Every Torah tells a story. Every Torah has a history and a journey.
A welcoming and joyful Temple Solel in Fort Mill dedicated their new Torah with a special ceremony on Rosh Hashanah morning, Oct. 3. Founding member Al Rogat ceremoniously carried the Torah to the Bimah. Russ Cobe, Lay Leader, recited a blessing as honored members carefully removed the Tallit used to wrap the precious gift from New Castle. The young generation of children under the age of 18 was then called to stand under the Tallit, now held up as a Chuppah.
The journey of the Torah started in New Castle, Pa., at Temple Hadar Israel which has been engaged in planning with the Jewish Community Legacy Project, a resource for small congregations outside of metropolitan areas that have an aging population and dwindling leadership. It acts as a liaison between congregational leadership and a variety of partners to focus on short-term sustainability and long-term planning.
Rogat, initiated a request for a possible Torah transfer through Merry Lugasy, of the Union for Reform Judasim. David Sarnat, president of JCLP, brought the request to the attention of Temple Hadar Israel President Sam Bernstine and things happened very quickly.
Hadar Israel members Carole Schwartz Cohen and her son were planning to drive to the Charlotte area over Labor Day weekend and agreed to provide special transportation and her daughter Cindy, who lived in the area, would make the final delivery.
“Having our own Torah means that we are truly a synagogue,” says new member Jan Rose.
“I would have joined this temple whether or not it owned a Torah but now that we do have one of our own to read and study from and care for, it will bind us together as a beloved part of our community.”