Shivtei Torah Campaign
Great Neck Community Introduces the Sam Aharonoff Memorial
Shivtei Torah Campaign
Community Set to Make History with Commissioning and
Dedication of 12 New Sifrei Torah
March 23, 2009 - Great Neck, NY - The North Shore Hebrew Academy (NSHA) and the North Shore Hebrew Academy High School (NSHAHS), in conjunction with the greater Great Neck Jewish Community, is pleased to announce a historic and unprecedented campaign that will involve the dedication and commissioning of 12 new Sifrei Torah. The unique mission, called the NSHA/NSHAHS Sam Aharonoff Memorial “Shivtei Torah” Campaign, is believed to be the first time 12 Torahs will be commissioned and dedicated at one time by one institution.
The campaign will directly support the recently established Sam Aharonoff Memorial Scholarship Fund and is named in memory of the Academy’s long-time Board member who recently passed away. Mr. Aharonoff dedicated so many years of his life serving and advocating for the Academy, functioning as the bridge between the community’s Ashkenazic and Sephardic cultures.
This momentous campaign also commemorates over a half century of the Academy’s pivotal influence in, and contribution to, the Great Neck community as well as the celebration of its new magnificent High School campus. The Torahs will be housed in the high school’s synagogue in the Aron Kodesh, designed as an ‘Etz Chaim’ with the Torahs hanging from its branches, as well as in the lower schools.
As Moses wrote 12 Torahs before his passing and gave one to each of the 12 tribes, the schools have proudly commissioned 12 Torahs named for each tribe to be used by students in their many daily prayer services (minyanim). By actively participating to fulfill this ultimate commandment (mitzvah) through the writing of new Sifrei Torah, the last of the 613 commandments, the entire community can affirm this sacred legacy.
“This historic event is a wonderful testament to the strength and commitment our community has to Judaism, our children and our loyal supporters,” said Ivan Kaufman, President and Founder of North Shore Hebrew Academy High School. “This unique event grants us the privilege of fulfilling an incredible mitzvah, and what a wonderful way to pay homage to our dear friend and community activist, Sam Aharonoff, whose legacy continues to support Judaic education through this special fundraising campaign.”
The Torah contains the first five books of the Hebrew scriptures, also known as the Books of Moses, dealing with Jewish religious law and learning, including sacred literature. A portion of it is read every Sabbath. Commissioning a new Torah is a major undertaking as the scroll is handwritten in Hebrew by a trained scribe who writes each letter of the Torah on parchment using a quill.
Over the next few months, the entire Great Neck community will be able to dedicate sections of the 12 Sifrei Torah (books, chapters, verses, words or letters). Since each and every letter validates the Torah, one who authorizes the writing of even one letter fulfills this special mitzvah. Every contribution will be inscribed in the special Shivtei Torah Campaign Sefer and each donor will receive a Certificate of Dedication upon completion of the project.
All proceeds from the campaign will support the Sam Aharonoff Memorial Scholarship Fund to help offset tuition costs for dozens of needy students who would otherwise not be able to attend the North Shore Hebrew Academy schools, which were founded on ‘Torah Umada’, (Judaic and secular learning), ‘midot tovot’ (ethical values) and community service.
The Torahs will be formally welcomed and completed simultaneously on Sunday, June 14, 2009, at the historic Siyum (celebration) at the North Shore Hebrew Academy High School.
For more information, please visit www.shivteitorah.org, a specially designed web site dedicated exclusively to the campaign, or call Arnie Flatow at 516.487.8687, ext 2.