Category Archives: presenting

on planning rituals

I write Torah scrolls for congregations, and part of my job is working closely with the congregation to make appropriate programming. Such as, for instance, an opening ritual. A good ritual starts by speaking to who the community is, and inspires them with a vision of who they want to be. My job as the […]

student love

I love RG. RG has been coming to Apprentice with a Sofer on Tuesday nights. She doesn’t count herself as valid to work on a sefer Torah (because she holds that men and women have different halakhic capabilities) so every time we do a new thing, she asks me “Can I do this? Can I […]

Notes on checking mezuzot

I was going to give a class on checking your own mezuzah, but it got prevented by weather. Today I found the notes I’d made for it, so I’m typing them up. But I’m not putting in the pictures here because that’ll take hours of scanning and photographing; if you want those you’ll have to […]

your student doesn’t finish her first sefer Torah every day

My beloved student Julie has been writing a Torah in San Francisco at the Contemporary Jewish Museum for the past year, and once she’d finished writing (yay) it came time to sew it together and have a bit of an Event. So I went out there to help with the sewing and to be part […]

Making Your Own Girl-Shaped Tallit Katan

I couldn’t get to Limmud this year because of the snow closing all the airports. This is one of the sessions I would have given. Wearing tzitzit under your clothes isn’t just something men do, but commercially-available tallitot katanot are definitely man-shaped. Bring a strappy top and come learn how to make a tallit katan […]

La vie soferet – Rodeph Sholom

A very Rodeph-Sholom couple of weeks. Rodeph Sholom, for those not intimately familiar with Manhattan’s Upper West Side Jewish Scene, is a Reform synagogue of epic proportions, with after-school religious school program, and eponymous Reform day school a few blocks away. I have the good fortune to visit them relatively often. Week before last I […]

Hachnasat sefer Torah

I finished writing the sefer Torah for Dorshei Emet. You might have worked this out, from the lack of Torah-writing posts of late, but I didn’t actually get round to making a post about it yet. I tweeted the final stages of putting the sefer together on May 11 and 12, and it was delivered […]

JOFA conference – on writing. Part 2

Session blurb: If one writes a sefer Torah, say the Sages, it is as if he had himself received it on Mount Sinai. How can the simple act of writing take someone to such heights? By transcribing small amounts of text, we will explore how writing Torah can be experientially very different from reading or […]

JOFA conference – on writing. Part 1

Fun times at JOFA yesterday. That’s the intermittently-annual conference of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, for those not au fait with Modern Orthodox slang. I admit I was rather surprised when they asked me to present, given that I don’t identify as Orthodox, but I said as much and they were still interested, so I […]