Beyond A Jewish Library: Findings From A 2023 Survey of Users in North America

– by Rosov Consulting

September 21st, 2023

Launched in 2013, Sefaria is a free, living library of Jewish texts and their interconnections, in Hebrew and in translation and a global leader in enabling Jewish learning and teaching in an open and participatory way. In 2022, Sefaria reached a total of five million users, with a monthly average of 598,000 users. Half (51%) of these users are in the United States (48%) and Canada (3%), and this report focuses on this North American subset of Sefaria’s users.

In 2022, Sefaria completed a five-year strategic plan which set forth ambitious goals of further expanding its reach, including “develop[ing] a universally accessible digital library experience [and] power[ing] new pathways to digital Torah beyond the library.” As it sets forth toward these goals, Sefaria has partnered with Rosov Consulting to conduct a survey of its users in order to better understand:

1. Who are Sefaria’s users in 2023? Where do they live? How do they identify? How proficient are Sefaria’s users in Jewish text study, and how many of them are relative newcomers to Jewish text study?

In addition to the evident benefit of easier access to Jewish texts online, what other benefits do users derive from engaging with the Sefaria content, especially when it comes to their comfort and confidence participating in Jewish life more broadly?

2. What attributes (of the users and of their experience with Sefaria) may contribute to or correlate with
these outcomes?

This report relays the findings from a 2023 survey of Sefaria users and offers some suggestions as to how these findings could inform ways in which Sefaria could proceed toward its ambitious strategic plan.

The report begins with a broad overview of all Sefaria’s users in North America (United States and Canada) and their demographic profile; it then narrows down on a large subset of the users and describes Sefaria’s impact on a user subset of particular interest: young North American users (ages 18-44) excluding Jewish educators.

Beyond A Jewish Library: Findings From A 2023 Survey of Users in North America, August 2023, Rosov Consulting