Women’s Torah dedicated in Seattle

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — The first Torah scroll written by a group of women was completed in Seattle.

Six female scribes in four countries worked for seven years on the scroll, which was commissioned a decade ago by the Women’s Torah Project of the Kadima Reconstructionist Community in Seattle and finished last Friday. Seven female artists created the ornaments that go with the Torah.

Over the course of this week, sections of the scroll were flown to Seattle from Israel and New York, where they had been checked and corrected. A group of women sewed them together into the final scroll, which was welcomed in a ceremony at the sponsoring synagogue.

The Torah was slated to be used for the first time on Saturday, during Shabbat services. It will remain in the Kadima Reconstructionist Community for one year and then will be available for study and special ceremonies.

The first Torah scroll written by a female scribe was completed in 2007 by Jen Taylor Friedman, who advised the Women’s Torah Project and was among the experts who checked the scroll for errors. Several other female scribes are currently working on Torah scrolls; some of them contributed to the Seattle Torah.

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