Irma Penn becomes first Canadian woman to scribe a Torah scroll.
Not every young artist dreams of becoming a Torah scribe, but Irma Penn did. After 40 years, Irma has fulfilled her lifelong ambition to become a Soferet and has created the first Torah scribed by a Canadian woman. It will be dedicated at a special ceremony to be held at Temple Shalom in Winnipeg on Shavuot, 5772, [May 27th, 2012.]
Irma is a valued member of Temple Shalom. Irma Penn, studied to be a soferet STaM, learning the practices of writing script for sacred texts, in the Mea Shearim district of Jerusalem in Israel. She has written several Megillot Esther, [the story of Purim,] as well as the Holocaust Scroll in both Hebrew and English which was read for the first time last year at Shaarey Zedek Synagogue. She is currently working on writing the strips for a set of tefillen.
Irma was selected to participate with five other women, scribes from around the world, in writing the first Torah scroll ever to be created by women, for a congregation in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. She is an artist, a former archivist with the Jewish Heritage Centre in Winnipeg, a poet, calligrapher, teacher and genealogist.
The Winnipeg Jewish community has a unique opportunity this winter to participate in the completion of a Torah, by the mitzvah of helping Irma to write the letters on the final page of the parchment scrolls which are now being woven together. It is said that to help write one letter is as if you had written the whole Torah. You can be a part of this amazing project.