“If you have a good gut on something, go for it. You’re probably right.”
Sarah Lefton is the creator of G-dcast, a site that teaches me more about Judaism than any other resource I have ever found.
The “guts” of the site is the weekly Torah portion, taught through animated cartoons. “Jewlebrities” as far reaching as Hesta Prynn (from Northern State), actor and yogi Marcus Freed, controversial Rabbi Steven Greenberg and…ahem…myself, contribute d’vrei Torah that are insightful, musical, and frankly, hilarious.
Sarah and I have three big things in common. First, our mutual friendship with Matthue Roth, second our love of Judaism, and third…well…our love of cussing.
“I basically grew up with crap for Jewish education…there was one synagogue when i was growing up…this whole project, honest to G-d…is an honest attempt to educate myself.”
Honest to G-d is right. And honest to the Jewish people as well. G-dcast staff do not have a hidden agenda to promote any special version of Judaism. They are reform, orthodox, secular, and everywhere in between.
Why G-dcast? “A spoon full of sugar that helps the medicine go down,” replied Lefton. I started hearing Mary Poppins in my head when she said, “this is a fresh idea for people…that Jewish learning can be fun.”
Lefton, like most cool Jews, came from outside the system. Growing up in the south, her town had one synagogue and no Jewish educational resources available.
So when Lefton started college, she jumped right into Judaism, head first. “I did crazy things that no 21 year old would do, like joining a synagogue.”
This immersion into the Jewish world, coupled with her background in digital media and advertising came full circle when Lefton asked herself one basic question, “how come Jewish education sucks so badly?”
“I more than anyone can use a Jewish literacy. For me, this is what it has always been about,” said Lefton.
This runs contrary to the popular opinion of most Jews in the non-profit sector, who focus on community and identity. Lefton fights back with this bold statement:
“The Jewish community has done a damn good job in talking about identity and about people-hood, community, continuity, pride. But we’ve done a lousy job with literacy. Ask any American teenager is who Captain Ahab is and they’ll have a great answer…they may not like it, but they know who these people are. Smart Jewish kids…don’t know who Joshua, Miriam and Ruth are. Literacy, not pride, holds people together.”
Preach it, sister! www.g-dcast.com