Torah Stitch by Stitch is a monumental collaborative textile art project
There is a teaching that it is a mitzvah/commandment for each person to study and write Torah. Internationally renowned fibre artist Temma Gentles envisioned a hand-stitched scroll large enough for people to walk among the holy words. More than 1300 stitchers of all faiths in 27 countries have each crossed-stitched 4 verses of the Torah in Hebrew and many have adorned the text with fascinating illuminations.
You can help bring this work to public view
Torah Stitch by Stitch has been invited to present “Tapestry of Spirit” in its museum debut. From June 12 to October 27, 2019 the work will be displayed at the esteemed Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto.
Occupying all 10 of the museum’s upper-level galleries, the exhibition will feature the entire books of Genesis and Exodus, along with the final third of Deuteronomy. To place the Creation theme in dialogue with the other Abrahamic faiths, the exhibit will also include selected passages from the Scriptures in Greek and the Qur’an in Arabic.
Your generosity means that . . .
You will help to showcase the artistry of a global community of stitchers, to promote cooperation and understanding, and to present the Torah and its significance to a broad public through this wonderfully vibrant medium.
This campaign will cover the costs of assembling the individual panels, crafting the display structure, insuring and conserving the artwork. It will also enable us to create educational materials as well as a 160+ page full-colour catalogue featuring the work of each stitcher that will serve as an enduring legacy of the project.
Important note: Donations made through Jewcer are tax deductible in the United States only.
More about Torah Stitch by Stitch
For more than five years, the creation of this tapestry has been a project of community engagement, education, and empowerment involving people of diverse ages, genders, and religious and cultural backgrounds. Many participants have never stitched before; most know little or no Hebrew. Each stitcher is assigned a personal coach and is encouraged to explore their verses and and respond with creative expressions and anecdotal information about their experience.
An intrepid crew of volunteers do a myriad of organizational tasks as well as stitching together the scroll by hand . . . so far amounting to almost 150,000 hours of dedication to the project. When all sections are complete (and we are over 90% there!), the assembled scroll will measure 7′ high x 300′ long. . . almost the length of a football field, and likely the largest tapestry in the world.
This remarkable project is the subject of a documentary short –“Stitchers: Tapestry of Spirit” – which has won several awards at festivals throughout North America. It will run continuously during the exhibition.
Many stitchers make us aware how much engaging in this project has meant to them . . . whether connecting with a larger community, honouring those who taught them to stitch as children, inspiring them to continue learning, even providing solace during difficult times.
“It reconnected me to Jewish culture every day and made the Torah into something new for me: a friend. A piece of history and religion I could hold in my hand, whose texture and colors were familiar and comforting to me.”— E. R. W. New Brunswick, New Jersey
“The project was an ode to women and the fiber arts as it applied to their love of the Torah.” — S. B. Jerusalem, Israel
“I tried to do work with the conscious[ness] of worshiping. When I was handling the work I was always careful to have [ritual] ablution. Because [these were] words of God, I tried to show the same respect as I show to Qur’an.”— G. A., Turkish-speaking Muslim stitcher from Toronto, Canada
Amplify your donation
If you work for a company that matches 501(c)3 donations, please let them know about your gift to Torah Stitch by Stitch and invite them to match your donation.
For more information about larger donations or Corporate Sponsorship opportunities, please contact us.
Donations may be made to honour the memory of a loved one, to celebrate a life cycle event, or to show appreciation for someone in your community.