria, the possibility of finding the Talmud and other central Jewish texts in translation online felt entirely out of reach. Now, we take for granted that any Jew in the world can access the fullness of the tradition. In this episode we discuss: 

  • How did Foer come up with the idea for a comprehensive website of Jewish texts?
  • What was Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz’s role in Sefaria putting his translation of the Talmud online? 
  • How does digitization change our relationship to Jewish books?
  • What does having a “gender-sensitive” Tanakh actually mean?

Tune in to hear a conversation about how to make the depth and breadth of Torah available to the entire Jewish community.

Interview begins at 30:30.

Joshua Foer is an author and founder. His book Moonwalking with Einstein was an international bestseller, and he is the co-founder of Atlas Obscura, Sefaria, the design competition Sukkah City, and most recently the Lehrhaus in Boston, Massachusetts. Josh joins us to talk about books real and virtual, and how to build a digital library. 


Book Journey with Elli Fischer


Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer

Talmud: The William Davidson Edition 

Is Sefaria Kosher?” by Gil Student

THE JPS TANAKH: Gender-Sensitive Edition

Berakhot  22a