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Beth El-The Heights Synagogue builds vibrant Jewish community. We welcome all in participatory, traditional, egalitarian worship and learning.

Sefer Torah Project

Torah Kick-Off Weekend: June 7–9, 2024

Our synagogue has commissioned Rabbi Bec Richman to scribe a new Torah for us in honor of Rabbi Moshe & Nili Adler z”l. A soferet (scribe), Rabbi Bec is a also a member of our synagogue and she’ll begin writing the Torah on the weekend of June 7–9, 2024.

Celebrate the kick-off with us at one or more of these events. Some programs require registration.

Register here or scan the QR Code:

6pm | Dinner & Meet and Greet during Nariya Cleveland

Join us in communal song, building a collective circle of sound as we welcome Shabbat with Nariya Cleveland. followed by a communal dinner. Registration required for dinner.

Meet Rabbi Bec, who will give a short drash (lesson) about the connection between music and Torah. After dinner, she’ll share how she found her way to sacred scribal arts—with a display of her personal artwork, integrating Hebrew letters, Torah, and pottery. 


Shabbat Services, 9:15am
Soferet Talk: Our soferet, Rabbi Bec Richman, will share with us words of Torah on Shabbat morning in her talk, Torah in Her Hands at the end of the Torah service.

Lunch & Learn, 1:15pm
The Art of Torah
Join us after kiddush for a guided exploration of the practical and spiritual laws and guidelines that govern and orient a scribe’s work. Rabbi Bec will share all about the practical bits of scribing and repairing sacred texts:
What is parchment made of? What can you write with? What do you need to do in preparation for writing? What are the rules of writing? What happens when you inevitably make a mistake? What is the relationship between the mind and the body in scribing an ancient, sacred, living text? Explore these questions and more with Rabbi Bec. 


Youth Program, 10:30am
Torah Exploration and Calligraphy Workshop

Geared toward our community’s youngest, in this participatory workshop we will explore some of our own Torah scrolls, have a chance to hold scribing tools, witness Rabbi Bec cut and use a quill, and learn how to use a calligraphy pen. Youth participants will go home with a calligraphy marker and a Hebrew alphabet exemplar script. This program is designed for those aged 7 and up, although children ages 6 and under are welcome to attend with a parent or guardian. 

Community Program, 1:15pm
Writing the Beginning

It’s the day we start—we’ll begin writing our new Sefer Torah together. We will open by hearing about this project, its significance, and the Adlers (z’’l) in whose memory we are commissioning this scroll.

Beginning with the children of our community, each of our members will be invited to come to the Torah table and assist Soferet Rabbi Bec Richman in scribing the opening words of the Torah. This program is open to the broader community, however writing is reserved exclusively for members of Beth El-The Heights.

Everyone will be invited to write short hopes for this project on note cards which will be hung together on a large board. Our writing and reflecting will take place to the sounds of niggunim (wordless melodies) led by Rabbi Micah Shapiro, and we will close by joining together in song.

Please join us for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to write and witness the beginning of a new Sefer Torah.