On March 20 a new Torah began the third leg of its journey to Poland. The transmission of a practically new scroll — only 150-years-old — of the first five books of the Bible, the Torah is a cause for celebration!!
This beautiful scroll is a gift from a Conservative congregation Shaarei Tefilah in Norwood, MA. The congregation began in 1908 and closed its door a few weeks ago.
Carol Turkewitz, President, Temple Shaare Tefilah, expressed delight in knowing that the Torah would find a home in the country where the Torah may have originated, Poland. Through the good offices of Carol Clingen of Temple Beth Elohim and her community of rabbis (pictured) the Torah was delivered to the Central Conference of American Rabbis meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.
The news of a Torah sent to Poland’s, Beit Polska communities electrified the community. Rabbis Sisenwine, Philip Sherman, and Rachel Saphire escorted the Torah throughout the 525 rabbinic conference to the waiting arms of Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, executive director of Friends of Jewish Renewal in Poland. FJRP, the umbrella organization of Beit Polska, affiliated with the European Union for Progressive Judaism and the World Union for Progressive Judaism sponsored the transfer and repairs of the Torah. Beit Polska’s ten Progressive Jewish communities are located throughout Poland.
The Torah is unusually well written and comes with High Holiday and year-round decorative covers.
Beit Polska’s President Marek Jezowksi expressed appreciation. A special dedicatory celebration was held on the Sabbath of March 31, 2017 to welcome the Torah at the flagship congregation, Beit Warszawa.