OUR TORAH PROJECT
Welcome to Our Torah Project
Over the past year, Congregation Ohr Shalom created our own new and beautiful Torah. Many members joined us in this joyful mitzvah! We were lucky to have a nationally-celebrated Torah scribe, Linda Coppleson, as a member of our congregation, to lead us in this endeavor.
Many congregants participated as we planned events to foster personal connections over the course of the project. We learned, were inspired, connected, and grew together.
Many members of our COS-SJCC community participated in the creation of this new Torah as a gift to each of us now and to our strong Jewish community long into the future. Many wrote a letter in the Torah with our Soferet. To make the experience extra special we created opportunities for our members to dedicate portions of the Torah that are meaningful to them.
While the Torah is completed, it is not too late to donate and support the cost of our new Torah. Below is a list of donation levels or click here to view a detailed list of the contribution opportunities that can be made on behalf of yourself and your family, or in honor or in memory of a loved one.
How to Contribute:
Once you have chosen a level at which you would like to contribute, please send an email to TorahProject@Summitjcc.org.
Please include your name, email address, and phone number as well as the level of sponsorship and any additional information regarding the request. When your request is received, a member of the Torah committee will be in touch to confirm the information.
All donations can be sent via check into the office; please include Torah Project on memo line of check.
Letter, Word, or Name
Letter | $36:
Dedicate a single letter
Word | $72:
Dedicate a word in our Torah
Name | $180:
Dedicate a name in our Torah
(Letters, Words and Names are nonspecific and not exclusive to the donor. Multiple people may dedicate the same letter, word, or name.)
Special Verse | $360:
Dedicate a specific verse that has special meaning to you or a loved one, or pick from a list of verses chosen to represent a notable characteristic.
Each VISIONARY family will have a special verse in their honor as thanks from our congregation for your outstanding generosity and commitment to our healthy future.
Aliyah | $720:
Dedicate a set of verses that are read during an aliyah*
Chapter | $1,800:
Dedicate a chapter that is meaningful to you*
Weekly Torah Portion | $3,600:
Dedicate an entire weekly portion that is special to you **
*Only one dedication is available for each.
** Only one dedication is available for each. Members who dedicate this option will receive the honor of being called to the Torah for an aliyah when that portion, passage or prayer is read the first time out of our new Torah.
Check back here to see a sample of the columns as Linda completes them.
About our Soferet:
Our wonderful member and Torah Scribe Linda Coppleson:
My studies as a Soferet Sta’M* [Sefer Torah, tefillin, and mezuzot] began in 2003, when artist and Sofer Eric Ray, z”l, agreed to teach me. I worked and learned under his guidance for approximately two years, and later I studied Halacha (Jewish law) of safrut with Jen Taylor Friedman. In addition, I worked in the studio of Sofer Neil Yerman, learning to repair and restore Torah scrolls.
After several years and many hours of practice, I was accepted to participate in the Women’s Torah Project, writing 20 out of 62 pages of a Torah that now lives in Seattle, WA. It is the first Torah in history written by a group of Sofrot (women scribes). Since then, I have written sifrei Torah on my own and have completed the writing of a sixth (for the Temple Sinai, Pittsburgh community) that was dedicated in October 2021. This new scroll for Ohr Shalom will be my seventh Torah!
My role as a Soferet extends beyond writing to include teaching about the art and skill of the Sofer and embracing and including congregants in the process. Scribing letters and words with participants and delivering divrei Torah about “their spot” in the scroll has become a favorite part of creating a Torah, both for me and for others.
My experience has taught me that, for many people, being physically close to a Torah scroll as it is being written, seeing the letters and words emerge from the quill onto the parchment, is to feel the inexorable pull of history and tradition and elicit that elusive sense of belonging and connection to Jews and Judaism. I never tire of witnessing that emotional response.
In addition to writing Torah, megillot, and mezuzot, I repair and restore sifrei Torah. I am retired from a 25-year career teaching Tanach (Bible), Rabbinics and Jewish history, but I continue to teach in my role as a Soferet. I also write and illuminate ketubot and create life cycle art pieces.
I earned a BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, and an MA in Hebrew Culture and Education from New York University.