Torah Restoration Project

In February, 2014, the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies began restoring its 200-year-old Torah scroll. A Torah is a parchment scroll containing the first five books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Genesis-Deuteronomy, which are handwritten using a quill and specially prepared ink.

Our scroll, which was gifted to Judaic Studies by an anonymous donor, was acquired in 2009 by Professor Beth Alpert Nakhai. It is thought to be 200 years old, originally used by a Sephardic Jewish community in northern Europe, perhaps Amsterdam. It survived World War II, travelled to Israel then to Tucson as the first and only Torah owned by The University of Arizona.

JUS instructor and students examining texts.

Restoration Process

Periodically the Center has had a traveling sofer repair the scroll. The last visit was in 2015 by Rabbi Druin. The restoration process was witnessed by students, faculty, staff and community members.

Rabbi Druin spent the day working on the Torah at the UA Hillel Foundation (corner of Mountain Ave. and Second St.). He periodically explained to those present his background, his craft, and his tools. He also gave us all valuable insight into the age and origins of this fascinating document.