As It Is Written: Project 304,805—People's Torah

The Torah Project

October 8, 2009–March 29, 2011

About the Installation

It is said that every one of the 304,805 letters in the Torah corresponds to a soul. CJM visitors both to the Museum and online, can explore this concept in the People’s Torah, an interactive, multi-media art installation that is part of the exhibition As It Is Written: Project 304,805. In this three-dimensional rendering of the Five Books of Moses, the Torah will be "written” collectively, letter by letter, by online participants in collaboration with visitors to the Museum. To create the People's Torah, participants will virtually “join hands”, working together to create each of the 304,805 letters of the Torah. Enter above.

To learn more, explore the aleph bet (Hebrew Alphabet), and find out how to get a group involved: download a People's Torah kit.

How to Participate in the People's Torah

At the Museum

  1. CONTRIBUTE YOUR HAND IMAGE at the hand-scanning station in the gallery.
  2. When a Museum visitor CONNECTS with your hand-image at the Connection Table; the next letter is written.
  3. Your hand image will be transformed into a letter in the Torah; and you will BECOME A DIGITAL SCRIBE.
  4. You'll receive a notification via email, and your letter in the Torah, once a visitor at the Museum "connects" to your hand.


  1. Go to and click PARTICIPATE.
  2. Choose CONTRIBUTE YOUR HAND IMAGE to upload an existing image from your computer. Or, you can take a photo of your hand with your computer's built-in camera.
  3. Fill out the info from for you hand and click SUBMIT.
  4. You'll receive a notification via email, and your letter in the Torah, once a visitor at the Museum "connects" to your hand.

View the Map, Navigate the Verses
See the completed verses as they are written online—explore the individual letters, and discover the hands that created each letter. As you move through the digital Torah, the visual effects of your mouse movements will be visible to other online visitors. View the world map (by clicking “HANDS”) to see where each hand comes from and to which letter it is connected.

Learn More About the Hebrew Aleph-bet

The following websites provide side-by-side Hebrew/English translations, historical information, and opportunity to hear the sounds of the Hebrew letters.

Navigating the Torah – World ORT ‘Educating for Life’
Wikipedia Hebrew Alphabet
Mechon Mamre


As It Is Written: Project 304,805 has been organized by the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

The exhibition has been made possible by the generous lead support of the Jim Joseph Foundation.


Major support has been provided by the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund and through the Max Leavitt Memorial Fund. Additional individual support has been provided by Arlene and Keith Bronstein and Mort and Amy Friedkin.

In-kind support has been provided by Pam Rorke Levy.

The Museum gratefully acknowledges The Jewish Theological Seminary for their invaluable participation.

People's Torah is an interactive installation and net art project by New York-based interactive studios Cabengo LLC and Studio Mobile. It was created by Hillary Leone, Mirek Nisenbaum, Fred Fauquette, and Juan Sarria. People’s Torah was commissioned by the Contemporary Jewish Museum as part of As it is Written: Project 304, 805, an exhibition currently on view through fall 2010 that explores the Torah as a historical artifact, ritual object, scribal tradition, and contemporary muse.

The Koret and Taube Foundations are the lead supporters of the 2009/2010 exhibition season.

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