Judaic Studies Torah Is Being Restored
The UA's Arizona Center for Judaic Studies is hosting an observation of the restoration of a 200-year-old Torah scroll.

UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Feb. 3, 2015


An expert scribe will be at the University of Arizona to resume the restoration of a 200-year-old Torah scroll.

The UA's Arizona Center for Judaic Studies is hosting Rabbi Gedaliah Druin, a master sofer (scribe), who travels the world to repair Torah scrolls. A Torah is a parchment scroll containing the first five books of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament (from the chapter of Genesis through Deuteronomy), which is handwritten using a quill and specially prepared ink. 

Druin will be at the UA Hillel Foundation, 1245 E. Second St., working on the Torah from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 10 and 11. The public is invited to visit and observe the restoration. Also, Druin will speak informally about Torah scrolls and their restoration on Feb. 10 at 12:30 p.m. and Feb. 11 at noon. All events are free and open to the public. 

The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies scroll was gifted by an anonymous donor and acquired in 2009 by Beth Alpert Nakhai, an associate professor of Judaic studies.

The scroll is thought to be nearly 200 years old and is believed to originally have been used by a European Sephardic Jewish community, perhaps from northern Italy. It survived World War II, then traveled to Israel and eventually to Tucson, and it is the first and only Torah owned by the UA.

Druin's work will build on that of Rabbi Yochanan Salazar, who spent a day last February working on the Torah and teaching members of the UA and Tucson community about scrolls and their restoration.

The Judaic Studies Torah Restoration Project is made possible thanks to donations by Matthew and Julie Harelson, and by the Thomas and Sara Borin Foundation.

Watch the video of Salazar's visit last year:

Extra info

For more information, contact John Winchester, outreach coordinator for the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies, at 520-626-5759 or jwinches@email.arizona.edu.

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