Call for art, video and texts: The 929 Project

929 is the number of chapters in Tanakh and is the name of a project dedicated to creating a global Jewish conversation around issues that unite and divide us, but always anchored in or inspired by the text.

929 invites Jews everywhere to read Tanakh, one chapter a day, together with a website with creative readings and pluralistic interpretations, including audio and video, by a wide range of writers, artists, rabbis, educators, and more.

Website: https://www.929.org.il/lang/en/today

929: Background

929 is the number of chapters in the Tanakh, and it is a project that began in Israel  (The Israeli project 929- תנ”ך ביחד (see also here on Facebook).) in 2014/5775: to read the Tanakh from cover to cover, one chapter a day – five per week. The reading (alone or in groups) has been accompanied by a rich website with creative readings, pluralistic interpretations and short commentaries in Hebrew, by a wide range of contributors (numbering in the hundreds) all across the many spectra of Jewish life in Israel: secular/religious, right/left, Ashkenazi/Mizrahi, center/periphery, etc. And not only writers – art, music, video clips of various types. For instance, see this cool graffiti commentary on Gen 2:18 – “It is not good for a person to be alone…”, or a 10 episode web series on Psalms, which has this one on Ps 30 – telling the story of a Sudanese refugee in Israel.

That first reading cycle is ending this summer, after 3 and a half years, and it was wildly successful. Over the course of three and a half years, there were over a million unique users, with 140,000 sessions a month, at an average duration of over 6.5 minutes; over 600 writers, 20 million page views; 36,000 followers on social media, and over fifty independent study groups around the country.

Upon completion of this first cycle, 929 has decided to expand and extend this very Israeli, Hebrew-language initiative into a global project, in English, with partners in Diaspora Jewry.

Where do you fit in?

929 English is dedicated to creating a global Jewish conversation around issues that unite and divide us, but always anchored in, based on, or inspired by the text. The English iteration of this project is about the Tanakh as the common inheritance of the Jewish people the world over, and encourages Jews to go back and actually read Tanakh, and talk about it, and invites contributions from the wealth of perspectives that express and promote that peoplehood.

929 English will feature daily content centered on basic issues within society, ethical dilemmas, questions of gender and social justice, democracy and governance and other relevant and pertinent issues – all through the prism of Tanakh. (There will also be pieces translated from the Israeli materials, for the project and the site will also serve as a platform for Israeli-Diaspora Jewish dialogue).

We would like to invite you to contribute your insights on a chapter of your choosing. The selection should be short, between 150-350 words, or an artwork and can reflect any insight, thought or idea that this chapter has inspired in you. We will post your piece on the appropriate day and it will be available on our website from that day on.

HOW TO:

Text

Timing: Every item that we use is an interpretation of or in conversation with a particular chapter, or a verse or section thereof (not parasha or any unit larger than a chapter).  Since there is editing and design involved and a dozen items every day, the deadline for submission of items is at least 7-10 days before air date of the relevant chapter. For the chapter schedules see here. You can of course submit earlier than that – but we may not respond until closer to the publication date.

Length and Content: Our posts are 150-400 words. So keep it short! As you can see from the site, we are looking for a broad range of voices who are exploring the contemporary meaning and relevance of the text. We encourage you to think creatively about the genre that best suits your message: first-person experience-based, fiction, standard interpretation, imagined dialogue, meditation on a word or phrase, etc.

How to submit: Please send your post to jeremy@929.org.il in an attached MSWORD document, whose title is your name, the book and chapter number (example:  Moshe Rabeinu – Gen 1.doc).

Illustrations: If you have some graphic element that you think would be appropriate for your item, please feel free to include (as a separate attached graphic file). It must be an original piece of yours, something you have the copyright to, or something clearly labeled as being in the public domain (or as “CC” – creative commons). If you have accessed it from some site – please include the url and any other credit information you have.

And – Don’t Forget!

Please send a short bio (less than 50 words) and a picture (preferably a headshot – a separate attached graphic file) with your submission. We want our readers to know who you are!

Art / Graphic

We also want to invite submissions of visual art (photographs, drawings, etc.)  not necessarily accompanying a text. See guidelines for illustrations above. Please specify clearly for which chapter you are submitting.

Please send a short bio (less than 50 words) and a picture (preferably a headshot – a separate attached graphic file) with your submission. We want our readers to know who you are!

Audio and Video

We are also open to posting audio and video items. Please inquire to jeremy@929.org.il regarding length, style, format, etc.


It begins with Bereshit/Genesis 1 on Sunday, July 15th and  the cycle ends on the auspicious day of the 22nd of February, 2022.

The editor, Dr. Jeremy Bernstein can be reached at jeremy@929.org.il for any questions and comments you may have. The director is Rabbi Adam Mintz.

In the NYC area we may do a teaching session at some point by Shira Hecht-Koller, a Drisha teacher, at her home!

Follow on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @929 English.

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