Lectures, Seminars and Projects

Over the years, Zerach has traveled to many Jewish communities throughout the United States and Canada speaking on the various facets relating to Sifrei Torah, Tefillin and Mezuzot. From the very young to the senior citizen, Zerach has captivated and entertained audiences for over 20 years. Some of the topics are:

  • Aleph-bet – Its evolution
  • Hebrew letters – Hidden meanings
  • Changes in our Torah, Are there really discrepancies?
  • The 54 Sifrei Torah repatriated from Sadam’s Iraq, or were they stolen!
  • Rescuing Sifrei Torah from captivity, the price we have paid
  • Origins of Torah scrolls, where did they come from.
  • Hi-Tech STAM
  • Writing of a Sefer Torah
  • The manufacture of Tefillin
  • Scribal caligraphy
  • ‘Make your own Tefillin’ project
  • Tefillin & Mezuzah check on site

As a former shaliach, with the Jewish Agency, Jewish community administrator and youth director some of the other topics that Zerach has dealt with in various forums over the years:

  • Seder Tu B’shvat
  • Drashot – Parshat Hashavu’ah, Chazal, Chagim, etc.
  • The Knesset & Israeli democracy
  • Our Jerusalem, special & unique
  • Conscientious Objectors – in Israel?
  • Aliya – The challenge
  • Media influence & power

Aleph-bet – Its evolution

Similar to Mediterranean lettering, old Hebrew lettering has evolved over time, to the Hebrew lettering known today. Though closely related to early writing from Mesopotamia, this lettering is derived from the Aramaic. In this talk, we investigate the evolution of Hebrew writing throughout the ages and the numerous references in traditional Jewish texts

Hebrew Letters – Hidden meanings

Unlike any other language, Hebrew is a gift from G-d to the Jewish people. Here we delve into letter formation and try to understand their unique characteristics and how they affect our understanding of Jewish text.

(Click on the image for a larger view)



Changes in our Torah, are there really discrepancies?

Since receiving the Torah at Har Sinai over 3,000 years ago, Sifrei Torah have changed little. Although the original form and structure are unknown, changes have been few and far between. Here we examine these changes and speculate on what brought them about.




The 54 Sifrei Torah repatriated from Sadam’s Iraq, or were they stolen!

With the assistance of the Mossad and other Israeli governmental agencies, Machon OT successfully rescued 54 Sifrei Torah from Saddam’s clutches. Become spellbound as you hear this fascinating story of intrigue, usually saved for novels.


Rescuing Sifrei Torah from captivity, the price we have paid.

Unfortunately throughout our history blackmail plays a prominent role. One such method was the kidnapping of individuals; another was holding our most holy objects hostage. How did we respond then and how should we react today.


Origins of Torah scrolls, where did they come from.

Wherever Jews sojourned whether forcibly or not, the Torah went with them. Many of the communities developed their own customs. It is interesting to study those that involved the writing of Sifrei Torah. What were the necessities that forced these changes albeit within the parameters of the halacha; the parchment, the quills, the ink and writing style?


Hi-Tech STAM

Though the Torah is eternal, progress marches on. How has modern technology and innovation made the world of STAM very different than it was 100 years ago.




Writing of a Sefer Torah

This is a nuts and bolts lecture. Here we delve into the steps necessary in writing a Sefer Torah. It begins with the scribe and the necessary equipment. We then proceed to the writing; each letter, word, sentence, column, and section. Then we sew it all up, section by section, and then the entire work to the atzei chaim, or Sephardi case.




The manufacture of Tefillin

The tefilin housing has 4 distinct types of construction. Here we examine each. In this program (which can be designed to be a hands-on lab), we come to understand all the elements that go into the manufacture of tefillin.

Scribal caligraphy

This is a workshop that we teach the students the art and skill of writing with quills and ink. The participants learn the structure of letter writing and have lots of fun.


Make your own Tefillin project

An exciting program that allows participants to actually make their own tefillin that they will use for the rest of their lives.

Tefillin & Mezuzah check on site

Schedule a visit to your shul or school and observe the checking of mezuzot, tefillin and other forms of STAM. This can be done in conjunction with a Machon OTvisit.


Seder Tu B’shvat

Zerach has conducted numerous Tu B’shvat Sedarim. They are fun and informative. In addition to the texts, many stories and midrashim are discussed that emphasize the love of the Land of Israel.


Drashot – Parshat Hashavu’ah, Chazal, Chagim, etc.

For 30 years Zerach has delivered on an array of Torah related subjects, that inspire the audience to greater commitment to Judaism and our people.



The Knesset & Israeli democracy

This is an educational game for groups with a participation of up to 200. It is a wonderful vehicle to understand how democracy functions (or does not) in Israel.


Our Jerusalem, special & unique

We all know that Jerusalem is special. But here, discover more. Reveal some of the secrets and beauty of Jerusalem. The heartfelt love and reverence bring everyone present to a deeper understanding of the uniqueness of Jerusalem.

Current Issues in Israeli Society

  • Conscientious Objectors in Israel
  • Army Service in Tzahal (): Obligation or Priveledge
  • The Growing Divide Between Rich and Poor
  • Oligarchy or Democracy?


Aliya – The challenge

Yes, living in Israel today seems very hard, but to turn our collective back on that option is even harder. This is more then a pep talk it is an informative aid to those that think Israel is more than a place to visit and take the commandment to settle the land seriously.


Media influence & power

Try to understand why Israel fails to get its message across effectively in the media.