Letter-by-Letter

May 8, 2015

An article from The Jewish Independent:
Torah Writing Unifies

On Sunday, May 3, Temple Sholom completed a new Torah in honor of its 50th anniversary. Florida-based sofer (scribe) Rabbi Moshe Druin was assisted by more than 1,000 hands in writing the scroll and there were so many people who contributed to the project that Temple Sholom Rabbi Dan Moskovitz noted at the siyum hasefer that the congregation had also written “a new Torah of volunteerism.”… Read more.


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SIYUM HASEFER CEREMONY
Completion and Dedication of The Book 

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Over 600 people,
250 families
engaged in writing a new Torah – the 613th commandment
(Were almost there!).

Celebrate together this once-in-a-lifetime, sacred opportunity to
witness the completion and dedication of our Torah,
before it is placed in our ark for generations to come.

Ceremony.  Parade.  L’Chaim!


 Ceremony – The final letters will be scribed, the scroll stitched to the Eitz Chaim, the Torah adorned with crown and mantle. To the sounds of the shofar blast, we will proclaim to our community:  A new Torah has been written!

Parade –   We will dance with our scroll!  Beginning in the sanctuary, we will pass our new Torah through the crowd, carrying it out the front door—into the streets.  Dancing, clapping, singing and shofar sound!  Back to our shul, where our rabbinic community will install it in its holy place of honour.

L-Chaim! – Shehechianu and kiddush, wine and grape juice, challah and scotch.  We will laugh and share, together in community, at this once-in-a-generation simcha.  Baked goods and surprises for the kids.

Join us
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Doors at 3:30pm, Ceremony at 4:00pm
Temple Sholom


EXPERIENCE YOUR OWN FULFILLMENT
BY FULFILLING THE 613th COMMANDMENT

Those who have participated in Letter by Letter scribing sessions have described it as momentous and filled with joy ~
“A wonder filled experience”. . . “It felt really, really special” . . . “An experience to be treasured”

Nu, we ask you, if you haven’t signed up yet, why deny yourself this opportunity?
Since scribing sessions filled up rapidly, an extra day was added to accommodate demand:

Monday, April 27           Tuesday, April 28 

Please sign up as soon as possible to access a time most convenient to your schedule:
Click here or phone the office: 604.266.7190


You’ve already scribed?
Consider volunteering to assist others to experience this special mitzvah.  Can you spend some time with us on one of following four dates? (training provided):

Sunday, February 15th     Sunday, April 26th
Monday, February 16th   Monday, April 27th

To share the gift of your time, call the office to advise on your availability: 604.266.7190 or sign up here.

The letters of the Torah have written into them incredible messages of wonder that have inspired us for over 3,000 years. As writers of Torah, each of us will be written into Temple Sholom’s history and future – Letter by Letter.

View the slide-show and to relive some of our precious moments.


 Special Decade Shabbat Service – Friday, February 13th at 8:00pm

1985 to 1994 ♦ Leviticus ♦ Growth and Stability
A decade marked by Fire, Recovery and Reconstruction
Chaired by Sandra Broudy, Tobin Robbins, Rose & Fred Mikelberg, Jerry Lampert and Anne Andrew, 50th Anniversary Chairs and Rabbi Dan Moskovitz,
Oneg following the Service.
Oneg sponsored by Sandra Broudy, Tobin Robbins, Rose & Fred Mikelberg and Our Temple Family

fire 1“This was a decade of tremendous highs and lows. On January 25, 1985 the synagogue on 10th Avenue was firebombed. The community rallied in support, The Jewish Community Centre offered space to hold services and Rabbi Mordecai Feuerstein of Congregation Schara Tzedeck came forward with rent- free accommodation for office space. The new building on Oak street was dedicated June 5 1988. In mid July 1989 Temple Sholom was at 310 families and continued to have steady growth throughout this decade and by the end of this decade the expansion to the new building was virtually completed. A long term contract for Rabbi Bregman was signed in 1989, Arthur Guttman took on the role of Cantorial soloist in 1990 and Carl Rothschild initiated the “gabbinate”.


