For thousands of years, Jewish education has involved several distinct objects: texts such the Torah and Talmud, a table, some chairs, debate, discussion and several people.
Recently, you can add a computer to that list.
Largely this century, Jewish online education has swept through the world of Jewish learning, creating a new, changing landscape in which Jews are studying and talking — or typing, as it were — often from their own homes, which begs the question: without a physical community of learners, how Jewish is online Jewish education?
That answer, according to Jewish education professionals, is not a black and white one, as many websites offer virtual classrooms allowing students to talk through video and web-chatting technology.
Gratz College offers Internet classes under the banner Gratz Online. Hebrew University of Jerusalem offers similar online courses; it seems universities not offering some online options are now in the minority. The growing trend now is Jewish learning not tied to any physical institution. Continue reading