Over the past month, the JLE (Jewish Learning Exchange) has registered more than 50,000 weekly hits through its programmes, lectures and events.
Adapting to an online model, the JLE initiated six new programmes recently. Senior lecturer Rabbi Dr Akiva Tatz launched JLE’s interactive webinars, which proved so popular that Mizrachi International requested to live-stream them to its own audiences. And in partnership with Jewish News, Havdallah Live – a musical motzei Shabbat extravaganza – had more than 520,000 views over a six-week period. The JLE’s women’s programming also brought a change of pace to 80 people in lockdown, with an innovative challah bake, and the JLE paid a virtual Shabbat visit to
their students by sending ‘Shabbat packages’ with pre-cooked meals and more. This followed on from JLE’s ‘seder boxes’, which were sent to NHS staff in hospitals around London.
The jewel in the crown was the Rabbis Unscripted show, run by JLE’s CEO, Rabbi Benjy Morgan, alongside Rabbi Dov Cowan. Combining humour, a live Q&A and exciting international guests, it featured Judge Ruchie Freier – the first Chasidic woman in America to become a Civil Court judge – as one of its guests. This online programme has registered more than 55,000 hits*, and more than 10,000 viewers watched the entire 45-minute programme.
The programme’s success was picked up by the Jewish press in both Israel and the USA, and interest continues with United Hatzalah offering an interview this week with the organisation’s founder, Eli Beer, who recently recovered from being on a respirator in a coma, as a result of the coronavirus.
Since constant innovation and planning is vital to continued audience interest, Rabbis Unscripted will shortly get a facelift, and Rabbi Aubrey Hersh will start a new 20-minute series, History for the Curious, on Tuesdays. Over the two days before Shavuot (including Bank Holiday Monday), there will be interactive seminars from five international speakers. Looking ahead to the rest of the summer, JLE will launch an initiative to reach many more Jews and engage the Jewish community across the board.
* Figures independently verified by Facebook data analytics 04.05.20