Rabbi Einhorn’s SynaBlog is a new innovative blog that shares tips, tactics, strategies and best practices that enable Shul growth and promote Shul vitality.
Part of good synagogue leadership is about guiding your shul toward higher levels and quantities of Torah study. We bemoan the fact that our constituents are busy with their Smart Phones and therefore are left with hardly any time to learn. But maybe the opposite is true. Perhaps there is a way to harness the power inherent in our generation of connectivity toward some important learning goals via their gizmos and gadgets.
(For the purpose of adding some insight I’m going to avoid the obvious useful sites such as Chabad.org, Aish.com, and YUTORAH.com)
Here is a sample learning flow that I myself use and encourage my congregants to use:
Download a list app such as WUNDERLIST.
The simple and elegant design enables you to keep track of different items that you plan to learn. Here is a sample list of items that one can learn on a given day:
Once you lock down your learning “musts”, now it’s time to find the online resources that help you get that learning done.
For the classics of mussar and later commentaries on the Chumash (such as Meshech Chochmah, etc) I like to use the ובלכת בדרך. This wonderful app makes sliding between sefarim a breeze. Alternatively, I noticed that the Crowd Sourcing Torah site www.sefaria.org has started to add works such as the Meshech Chochmah to its collection.
To test the waters of some harder to reach sefarim (such as Shomer Emunim by Rav Arele Roth, etc) save www.hebrewbooks.org to your smartphone. Their constantly growing database of 51,000 sefarim is a treasure trove of Torah.
Check out the OU Torah website: https://www.ou.org/torah/. Rabbi Rosner has a B’iyun daf yomi or you can choose Rabbi Elefant’s straight and to the point daf. Need something to say on the Parsha? Try out Rabbi Rosner’s parsha shiurim. Need to brush up on your general Tanach knowledge? Scan Rabbi Abramowitz’s Nach Yomi Companion.
Help your constituents take their learning to an even higher level by encouraging an online Chavrusa: www.chavrusamatch.com. This partnering website has over 1400 users. It’s the JDATE of Torah learning! Once you do an online chavrusa I also recommend SKYPE, obviously, but have Google Docs open for an added dynamic live learning effect.
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Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is a Musmach of Yeshiva University. He has served as the founder of WINGS a Synagogue Consulting group. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Rabbi Einhorn was the Rabbi of Manhattan’s West Side Institutional Synagogue where he helped grow the membership by 70% over 4 years. Currently, he is the Rav and Dean of Yeshivat Yavneh.