Austin Jewish congregation celebrates first Torah in Texas written by a woman


AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Jewish woman’s wit and wisdom led her to make a major accomplishment Sunday and a synagogue in Northwest Hills is celebrating it.

Congregation Agudas Achim asked Jen Taylor Friedman, a female soferet, or scribe, to write a new Torah. This is a big deal because scholars believe that only about 20 women in the world are trained to do this. And, this is the first full Torah — which is Jewish scripture — written in Texas by a woman.

She said the project took a year and a half to complete and that it’s critical for women to be a part of the process.

“This is holy work. And it’s also my job and my occupation, and my inspiration, and my joy,” she said.

The ceremony included members of the congregation joining Friedman to write letters in the Torah scroll together.

The celebration continued into Sunday evening with a panel called “Jewish Wit, Jewish Wisdom, Jewish Women.”

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