Congregation Beth Shalom officially kicks off its Torah fundraising effort to purchase a gently used Torah in honor of Carry Cohn’s 90th Birthday wish. At her Birthday celebration on February 11, 2012 Carry made her wish public by telling everyone gathered she wanted a new Torah for her beloved CBS congregation. The CBS Board of Directors and members of the congregation have all agreed and are now working to fulfill her dream.
Why a New Torah?
Although CBS has four Torahs, only one passes for being barely kosher. The other three Torahs have been examined by a Sofer and have been determined to be beyond repair.
How Can A Torah Not Be Kosher?
Over time, parchment rips, letters fade, and in one case, there is actually pencil or pen writing in one of the Torahs. Additionally, CBS no longer unfurls a Torah during Simcha Torah because we fear further damage may occur.
Why Not Just Repair What We Have?
The three non kosher Torahs are beyond repair. They have been repaired in years gone by but now the repairs are failing again. In one Torah, there is a small whole in the middle of the scroll.
Who Examined The Torahs?
A week after Carry’s birthday celebration event, Rabbi Klein from Klein Brothers in New York made a visit to again examine our Torahs. He came to the same conclusion that they were not repairable.
What is a Gently Used Torah?
Most often they are restored Torahs that have been certified Kosher by a Sofer. Many of the used Torahs are already in a much better condition before being restored then those in the CBS Ark. Gently used Torahs come from Temples that have merged with other Temples or those that just want to upgrade their Torahs.
Has a New Gently Used Torah Been Selected?
Yes! Rabbi Klein brought with him several samples of gently used Kosher Torahs. After a thorough review, Rabbi Nancy and Carry Cohn selected a Torah that would meet our current day and future needs. They were thrilled! This Torah has been placed on hold for CBS.
What is The Cost?
The Torah, shipping, apparel (Crown, etc.) will cost approximately $20,000.
How Much Have You Raised?
To date we have collected both pledges and checks in the amount of $11,000. We will not purchase the Torah until we have raised the total funds needed to make the purchase.
How Can I Make A Contribution To The Torah Fund?
Absolutely! We are accepting pledges for the purchase of the Torah. Our goal is to have the $20,000 in hand by May 1, 2012. Send checks to CBS and note on the check “Torah Purchase.” You can also make your payment online.
Will There Be Opportunities To Sponsor Letters, Words and Phrases in The New Torah!
Yes. Once we raise the initial funds for the purchase, everyone will have the opportunity to sponsor letters, words and/or phrases in the new Torah. The Sofer will be making two to three trips from New York to CBS to inscribe additional lettering. We will be posting more information and details about those events once the initial funds are raised.
What Will Happen To The Three Non Kosher Torahs?
We will keep all three of the non kosher Torahs in the Ark as they have no monetary value in the gently used Torah market place. Also, one of the non kosher Torahs is on permanent loan to us. It was a Torah that survived and was rescued from the Holocaust. With our new beautiful Ark hand crafted by Ben Golub, the son of Temple of Arnie Marie Golub, we now have space for a fifth Torah.
Who is Chairing The Torah Campaign
Carry Cohn and Michael Alcalay are serving as the chairs for the campaign. Any assistance you can provide them would be much appreciated.
Okay, I’m In! Where Do I Send My Check?
Please send your check to Congregation Beth Shalom at 4746 El Camino Avenue, Carmichael, California 95608. Attention Torah Fund. Please make sure you note “Torah Fund” on the Check too. you can also pay online through eventbrite. Click here to make your donation.
Will There Be A Celebration Event Upon The Official Arrival of The new Torah!
Absolutely and we are looking forward to the big day. We will be announcing dates soon.