All The Cool Kids Are Studying Torah These Days

This article was originally published in The Times of Israel.

Architect Marc Kushner tweaks the design of the Tabernacle to fit it in to the world's biggest Jewish city. (photo credit: Copyright © 2013 Marc Kushner)

Architect Marc Kushner tweaks the design of the Tabernacle to fit it in to the world’s biggest Jewish city. (photo credit: Copyright © 2013 Marc Kushner)

Are traditional Torah commentators like Rashi and Ramban not hip enough for you? Then consider a new collection of scriptural interpretations by 54 of North America’s coolest young Jews.

Just in time for Simchat Torah, Reboot, a cutting-edge New York-based national Jewish outreach and engagement non-profit, has published “Unscrolled” (Workman Publishing, 2013) an eclectic compilation of radical takes on the weekly portions by noted Gen X and Millennial writers and artists.

For the most part, none of these leading cultural influencers had cracked open a chumash since their b’nei mitzvah ceremonies before being invited to contribute to the book. But, of course, it’s never too late to learn Torah. And if the cool kids are doing it, then we’ll bet everyone else is going to want to do it, too.

This, at least, is the hope of Roger Bennett, Reboot’s founder and the book’s editor. “Text study is core to Reboot’s mission,” he tells The Times of Israel. His organization creates and facilitates opportunities for young people to grapple with key aspects of Jewish identity and revitalize Jewish traditions for our times.

While text study has generally been an aspect of every project Reboot has done (Sabbath Manifesto10Q, and Sukkah City, for example), this is the first time that it has been put front and center.

“Working in Torah has long been our goal,” says Bennett, who is in his early forties. “We want to catalyze a conversation among the newest members of the oldest book club in the world.”

Click here to read more.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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