This Weekend: Mission Minyan Torah Bonanza
Posted by Oyster on May 12, 2009
The Mission Minyan, a young and dynamic independent minyan in the Mission District of San Francisco, is about to receive their first Torah. Having been in the community for the past year, I am very excited for this huge milestone. I anticipate that the receiving of a Torah will really change the nature of the community, since once you have a Torah, you have to take care of it, you have to worry about insuring it and people will want to start to house it in something nicer than a closet in the Women’s Building. And then there will be talk about a permanent building, etc. Slipperly slope to institution-building. Is the community going from Mishkan to Beit HaMikdash? Who cares, come and celebrate with us!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SAN FRANCISCO’S MISSION MINYAN MARKS ARRIVAL OF NEW TORAH WITH
**May 17, 2:00 PM—6:00 PM at the Women’s Building in San Francisco’s
San Francisco, CA— April 2009— With jubilant celebration, The Mission
Minyan community will welcome the arrival of its first Torah on May
The ushering in of the new Torah – a handwritten scroll containing the
five Books of Moses—will include dancing, singing, food and live
entertainment that begins at 2 PM at the Women’s Building in San
Francisco’s Mission District (3543 18th St. between Guerrero and
Valencia, on the first floor.)
Open to the Jewish and San Francisco community at large, the Mission
Minyan will mark the Torah’s welcome with a mixture of entertainment,
reading and teachings and an opportunity for anyone present to fill in
the final letters on the Torah parchment with the help of a scribe.
The Siyym (filling in of letters) and Torah reading will take place at
2:00 PM. The Hachnasat Sefer Torah Festive Welcome will begin at 4:00
“The Mission Minyan began three years ago in the living room of a
community member and moved from one negotiated space after another,
having never owned its own torah,” said David Henkin, co-founder of
the Mission Minyan and member of the Torah committee, which saw this
two-year project to completion.
“We’ve never aspired to own resources or to any of the trappings of
permanence that mark the establishment of more conventional
synagogues, but having a sefer torah, inscribed specifically for the
use of our community, feels very special and very appropriate,” he
said. “That kind of permanence is something we can all agree on.”
The Mission Minyan started its Torah pledge campaign in 2007, rapidly
raising the more than $30,000 it needed from community member
donations. Friends, family and other communities also made donations.
The Torah took an expert scribe about a year to make and was written
specifically for the Mission Minyan on uncoated calfskin.
“We were all more than a little surprised by the overwhelming show of
support the Mission Minyan received when we started the fundraising
campaign; people just came through,” said Emily Shapiro Katz, a member
of the celebration committee. “We’re a young community and, by many
measures, a transient community. More than anything, though, we are a
Torah-centric community. Our new Torah signals that the Mission
Minyan has grown up.”
For more information about the Torah celebration or the Mission
Minyan, please visit www.missionminyan.org.
THE MISSION MINYAN
The Mission Minyan is a vibrant, lay-led, pluralistic Jewish community
centered in San Francisco’s Mission District. It gathers for
spirited, aesthetically compelling and liturgically complete prayer,
as well as study and social events. The Mission Minyan is a highly
participatory, queer-inclusive community. It is committed to local
tzedakah (charity) and ecological awareness. Started in 2003, the
Mission Minyan meets every Friday night for Kabbalat Shabbat at 7:00
PM and every other Saturday morning at the Women’s Building (3543 18th
St. between Guerrero and Valencia, on the second floor.) Today, the
Mission Minyan hosts upward of 500 participants. For more information
about the Mission Minyan, please visit www.missionminyan.org.
EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE:
Media interested in attending/covering the Mission Minyan’s Torah
welcoming celebration should contact Lee Kravetz at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 510-414-3963. Media can also
download information at www.missionminyan.org.