- Are you or your students struggling with learning/reviewing new skills in Chumash, Kria or Gemara?
- Do you wish there was a place where you could send your students or children to learn and review those skills?
- Can you imagine if the children would be excited to practice those skills – even to the point of voluntarily giving up their recess?
And what if this place was completely free?!
As a 2nd grade teacher in Montreal, Rabbi Shmully Kaufmann noticed a void in the Jewish educational world. “My first year of teaching, within a few weeks on the job, I realized that the Talmidim weren’t very interested in hearing me talk all day,” he says. “I knew I had to come up with another way of getting them to absorb the material.”
Rabbi Kaufmann says he looked for Jewish educational games, but couldn’t find what he was looking for. So he started creating them himself. “They really enjoyed the games. But equally important, I began seeing a sharp increase in their Chumash skills.” After seeing success in his own classroom, Rabbi Kaufmann reached out to fellow educators throughout the world to offer use of the games in their classrooms. He says the feedback was consistently positive. “Many, many students were experiencing higher test scores and improved learning experiences,” he observed. “I realized it was time to take this concept to the next level.”
So Rabbi Kaufmann went online and created the educational gaming website for Jewish children – www.TorahGames.org.
TorahGames.org offers a wide variety of games for kids of all ages/skill level (see the end of this article for a detailed list of games and skills covered). The site is quickly becoming very popular – to the tune of 4,000 visits per month (as of this article). “With Hashem’s Brachos, this has been a good start,” says Rabbi Kaufmann, “but I believe it’s only the tip of the iceberg. There is great potential in utilizing gaming and technology as the future of learning. I believe there are many areas where we can grow and improve. Since we’re still in the developmental stages, feedback and critique from students, parents and teachers really help to guide the direction of the site.”
As an example, after receiving requests to make the games available offline for mobile and tablet devices, Rabbi Kaufmann starting making apps for the games. Four apps are already available for free download on GooglePlay – Alef Beis, Nekudos, Shoresh Find, Suffix Snake. It will soon also be available for Apple iOS devices.
Additionally, Rabbi Kaufmann has offered teachers to contact him if they’d like a game customized for their class (no charge). The entire site is completely free. “I want to ensure that every child has access to this amazing resource”, says Rabbi Kaufmann. As a result, the continued growth of this site depends entirely on generous donations. While it takes much money to accomplish our goals, any and all contributions are helpful and greatly appreciated! Please note, game dedications are dictated by the sponsors of individual games. Or if you are interested in a long-term sponsorship, the entire site is available for dedication.
If you have any questions, suggestions or game requests, Rabbi Kaufmann can be reached by email at info@TorahGames.org
Here is the detailed list of all the games and the skills covered:
- Alef Beis Game – Review all Alef Beis
- Nekudos Falls – Review all nekudos
- Torah Trails, Aqua Torah & Cloud Crash – Review 350 of the most common root words in Chumash Bereishis (covers more than 85% of the words in Chumash Bereishis)
- Shoresh Find – Practice finding the shoresh within a bigger word
- Prefix Power – Practice prepositional prefixes ו ה מ ב ל כ ש
- Suffix Snake – Practice possessive suffixes: “Yud Family,” “Chof Family,” “Mem & Nun Family,” “Hey Family,” “Vov Family,” and “נוּ”
- Zooming Zalmy – Learn & review all עתיד/future tense prefixes and עבר/past tense suffixes
- Balloon Pop – Practice all future and fast tense prefixes/suffixes
- Kodesh Construct – Build words using prepositional, possessive, future tense and past tense prefixes/suffixes
- Millim Racer – Review the first 20 common words in Parshas Lech Lecha
- Rashi Rescue – Practice differentiating between the commonly confused Rashi letters
- Chaim Chumash (under construction) – Practice Chumash skills (does not currently work on touch screen devices)
- Perek Hakones Pacman, Eilu Metzios Pacman (English or Yiddish) – Review frequently used Gemara vocabulary words
- Brachos Blast – Review the Brachah Rishonah for over 100 different foods
Coming soon (pending funding):
- Parsha Pitch – Learn & review the names of the 54 Sedros in the Torah
- Eli Alef – Learn (not just review) the Alef Beis via interactive games, activities and videos
- Chaim Chumash (full version)