The Singing Torah connects Jewish young adults to their Judaism and promotes lifelong engagement with their communities, through teaching them to chant the Hebrew Bible, using modern technology to bring the Hebrew Bible to life. Students with ADHD or dyslexia learn more effectively by seeing the verses while hearing the familiar voice of the child’s synagogue’s cantor.
Parents want their children to remain active in the Jewish community and perpetuate tradition. Few Jewish parents understand that the bar mitzvah process marks the transition to responsible Jewish adulthood―both obligations and rights. 80% of Reform b’nai mitzvah abandon their synagogue with their families before completing high school. Cantors struggle with the 25% of b’nai mitzvah with dyslexia and ADHD. Cantors focus on mechanics, leaving little energy to teach responsible Jewish adulthood.
Learning to read Torah is an important facet of Jewish continuity. The bar/bat mitzvah age is a time when family feels compelled to help their child succeed and feel connected to Judaism. The next time that Jewish young adults may connect is going to Israel on Birthright. We then wait for them to get married, have children, and then join a synagogue, and their children to prepare for bar/bat mitzvah.
The Singing Torah software can reach these Jews at what may be literally a once-in-a-generation opportunity. For many of these Jews, bar mitzvah is the time they are most open to learning what Judaism can offer. The Singing Torah helps make the bat mitzvah and the bar mitzvah a connecting experience so the child will be open to additional Jewish learning. 80% of bar mitzvah children prepare for their process in the context of a Jewish synagogue or Jewish temple.
We face a once in a generation opportunity. Judaism must survive in our generation. It is our opportunity. It is our obligation. Every child who does not have a meaningful Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah is at significant increased risk of leaving the Jewish community.
The Singing Torah creates bar mitzvah tutoring software that records a Jewish cantor chanting the Hebrew Bible whether a Torah portion or a Haftorah portion, aligns the synagogue cantor’s voice recording with the Hebrew Bible text, providing a multimodal interactive playback.
“I was especially pleased with Jonathan’s decision to design The Singing Torah around the child’s own cantor’s voice; this truly creates a personal connection for each child. Other software that I’ve evaluated uses a computer-generated voice, but it’s hard for children to connect with something so mechanical.
The Singing Torah brings ancient words to life in a technologically modern way. It automatically highlights the Hebrew Bible verse word-by-word, synchronized with audio from the bar mitzvah student’s cantor. It shows the students exactly where they are in each verse, making it easier to focus on the current word being chanted by their cantor. The current verse becomes enlarged automatically; the clarity of drawing attention to one verse at a time makes the text more accessible to all students and is especially helpful to those with ADHD and dyslexia.”