The Jewish Free-Culture Society was co-founded by Aharon Varady (Open Siddur Project) and Marc Stober (jhacker) at the Mikvah Gathering for Collaborative Judaism at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in 2013. There, Aharon and Marc met with Erika Scott (Esoterika Designs) to discuss the scope of the organization’s mission and programming. The original impetus for the formation of the society was the need for some advocacy group to take responsibility for communicating open-source principles and terminology to the wider-community while letting other initiatives in open-source Judaism focus on their core missions.

We are grateful for the additional support for this project given by Douglas Rushkoff, Daniel Sieradski, Judd Maltin, and Sasha Brodsky. If you are working on a project in open-source Judaism or believe in this project, please be in touch if you’d like to be involved!


The Mekitze Nirdamim Society was founded in the 19th century by scholars and manuscript collectors to sponsor the publication of rare and out-of-print Jewish literature. The Jewish Free-Culture Society continues this tradition by supporting the sharing of all cultural works: historic and contemporary, familiar and obscure — those works in the Public Domain whose redistribution and adaptive reuse is complicated by proprietary interests, and those works under copyright whose copyright owners would like to share so long as their attribution remains ensured under copyright law.