212-870-5880 The Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel foundation@masorti.org

Masorti’s Adraba Center for Youth with Disabilities operates Israel’s only national B’nei Mitzvah program for children with disabilities. More than 5,000 children and their families celebrated Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies thanks to the work of Adraba.  Adding to the experience, two years ago, a special smaller-sized Torah Scroll was created.  The children participated in a workshop with a Sofer Stam (Torah Scribe) who explained and demonstrated how a Torah scroll is written.

Success builds on success.  For Purim, Adraba developed a new activity for the children in the program: creating The Book of Esther together with the Torah Scribe. The story forms the core of the Jewish festival of Purim.

Over the course of this project, the Torah Scribe met with students, and with the assistance of the teaching staff, he taught the students what a Torah scribe does — how to use a quill pen and the ceremony of the quill pen. He also helped the students write on the parchment to create the scroll. 

Purim is a festival that all children love.  It’s role playing, costumes and hamentaschen.  But for children with special needs, helping them to understand what goes into making a Torah scroll brings extra meaning and depth to their celebrations. It gives them ownership and real inclusion. This is Masorti’s core mission; to advance diversity and inclusion so that Israel is a society where all Jews have home.