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And you shall write a Torah…

by Susan B. Davis, Former Executive Director, Kadima

It is awe-inspiring to represent the community that chose to commission the first certified sofrot (female scribes) in all of Jewish history to scribe their first Sefer Torah. On the one hand, the mundane tasks necessary to support scribing such a special Torah seem just like other successful projects. On the other hand, when I take the time to consider the potential influence this "first" Torah can have on Judaism—and that I am in any way sharing the same space and time as the Women's Torah Project—the vastness is sometimes hard for me to grasp completely. We are all touched by this groundbreaking work. The impact it will have on Judaism is very exciting to me. My son talks about "the soferet" as if it is as ancient a moniker as sofer, and that always makes me smile.

Kadima is no stranger to innovative thinking. We were talking about peace in the Middle East before many of our Jewish sisters and brothers (and certainly our mothers and fathers). We pushed the envelope on issues of gender and orientation, anti-Semitism, ritual, liturgy, sexism, justice, and class struggles before many Jews in modern times felt comfortable discussing such topics in a public arena. Our original mission of teaching about Judaism with an emphasis on tikkun olam is still strong today. Our members range from almost secular to fairly traditional, but we all come together because we appreciate progressive Jewish values. Those of us who are parents want our children to learn that our work goes far beyond ourselves. All of us hope to make the world a better place. Our community embraces the concept of the Women's Torah as an important and complex representation of who we are religiously, politically, socially, and historically. We (you and us) have opened the door to incredible opportunities for Judaism's future. Kadima is delighted that you are joining with us to share in the joy—whether by your financial support, your interest, or your willingness to talk about the project with others. The support and interest about this particular Torah makes me feel blessed to be here in Seattle, in 5766, and to be part of the community that enabled Shoshana Gugenheim to follow her heart, with a very clear goal, to make a difference for all of us who will be touched by the first Women's Sefer Torah.

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