Sefer Torah Project
Meet Ariela Housman, Soferet
Ariela Housman has been working as a calligrapher since 2003. In the summer of 2015, she began training as a Jewish scribe of holy texts (Soferet ST"aM). She specializes in the Western Sephardic (Spanish & Portuguese) scribal hand. She has scribed many mezuzot and megillot; this will be Ariela’s first Sefer Torah. Ariela holds a BA in Cultural History from the University of Pennsylvania and is an alumna of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Learn more about Ariela and see some of her calligraphy work on her website: geekcalligraphy.com. You can follow Ariela’s progress on our new sefer Torah on Instagram (@arielahousman)
Schedule of Future Visits by Ariela
Ariela will be in residence in the TBS community on the following dates:
May 9-15, 2022
October 23-30, 2022
March 12-14, 2023
About the Sefer Torah Project
At Temple Beth Shalom, we continue to reach precious milestones. Most recently, in 2016, we dedicated our beautiful new building, enabling us to learn and pray in a space that inspires the best in all of us. Two years later, we adopted a new strategic plan so that we could continue to grow and thrive, thoughtfully and spiritually. And now, with our community over 1000 families strong, we reach toward a new and sacred endeavor - to write our own Torah scroll.
As Rabbi Jay shared in his sermon on Rosh Hashanah, our “Sefer Torah” (sacred Torah scroll) will be scribed by Ariela Housman, Soferet (Torah scribe), one of the very few women ever to write a Torah scroll. Over the course of more than a year, she will be our scribe and our teacher, but this will truly be a community undertaking. Beginning in October 2021, Ariela will visit us six times. During each visit she will offer learning sessions for all age groups and opportunities to witness and participate in the scribing of our new Torah.
Our TBS Sefer Torah project began on Sunday, October 3 with Simchat Beresheet (Celebration of Beginning). If you missed it, you can view the recording.
Fulfilling the 613th Commandment
“And now write this poem for yourselves and teach it to the children of Israel…”
This passage from Deuteronomy is considered by the Sages to be the 613th and final commandment in the Torah. It was interpreted to mean that it is the responsibility of every Jew to write their own Sefer Torah (Torah scroll) during their lifetime. We are excited to present our community with the extraordinary opportunity to fulfill this personal mitzvah. Our hope is that every member of our community will take part in this project by dedicating a letter, word, verse, passage, or book. With 62 pages, 245 columns, 79,847 words, and 304,805 letters in the Torah, there are ample opportunities to learn, grow, and connect with this sacred process and be part of creating a Torah that will be read for generations to come. We invite you to share in the joy of bringing our new Sefer Torah to life!
Participate in the writing of our new Sefer Torah by taking part in a scribing ritual, a memorable opportunity to join Soferet (Torah scribe) Ariela Housman as she completes this sacred work. There are opportunities for rituals that are open to the community as well as private rituals for your invited guests. Click here to learn more about scribing rituals.
Torah dedications are a meaningful way to honor a family member or friend, remember loved ones, celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, or lifecycle moments, or simply participate in this communal celebration of Torah. There are a variety of dedication levels, making it possible for everyone to find a way to participate. Click here to learn more about dedication opportunities.
The TBS Annual Fund
All funds raised by Sefer Torah support the TBS Annual Fund, and therefore everything we do. Learn more about the TBS Annual Fund at www.annualfund.tbsneedham.org.
We do not want finances to be a barrier to participation in the TBS Sefer Torah Project. If cost is prohibitive for your household and you would like to participate, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.