Simchat Torah, which this year begins September 26, comes at the end of a long High Holiday season. Rosh Hashanah, with its apples and honey and shofar blowing, has come and gone. So has Yom Kippur’s fasting and Sukkot’s feasting. By the end of all these holidays, Simchat Torah sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. But we like to think that we’ve just saved the best for last.
Jews read through the Torah slowly, week by week, over the course of the year, and Simchat Torah celebrates the conclusion of one reading cycle and the beginning of the next. It’s a holiday filled with singing, joyous dancing, and all-night partying (the Torah’s a pretty big deal in the Jewish tradition, after all).
But at its core, Simchat Torah, also connects back to a deep value: the importance of learning and education. That’s why, as we begin this year’s cycle of telling the story of the Jewish people, Repair the World is celebrating learning and literacy. Here are some great resources, ideas, and inspiring stories to help promote literacy and education, and bring the joy of learning to all.
- Donor’s Choose This awesome website lets teachers reach out to friends, family, and the public to raise money for projects for their school – everything from getting a subscription to National Geographic for their classroom, to booking the bus needed to transport students on a field trip to a local museum, to buying equipment for a science lesson. Search the projects and find one that speaks to you.
- Teen Code Battle The folks at URBAN Teen eXploring Technology have created a fun, interactive way to get young students to learn about coding, business development, and public speaking. Watch this inspiring video that shows teens in South Los Angeles “battling” each other on their knowledge of computer programming.
- Book People Unite The organization Reading is Fundamental released a great video about getting a book in the hands of every child. Check out the video, then take the pledge. Check the cameo by Reading Rainbow star, LeVar Burton.
- BuildOn This organization’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education. Learn how you can take part in their work by helping to build a school, start a BuildOn chapter, or fundraise to support their great work.
How will you celebrate literacy and education this Simchat Torah? Let us know in the comments or by tweeting us at @repairtheworld.