Rabbi Linda Motzkin at her desk working at her calligraphy. Photo courtesy of Skidmore College.

Rabbi Linda Motzkin joins Skidmore College of Saratoga Springs for the Jacob Perlow Series, a program that supports annual lectures and presentations to the College and for area communities on issues broadly related to Jews and Judaism. During the five-day event series, “Inscribing the Sacred: Creating Torah and Art,” Motzkin, a scribe, will lead several public events, including a Perlow Lecture, “Women and the Making of Torah,” which will focus on the history of women’s involvement in the Jewish scribal tradition and the process of Torah production. Other events include an artist’s talk, “Art and the Sacred,” on the creation of Hebrew calligraphic artwork from scraps of deerskin, and a community project in which participants will learn how parchment is made.

The three free community programs will be held in the Payne Room of the Tang Teaching Museum, 815 N Broadway, Saratoga Springs.

One of Rabbi Motzkin’s artworks. Photo courtesy of Skidmore College.

The series begins Monday, Feb. 26, with the Perlow Lecture: “Women and the Making of Torah”at 5:30 p.m. An artist’s talk, “Art And The Sacred” is set for Wednesday, Feb. 28. The rabbi invites the community on Friday, March 1, from 1-3 p.m. to a “Community Torah Project: Making Parchment from a Local Deerskin.”

Motzkin is one of a handful of women in the world trained as a Hebrew scribe, a role traditionally reserved for men. Through her Community Torah Project, Rabbi Motzkin has opened up the process of creating a Torah scroll to thousands of people nationally and internationally. Her hands-on educational workshops enable participants to engage in various steps in the making of a Torah from processing deerskins into parchment panels to stitching completed panels together. The rabbi is also an artist, utilizing her knowledge of Hebrew sacred literature to create calligraphic artwork from pieces of her handmade deerskin parchment which are unsuitable for a Torah scroll.

Motzkin served for almost three decades as Jewish chaplain at Skidmore College and retired last year from her position of co-rabbi at Temple Sinai in Saratoga Springs after 36 years of job-sharing with her husband, Rabbi Jonathan Rubenstein.

The Tang Museum may be reached at 518-580 8080.

The Jacob Perlow Series is provided by a grant from the estate of Jacob Perlow — a successful businessman and 1920s immigrant who was committed to furthering Jewish education — and also by a bequest from Mrs. Beatrice Perlman Troupin.