Torah through Literature uses an innovative approach to teaching Torah through novels and stories that incorporate Torah values and facts.
In this generation, many children growing up in religious families and attending religious Jewish schools lack a personal connection to Judaism. This fact has been lamented by many of today’s leading teachers and principals, but relatively few solutions have been proposed at present. It is clear that Torah teachers today need to involve not only their students’ intellects, but their emotions as well. Such education requires innovative teaching methods, especially in the world where secular subjects are increasingly taught in more engaging and hands on ways, involving the latest advances in digital technology.
At Torah through Literature, we propose to use a literature-based approach to teaching that is currently used for secular subjects by many homeschooling families. In this approach, teachers and/or parents read engaging novels with their students and/or children that contain the information they need to learn. These books are called “living books.”
A homeschooling informational website, simplycharlottemason.com, explains living books as follows: “Living books are usually written by one person who has a passion for the subject and writes in conversational or narrative style. The books pull you into the subject and involve your emotions, so it’s easy to remember the events and facts. Living books make the subject “come alive.” They can be contrasted to dry writing, like what is found in most encyclopedias or textbooks, which basically lists informational facts in summary form.”
This approach has been found to be effective in teaching such varied subjects as history, math, and science. At Torah through Literature, we would like to use the living books approach to teaching Torah. We would involve the best Jewish authors and illustrators to produce high quality “living books” that are well-written, engaging, suspenseful, entertaining, and at the same time accurately convey Torah lessons.