In addition to writing your community’s Torah, I can give you connections to your sacred scrolls via many other forms of interaction and education.
Junior Education, Adult Education, Family Programming
Educational sessions can be tailored to fit your group’s interests or curriculum requirements. If you would like an hour’s advanced text study on tefillin, we can do that. If you would like the kindergarten to spend fifteen minutes learning about the Torah, we can do that. If you want a bit of Torah, a bit of mezuzot, and a dash of text study for the ninth-graders, we can do that. We’ll use the following list as a starting-point.
- Show and Tell – scrolls and scribing
- I bring a selection of my tools, and we have Show and Tell, learning about how the scrolls are written and what they are written with. If you have a sefer Torah, we open it up and explore – every Torah is different, and the soferet can introduce you to your own Torah in ways you never thought of. If you want to learn about tefillin, I have a collection of old tefillin, opened up to show the insides. Up to thirty people can get a close-up look at the insides of tefillin, a view one doesn’t often get. If mezuzot are a topic of interest, we can look at kosher and invalid mezuzot of different sizes. Show and Tell is best in workshop format, but can work as a lecture. It’s better on weekdays than on Shabbat, since on Shabbat we can’t handle the tools or demonstrate writing.
- Text Study
- I am a Talmud scholar, able to teach any or all of: the actual biblical texts; laws relating to the scrolls; the scrolls in Talmud and/or Midrash; actual scrolls in history; scrolls as symbols; midrashim and laws relating to the letters; texts relating to the special and unusual letters and text decorations.
- Take-away Skills
- How to care for sifrei Torah/tefillin/mezuzot; how to choose tefillin or mezuzot; when and where to wear tefillin; how to put up a mezuzah…practical aspects of using the sacred scrolls. Tefillin how-to sessions often work very well as a gender-divided activity, e.g. for Rosh Hodesh events.
- Tefillin Barbie
- There is not enough to say about Tefillin Barbie to fill an entire session, no matter what the session length. Barbie can serve as a jumping-off point for discussions about gender and ritual participation, or about religious identity and assimilation, but she is not a session all on her own.
- Have A Go
- Writing workshops. We can use calligraphy pens, pencils, crayons, or quills, depending what you want the group to experience. We can create a few letters (mizrach, mazal tov) or spend serious time learning take-away calligraphy skills.
- My Journey
- My journey to becoming a scribe in a man’s world.
- Female Scribes and Orthodoxy
- Why women can’t be Torah scribes in non-egalitarian communities; available opportunities for women in such communities; how we can handle the relationships between different communities so that everyone has sacred scrolls they are comfortable using.
Watch the Scribe
People love watching the scribe write. A session where everyone gets their Hebrew name on a keychain, a bookmark, a piece of real parchment, or even just on plain paper, is always a success. Except in very small groups, this is better done as a separate activity from the list above.