Congregation Or Atid recently had two of its Torahs repaired and cleaned. Over the course of several days, smudged backgrounds were cleared, “broken” letters were inked, plaster dust was swept (parchment was commonly treated with plaster dust to make it look whiter!) and parchment pages were re-sewn by soferet Alexandra Casser.

In a profession that once was the sole domain of Orthodox Jewish men, Alexandra is one of only a handful of female scribes in the world. She has been a soferet (Jewish scribe) and educator since 2010 and specializes in the restoration of antique Torah scrolls. There is limited formal training involved in becoming a scribe; scribes typically learn their craft under the mentorship of an experienced sofer. Alexandra studied under soferet Jen Taylor Friedman while attending Yeshivat Hadar in New York City and has provided services to dozens of Jewish communities throughout the United States.

As Alexandra worked, members of the Or Atid community stopped by to watch, ask questions and learn about the process. We captured it all; click here to view our photos!

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