Sarah Lefton to speak to students on fixing religious illiteracy

Rebecca Reis

Sarah Lefton, a successful businesswoman and daughter of Kent State President Lester Lefton, will be on campus Monday giving three lectures presented by the Jewish Studies Program, Hillel and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation.

Lefton is the executive director and producer of G-dcast, a website that takes stories from the Hebrew Bible and animates them into videos and games. The entire collection can be viewed for free at

Lefton will be speaking at three events Feb. 20:

  • 9:15-11:30 a.m.

    CEBI “Speaker Series” class

    Business Administration Building Room 215

    Followed by Meet and Greet

  • 5:30-6:30 p.m.

    How One Woman Turned her Creativity into a Career”

    Cohn Jewish Student Center

    Free dinner

    Students only

  • 7:00- 8:00 p.m.

    Public lecture “Animating the Torah”

    Bowman Room 137

    Followed by dessert reception

Lefton will be speaking about turning her creativity into her career and starting her own nonprofit production company. She said the idea behind G-dcast occurred when she graduated from New York University and discovered that she was religiously illiterate.

“I went to Sunday school, I had a bat mitzvah, I went to Jewish summer camp but I couldn’t tell you who Joseph was,” Lefton said. “This idea came to me: What if I did something like School House Rock that made learning Bible stories or Jewish stories fun, easy and cool?”

Lefton started G-dcast as something she did on the side but discovered that Sunday school teachers and rabbis from around the world were using it every week.

Lefton was featured as one of the Forward 50 most influential Jews in 2009 and was a guest of the Obamas at the White House reception for Jewish Heritage Month in 2010.

“We live in a world where people quote the Bible all the time about their political decisions and about their lifestyle decisions,” Lefton said. “But when you get right down to it, studies show that people don’t actually know very much about it and haven’t read it much at all.”

Contact Rebecca Reis at [email protected].