New web platform looks to rethink pluralistic Jewish education

Meet Truvie, a new platform offering virtual Jewish education experiences, such as Minecrafting a Sukkah and virtual guitar jam circles.

CHILDREN PLAY in a classroom at Hand in Hand, a mixed Jewish-Arab kindergarten, in Jaffa. (photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)
CHILDREN PLAY in a classroom at Hand in Hand, a mixed Jewish-Arab kindergarten, in Jaffa.
(photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)

A new digital marketplace aims to make pluralistic and diverse Jewish learning experiences and great Jewish educators accessible to anyone in the world with an Internet connection.

The new platform, called Truvie (truvie.org, a play on "lucky find" in French), and powered by The Jewish Education Project, will offer a range of experiences reflecting the dynamic and evolving nature of Jewish education: from Jewish history or Jewish texts to Minecrafting a Sukkah, a virtual guitar Jewish music jam circle, exploring Torah using circus arts, and more. The online marketplace offers synchronous Jewish education for children in grades K-12, with an initial three-month beta period launching on October 18 for grades 3-8.

Modeled after the Outschool platform and curated for a multi-dimensional, modern Jewish population, Truvie is designed primarily to reach children who are not currently engaged in any form of Jewish education. It will allow both individual educators and organizations to offer short courses in which learners register for a series of weeks rather than for a full school year or semester, with advanced tools for teachers, parents and students.

“We learned over the last year and a half that while various educational platforms have unique qualities, they all reflect the core belief that the consumer will choose what works for them,” said Susan Wachsstock, chief program officer of the Jewish Education Project. “We wondered if we could design a Jewish educational marketplace that similarly supported the level of choice, convenience and flexibility embedded within these platforms. We think Truvie is the realization of this vision as a marketplace supporting pluralism, excellence and diversity.”

Some studies estimate that less than half of Jewish youth are currently engaged in religious school or day school. The platform will offer an evolving selection of live-streamed classes, as well as a unique set of features for camps, congregations, JCCs and others that seek to leverage the technology and an open marketplace.

Truvie is partially funded by the Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund (JCRIF).

 ARAB-ISRAELI teacher, Nedaa Rabie, poses in her classroom at the Gvanim Junior High School in Kadima in 2013. The Gvanim Junior High School currently employs five Arab teachers and serves as a successful example of the Education Ministry’s program for integrating Arab school teachers in the Jewish  (credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90) ARAB-ISRAELI teacher, Nedaa Rabie, poses in her classroom at the Gvanim Junior High School in Kadima in 2013. The Gvanim Junior High School currently employs five Arab teachers and serves as a successful example of the Education Ministry’s program for integrating Arab school teachers in the Jewish (credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)