San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum has been hosting an exhibit of a woman scribe (a soferet) who is writing out a Torah - the first five books of Moses, written on sheets of vellum (made from treated, scraped, softened cow-hide -- kosher of course -- and written with a quill pen and special black ink. Her name is Julie - yes, she's a J-Writer - and I met her today when I went down to view her exhibit. Julie is a well-spoken, slightly built young woman who is one of a very, very few women in the world who have trained to be a soferet. Her Torah, when it's finished (probably early next Spring), will be given to some lucky synagogue (reform or conservative, as orthodox congregations would not find a Torah inscribed by a woman to be acceptable) for their use in religious services. And, not only did I meet and speak with her, I gave her a copy of my "J" book - she almost gasped when she saw the cover, and said she couldn't wait to read it! I sure hope she likes it.
Anyone who's in the San Francisco Bay Area should definitely catch this exhibit - check their website (www.thecjm.org) for days and times - it's absolutely fascinating -- and there is a collection of old Torah scrolls and other beautiful, wonderful artifacts both new and historical to help present and explain the Jewish traditions.