The Singing Torah has reached the point it is today with the advice and encouragement of a number of people such as our mentor Marty Kress and his Cantor, Jodi Sufrin. She met with us and watched our demonstration software evolve over time. Here is how she describes her experience of The Singing Torah:
To Jewish Cantors Teaching Challenged Bar Mitzvah Students
As Cantor at Temple Beth Elohim, I have been teaching Bar and Bat Mitzvah students for nearly 30 years. Over time, more of my efforts have been focused on teaching ADHD and dyslexic children. But in fact, all children in our frenetic world need new tools to focus and motivate them to study between lessons with their tutors.
Late last year, I was approached by a congregant who counsels small businesses. Marty Kress is a creative thinker and dedicated member of TBE. Marty sensed that The Singing Torah could transform the Bar/Bat Mitzvah learning process at Temple Beth Elohim.
In January 2012, Jonathan Stiebel, creator of The Singing Torah, met with me. Jonathan did two crucial things that built my trust. First, he asked me to partner with The Singing Torah to better teach our children. Second, he promised that, within a month, his team would synchronize, on a word-by-word basis, existing recordings of my chanting Hebrew Bible text.
In March, Marty scheduled a follow-up meeting with me so that Jonathan could show me in person how each word of the Hebrew Bible verse is highlighted, synchronized with my voice as I chant that verse.
I was especially pleased with Jonathan’s decision to design The Singing Torah around the child’s own cantor’s voice; this truly creates a personal connection for each child. Other software that I’ve evaluated uses a computer-generated voice, but it’s hard for children to connect with something so mechanical.
The Singing Torah brings ancient words to life in a technologically modern way. It automatically highlights the Hebrew Bible verse word-by-word, synchronized with audio from the bar mitzvah student’s cantor. It shows the students exactly where they are in each verse, making it easier to focus on the current word being chanted by their cantor. The current verse becomes enlarged automatically; the clarity of drawing attention to one verse at a time makes the text more accessible to all students and is especially helpful to those with ADHD and dyslexia.
I find Jonathan Stiebel to be a sincere and genuine person who is passionate about teaching our children and deepening their relationship with the Hebrew Bible. His motivation focuses on the student’s learning process as an opportunity to connect with the next generation and strengthen our community. He designed The Singing Torah software to meet the communal need for each Bat or Bar Mitzvah child to connect with their own temple’s cantor’s voice integrated in the software.
I enthusiastically endorse Jonathan Stiebel and The Singing Torah.
Cantor Jodi Sufrin
Temple Beth Elohim,
Wellesley, MA” May 23, 2012