Soferet (film)

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Soferet: A Special Scribe
Aviel Barclay writing a Torah scroll
Directed by Donna and Daniel Zuckerbrot
Produced by Donna and Daniel Zuckerbrot
Release date
  • May 2006 (2006-05)
Running time
48 min.
Country United States
Language English

Soferet: A Special Scribe is a 2005 television documentary about Aviel Barclay, who studied to become a sofer, which is a traditionally male position transcribing Jewish Hebrew texts. The documentary explains how she became the world’s first known traditionally trained female scribe in October 2003.[1][2] The film explores the importance of the Torah in Jewish life, the perfection required to execute a kosher Torah scroll, and a feminist perspective on the battle waged by some Jewish women to assume responsibilities traditionally reserved for men.


Barclay was born into a Christian family in Prince George, Canada.[3] As a girl, she enjoyed calligraphy and taught herself the letters of the Hebrew alphabet by the age of 10.[3] She converted to Judaism as an adult and joined the Orthodox Jewish community.[3] The film chronicles Aviel Barclay studying to become a sofer (Jewish scribe) in Orthodox Judaism.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Lowenstein, Alice (June 3, 2005). "A Female Scribe's Trailblazing Effort". The Forward. 
  3. ^ a b c "Soferet [videorecording]: A special scribe". University of Toronto Libraries. Retrieved 15 December 2015. 

External links[edit]