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Culture news, 25.08.2005 12:58

Russia to Get New Center for Jewish scribes

Center for Writing Torah scrolls For the first time in 80 years, S. Petersburg will have a Center for Writing Torah scrolls, teffilins and Mezuzot. Members of the local Jewish community will celebrate the launching of this initiative on September 1st. The center, to be named 'Merkaz Stam', will actively train professionals to write Torah scrolls, tefillins and Mezuzot in order to provide the city’s Jewish population with these essential religious articles.

As one of the oldest and most respectable Jewish professions, being a Soifer – a specialist in copying and writing Jewish texts by ink on parchment– allows an individual to not only pursue a occupation, but one that is much needed to meet the demands of the growing Jewish community in S. Petersburg and in Russia in general.

The new 'Merkaz Stam' Center will be headed by Rabbi Pinchas Tolochinsky, a professionally qualified Soifer from Israel. The Center is being established and will be operated thanks to the efforts and support of the 'Tomchei Tmimim' Lubavitch Yeshiva in S. Petersburg under the auspices of S. Petersburg Chief Rabbi Mendel Pewzner.

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