Home Computer graphics senior from Touro’s Lander College for Men wins the Powered by Sefaria competition | Lander College for Men

senior from Touro’s Lander College for Men wins the Powered by Sefaria competition | Lander College for Men


“I wanted to take Sefaria’s text and turn it into something creative that would bring real value to the community. People like to learn with other people because chavrusas, and I thought: why not create a program to read Hebrew and translate it into English? It’s like learning with a Chavroussa and is ideal for people who use screen readers, are unfamiliar with reading Hebrew, or simply prefer to hear texts read aloud. As a child of Baal Teshuva parents, who grew up around KiruvI know how helpful it can be for beginners,” Binder said.

“It often happens that people find themselves looking back and forth between their own sefarim, which may not have a translation, and Sefaria’s online translation. This text-to-speech feature allows users to examine a sefer and hear the translation at the same time,” Binder continued. “In addition to those who are just beginning to learn Torah, Sefaria Chavroussa can be very useful for people with dyslexia, reading problems or visual impairment.

Binder conducted hours of research in preparation for the competition, and when he researched Hebrew-to-English text-to-speech options, he realized that no standardized solution currently existed. Combined with the need to customize the pronunciation of words that are read differently than they appear on paper, it became clear that a fully customized solution was the way to truly meet the needs of Sefaria users. Using Microsoft’s Azure service, a pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI), for both general text-to-speech and complex Hebrew language text-to-speech, he created the text-to-speech feature for Sefaria which offers both English and Hebrew. together or separately, so that users can read and translate. Sefaria Chavroussa also allows custom voices with different accents, including Hasidish, litvicand Israeli currently supported.

Binder spent years learning at Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva and came to Lander College’s evening program three years ago while continuing to learn at Chofetz Chaim during the day. While in college, he interned at a mobile phone company, SafeTelecom, where he created a custom web application for all sales so company executives could visualize data and better market their products.

It’s not entirely clear what the future holds for Binder, but he hopes “one day, with G‑d’s help, to use his skills to provide service to people.” Whether it’s 3D, graphics, or software engineering, he’s excited to get involved in programming, graphic design, or a combination of the two in a way that positively impacts people’s lives.

Binder discovered the Sefaria contest originally through a Lander College release group for computer science students. He is immensely grateful to his computer teachers at Lander, not just because of the $5,000 prize he won, but because of their constant encouragement and the skills they taught him, noting that they “were constantly supportive and available to help with anything at any time”. time.” He hopes to use the skills that helped him develop his award-winning candidacy to enter this exciting and ever-evolving field.