Jewish Time Jump: “Game Changer” in Times of Israel

Times of Israel

Game-Changer in Jewish Learning

MAY 20, 2013, 12:58 AM 
Joshua Stanton
Rabbi Joshua Stanton is Associate Director of the Center for Global Judaism at Hebrew College. Josh likewise co-edits O.N. Scripture — The Torah, a weekly online Torah commentary featured on The Huffington Post. You can following him on twitter @JoshuaMZStanton.[Less]

It can be a shock to the system when you meet someone with a bold vision and the chutzpah to realize it.

A couple of years ago, soon after he had been ordained, my classmate Rabbi Owen Gottlieb sat down with me to share his vision for Jewish education. In it, Hebrew School and other avenues of Jewish study could become places for joyful experiential learning. Young Jews around the world could engage their tradition through digital, paper-based, and self-created games. After all, what kids don’t delight in playing games or making up a cool game?

I was optimistic about his vision but did not realize how quickly he would move to implement it. Just a couple of weeks ago, Gottlieb called to let me know that he would be releasing a new game, funded by the Covenant Foundation, that uses smartphones with GPS to teach Jewish-American history.

He had quietly assembled a team of over twenty professionals, including a professor of American Jewish History, a team of archival researchers, a co-game designer, illustrators, scripters, and more – and spent the last year and a half designing, building, and testing the game.


Jewish Time Jump Cover Story Print Edition of The Jewish Week

ConverJent and Rabbi Gottlieb’s new mobile digital GPS game for learning modern Jewish history on the cover of print edition of The Jewish Week:

Touch-Screen Time Travel In The Park

Groundbreaking mobile GPS game brings New York Jewish history to the iPad generation.

Julie Wiener
Associate Editor
Not checking their e-mail: sixth-graders play Jewish Time Jump. Photo courtesy Converjent
Not checking their e-mail: sixth-graders play Jewish Time Jump.
Photo courtesy ConverJent

On a warm Sunday morning last month in Washington Square Park, parents were leisurely pushing strollers, sunbathers were strewn about on the grass, and people of all ages were lounging on the wooden benches and sipping coffee.

Meanwhile about 15 sixth graders darted around in groups of two or three, their heads bent over iPhones and iPads, shouting out things like, “I just found the foreman. He gave me the money!” “We have to go back to Rose,” and “The shtarkers are after us!”

Read the whole story here.

ConverJent Launches Jewish Time Jump: New York

Rabbi Gottlieb and ConverJent announce the new mobile, place-based Augmented Reality Reality game, simulation, and interactive story for teaching modern Jewish History.  See the trailer and educator/parent video below then visit ConverJent for details.  Funded by a Signature Grant from The Covenant Foundation.


Educator and Parents’ Video: