As Temple Beth El’s Rabbi Mark Miller has settled into his new job at the Bloomfield Township, Michigan Reform congregation, he has been looking for innovative ways to cause both excitement and a renaissance in Jewish learning for his congregants. Back at Beth Israel, Miller’s previous congregation in Houston, Texas, the rabbi became a fan of G-dcast.com.
|Temple Beth El member, Cindy Bolokofsky using eScapegoat|
G-dcast is an online nonprofit new media studio and Internet organization based in San Francisco that provides Jewish children and adults with the chance to learn the basics of Jewish education with no barriers to entry. Over the years, G-dcast has produced more than a hundred animated shorts and mobile apps that make Jewish stories come to life. In its effort to build Jewish literacy, G-dcast works with educators and rabbis to create innovative curriculum, interactive workshops and inspiring leadership in new media
Last year, G-dcast launched a mobile app called eScapegoat, which encouraged users to engage in deeper Jewish learning and to prepare for Yom Kippur by offloading their sins to a virtual goat. The idea was to create a very modern (mobile app) way to copy the ancient repentance ritual (scapegoat). In anticipation of this year’s Yom Kippur holiday, G-dcast brought the app back along with Mini Goats. These are local mini-apps that let smaller communities virtually re-enact this ritual for a new, high-tech learning and community connection.