Sunday, July 27, 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

    Zombies by rail: It’s not just a show, it’s a trip

    By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Fatal Covell Boulevard crash recalled in court

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

    Humphrey Fellows will host Global Forum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Community gardens stretch food dollars, study finds

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Ukraine launches offensive to retake Donetsk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Israel extends Gaza truce through Sunday

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Wildfire spurs evacuation of 700 homes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    State can’t say if it’s meeting drought goal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Rairdan joins race for Davis school board

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    New ordinance aims to prevent nut thefts from orchards

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Biggest book sale to date opens Friday at Davis library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Luna family matriarch turns 100

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Mace Innovation Center is focus of meeting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Freeway crash injures two drivers

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

     
    Museum wants your old Davis High School yearbooks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Affordable housing forum planned in Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
     
     
    Discussion of oil by rail EIR planned Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    State awards $40,000 for historic property survey

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A8

     
    Protesters gather at Primate Center

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A8

    Vanguard hosts economic development director

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Get a sneak peek at documentary trailer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Davis Chamber Choir sings short summer program

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9

     
    Tasting event benefits Yolo Land Trust

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A9

    Free blood pressure screenings offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    At the Pond: From Davis, it’s easy to get back to nature

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Tickets on sale now for DHS Hall of Fame dinner

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Forum

    Feels like a million miles away

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

     
    Here’s what you need for a perfect wedding

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

     
    Check doctors’ vitals before they check yours

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Husband’s let himself go

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A14

     
    So, what’s in a week’s worth of waste?

    By Michelle Millet | From Page: A16

    Pat Oliphant cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A16

     
    Golf tourney was a big success

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A16

    Questions on water rights

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A16, 1 Comment

     
    Campus turns on the tap

    By Our View | From Page: A16

    We can do more to help

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A17

     
    New playground is wonderful

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A17

    Just Us in Davis: Little Rock Nine hero to celebrate with Davis youths

    By Jann L. Murray-Garcia | From Page: A17 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

    Furyk opens 3-shot lead in Canadian Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Gray wins 6th straight, A’s 4 HRs beat Texas 5-1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Kershaw throws 2-hitter as Dodgers beat Giants 5-0

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Sutherland presents 1st clinic; golf column on its way

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    New Korematsu teacher is an American Ninja Warrior

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Nibali set to cruise to Tour victory

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Area sports briefs: River Cats take Game 1 of doubleheader

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Companies will collaborate on crop insect control

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A13

     
    Developer’s commitments: affordable and green

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13 | Gallery

    UC Davis Health System earns ‘Most Wired’ award

    By Charles Casey | From Page: A15

     
    Bartholomew hires new associate

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A15

     
    Go back to school with Great Clips

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

    Lagerstrom represents Davis at Mary Kay seminar

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Carlton Hope Meister

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Jonathan Eric Hollander

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, July 27, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A6