JERUSALEM – In 2005, Pardes launched Pardes in Jerusalem, which has been among the most highly rated Jewish podcast series on iTunes. It has been published weekly ever since. In 2013 Pardes launched Elmad, a highly comprehensive online learning platform that has grown tremendously over the last seven years.
Today, Pardes is excited to unveil the newest addition to its online learning infrastructure – The Pardes Daily learning app, now available for free on the App Store and on Google Play, serving Jewish learners of all levels and backgrounds.
First launched in late March to a very limited audience for testing purposes, Pardes Daily was designed to offer high-quality mini-courses in a format suitable for learners on the go who want serious but also accessible learning options.
Lessons are currently 10-20 minutes each and will be offered five days a week for four weeks. This month’s launch offers an Elul-themed curriculum, featuring three mini-courses related to the high-holiday season. Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield will be teaching Chapters 3 & 4 of Tractate Rosh Hashanah (Talmud), Rav Rahel Berkovits will be teaching Mishnah Rosh Hashanah and Rabbi Michael Hattin will be teaching the Book of Jonah. Zvi, Rahel and Michael are each longstanding core members of the Pardes faculty in Jerusalem.
“Building an engaging curriculum with my colleagues in Jerusalem while working with developers to bring their teaching to life on this new platform was a very special experience,” said Rabba Shani Gross, Pardes’s Director of North American Programs, who managed the project. “Pardes is deeply invested in creating positive learning experiences for learners of all backgrounds. I think this app reflects those values wonderfully.”
Like all Pardes programs, Pardes Daily places an emphasis on havruta (partnered) learning and offers a built-in mechanism that allows users to connect with each other. Users can become “accountability buddies” and get notifications when one’s partner completes a lesson. Users can also learn independently at their own pace.
While originally conceived of as part of Pardes’s plan to more deeply engage North American Jews, the app was fast-tracked to meet the needs of the moment.
“With so many Jews largely isolated from their communities and seeking innovative ways to keep Torah and Judaism as active components of their day-to-day life, we felt it was imperative to make Pardes Daily available as soon as possible,” said Pardes’s President, Rabbi Leon Morris. “Our hope is that through this learning, users will seek out more Torah from Pardes and, when the state of the world allows for it, participate in our programs in-person, both in North America and Israel.”
Pardes Daily is now available for download on the App Store and Google Play. More information can be found at www.pardes.org.il/pardesdaily.