Sunday, December 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Synagogue dedicates 50th anniversary Torah

Soferet Jen Taylor-Friedman works with Congregation Bet Haverim member Josh Millenbach as he writes a letter from the Torah as part of Bet Haverim's 50th anniversary "Tree of Life" project in October 2011. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise file photo

By
From page A1 | December 13, 2012 |

By Joy Cohan

A final celebration of Congregation Bet Haverim’s 50th anniversary — featuring the dedication of the new Torah that synagogue members have scribed hand in hand with one of the few female Torah scribes in the world — will take place at 11 a.m. Sunday in the sanctuary building at 1715 Anderson Road in Davis. The public is welcome to attend.

In addition to receiving a new Torah of their own, Bet Haverim leaders will present one of the congregation’s previous Torahs to Congregacion Adat Or Yisrael of Santa Maria. The 4-year-old central California synagogue counts mainly Jews of Hispanic origin among its membership; some have rediscovered Jewish heritage in their family tree, while others have chosen to become Jews. The congregation does not have its own Torah.

The dedication event will carry the theme of a wedding, as the festivities will represent the holy joining of the Torahs with the congregations. As is customary at Jewish weddings, a chuppah — a cloth canopy — will be erected above both Torahs during the dedication. Also, according to Jewish wedding tradition, the lay leadership of both Bet Haverim and Adat Or Yisrael will break a glass together toward the close of the ceremony.

Among the dignitaries expected to attend to offer congratulations to Bet Haverim, Yolo County’s only synagogue, are Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza, Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor, Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada and state Sen. Lois Wolk. Representatives of the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region and the Union for Reform Judaism also will share in the occasion.

Torah is the Hebrew name for the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy). A Torah is written in Hebrew on sheepskin or cowhide by hand with a feather quill. It typically takes about a year for a scribe to write the more than 300,000 Hebrew letters included in the Torah.

At Bet Haverim, the process has involved approximately 500 members and their families, each hand-scribing a letter from the Hebrew alefbet (alphabet). As the lifespan of a Torah can near 100 years or more, it is likely that the congregants’ letters in the new Torah will remain a part of Bet Haverim history long after their lives have ended.

“The experience of putting quill to parchment to form a letter is not only a sacred moment, but it is an opportunity to connect with the future of the Jewish people,” Rabbi Greg Wolfe explained. “Jews who are not yet even born will read from this Torah, and connect with the history of our people through the letters that our families will have left behind in this Torah.

“The possibility that this Torah will be read at the time of Bet Haverim’s 100th anniversary is part of what made it seem to be such as an ideal way to mark our 50th year,” he said.

Bet Haverim leaders titled the Torah effort the “Tree of Life Project” and in the early stages decided that engaging a female scribe — known as a soferet — would be an important expression of the egalitarian principles upon which the congregation operates.

New York City-based Jen Taylor-Friedman, the first woman documented to have completed a Torah on her own, was commissioned for the work. She has made four visits to Davis since October 2011 to guide congregants in scribing their letters. In between visits, Taylor-Friedman has devoted herself nearly full-time to writing the Bet Haverim Torah in her home studio.

During the dedication, Rabbi Wolfe and two Bet Haveirm members will share the honor of scribing the final five letters of the new Torah with two leaders of Adat Or Yisrael. Those five Hebrew letters spell the word “yisrael.”

“It will be an emotional moment as the ink dries on the final letter,” Wolfe said. “Our 50th year will be history, and our next 50 years will have commenced. It will be as if to have a foot in the past and a foot in the future at the same moment.

“How fortunate we are to be able to share this incredible event in the Yolo County Jewish community with all who wish to join us.”

For more information about the Torah dedication, contact Joy Cohan, Tree of Life/50th anniversary chairperson, at 530-383-1814 or cbhtreeoflife@gmail.com, or call the Bet Haverim office at 530-758-0842.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Yolo makes hydrogen connection

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    NYC officer mourned at funeral as tensions linger

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    N. Korea uses racial slur against Obama over hack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    AirAsia plane with 162 aboard missing in Indonesia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Sacramento man convicted for 2011 bar shooting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Drugs, stolen car lead to women’s arrests

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    USA Weekend calls it quits

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sweet success: Cancer Center helps young patient celebrate end of treatment

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Reserve tickets soon for Chamber’s Installation Gala

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Holiday hours continue at The Enterprise

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Covell Gardens hosts New Year’s Eve dance

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    UC Davis debate team wins national championship

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Portuguese breakfast set for Jan. 25

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    At the Pond: It all started with kayaking on Putah Creek

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Find the first cabbage white butterfly, and win a pitcher

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Does pre-eclampsia raise autism risk?

    By Phyllis Brown | From Page: A6

     
    Long will talk about value of hedgerows for adjacent farms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    It’s a wonderful life — and a wonderful state

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    College sees benefits in loan guarantees

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Tickets for New Year’s Eve party going fast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

    .

    Forum

    This cat is on life No. 7

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B4

     
     
    It was a busy, black-eye year for disease control

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    Say thanks to the caregivers

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Bombing is not the answer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Just Us in Davis: Despair and hope for the new year

    By Jonathan London | From Page: A10

     
    Commission’s list needs vetting

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Rifkin’s statement is offensive

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Writer’s arguments fall flat

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A11

    Cuba policy changes highlight a momentous opportunity

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

    DHS boys get good film in tournament loss

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Sacramento survives Knicks in OT

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Kings cruise past Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Lady Blue Devils top Tigers to reach Ram Jam title game

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Republic FC to host camp series

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    College bowl roundup: Sun Bowl goes to the Sun Devils

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Kaiser’s trauma center in Vacaville earns verification

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Rob White: Davis tech community is growing

    By Rob White | From Page: A9

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

     
    First Northern adds Peyret to agribusiness loan team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Obituaries

    Ruth Allen Barr

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Charles ‘Bud’ Meyer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, December 28, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8