It's the 100th anniversary of Beth Israel, our synagogue, in 2010. In honour of this milestone, members of our congregation took on the task of stitching new covers for our six Torahs. Custom canvases were painted by an artist in Toronto, and the work was farmed out to various community members. The covers were unveiled on Simchat Torah last week. Here they are. Mine is the last one on the right.
Some intrepid souls stitched an entire canvas themselves, but others did half a canvas. Like me. I did the bottom half of this one; a picture of my half is shown below. It has Jerusalem on the bottom and a tent representing the home, with shabbat candles shining inside. The full cover shows names of the Matriarchs, Sarah, Rachel, Rebecca and Leah, forming an arc above the tent, and Jerusalem on the top. Paternayan wool was used to stitch everything but the centre motif, which was stitched in perle cotton. Although it was a standard needlepoint canvas, the cover was worked in cross-stitch, to add stability and longevity to the piece. I tell myself that's why it took twice as long to do.
Only I wish it had taken merely twice as long! I am ashamed to say that I had this in my house for four years before I finally completed my half. My husband was so tired of going to synagogue Board meetings and hearing the Torah covers committee report, where my name was always called out as one of the stitchers who was still working on her canvas. But all's well that end's well - it was finished just in time for the launch of our anniversary year.