Temple Sholom’s Historic Celebration

LetterByLetter-logoThe Letter by Letter Torah Project kick-off ceremony took place on Sunday, October 26, 2014 and was a tremendous and historic celebration for Temple Sholom. Rob Philipp was the Master of Ceremonies and warmed up the crowd with trivia and questions about Torah. The official ceremony began with a chorus of shofars called by the Gabbaim Carl Rothschild, Bev Korman and Jeffrey Balin. The Temple Torahs were then carried to the Ark by the Klay Kodesh – Rabbi Moskovitz, Rabbi Brown, Rabbi Bregman, Cantor Naomi and the Cantor Emeritus Arthur Guttman.

The Kick Off ceremony was energized by the “Temple Sholom Band” led by Gordon & Joyce Cherry, and the celebratory mood was enhanced by the Sholom Dancers as they welcomed our New Torah Kickoff with beautiful Israeli dancing. A procession followed with the Temple Sholom affiliates and friends waiving celebratory flags for each of their groups, including: 60 Plus, ARZA, Bagel Club, Beit Halochem, Board of Trustees, Camp HaTikvah, Camp Kalsman, Camp Miriam, East Side Jews, Gabbaim, Go Go’s, Hesed, Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, Jewish Information Class, Men’s Group, Morning Minyan, Sisterhood of Temple Sholom, Next Generation, Past Presidents, Religious School, Ritual Committee, Temple Teens, Sholom Scouts, Tikkun Olam, Temple Sholom Havurot, Torah Study, Women of Reform Judaism, and UBC Hillel. These groups and organizations are a testament to the Temple Sholom story and their involvement make our community special and unique.

Jerry Lampert gave the opening remarks on behalf of himself and Anne Andrews who are the co-chairs of the Letter by Letter Torah Project 50th Anniversary Celebrations. Rabbi Moskovitz followed and spoke about why we are celebrating our 50th Anniversary with the writing of the Torah and what it means for the congregation. He was then joined by Rabbi Brown and Cantor Taussig as they led the congregation in a blessing and shecheyanu. The first six letters of the word Bereshit were scribed in the Torah by representatives of each decade who were chosen to write the first letter by lottery. With the assistance of Rabbi Druin, our Torah Scribe, they scribed their letter as part of the first word of the Torah – Beresheit. The first six letters and scribers were, Risa Levine – Bet, Juli Kennedy – Raish, Sheila Smith – Alef, Michael Schwartz – Shin, Beth Schwartz –Yud and Sophie Gardner –Taf. In so doing they fulfilled the 613th commandment, the very last commandment in the Torah which says that every Jew is obligated to write a Torah in their lifetime. After the letter was scribed Rabbi Moskovitz held up the page of Torah and the congregation celebrated with energy, excitement and dancing the horah.

You may view the highlight of the Kick Off ceremony here:


We’re Writing A Torah!

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Make Your Scribing Appointment today or call the Temple office: 604.266.7190

As a promise to future generations, and in celebration of our 50th anniversary, we’re writing a Torah! Experience the joy of a ritual that dates back over three millennia. To book yourself (and family members), follow the link or call the Temple office: 604.266.7190

Write for yourselves this song, and teach it to the Children of Israel (Deut. 31:19)

This commandment is the 613th mitzvah – the very final commandment of the Torah. Tradition tells us that one who writes even a single letter in a Torah, or causes one to be written through their support, fulfills this commandment. Every member of our congregation is invited to fulfill this mitzvah by writing an actual letter in our new Torah. The letters of the Torah have written into them incredible messages of wonder that have inspired us for over 3,000 years. As writers of Torah, each of us will be written into Temple Sholom’s history and future – Letter by Letter.


Celebrate 50 Years of Temple Sholom!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Letter by Letter Torah Project?
Letter by Letter is an eight-month project, during which everyone in the Temple Sholom community participates in the mitzvah of writing a Torah. Since the mitzvah is to write a complete Torah, we make this happen by commissioning a professional Sofer (scribe). Many exciting and enriching programs are planned for the duration of the project.

Can I really write a letter in the Torah?
YES! Every member of our congregation is invited to make an appointment to write a letter in our new Torah. Each family will write one letter in our Torah scroll with the assistance of a professional Sofer. Letters will be written in the order in which they appear in the text.

What happens at a scribing session?
Scribing sessions are our opportunity to gather with our families, and, with the help of the Sofer, actually write a letter in the new Torah. These private sessions may be relatively brief but the impact made by this personal connection to Torah promises to be lasting. Letter writing sessions are open to everyone in our Temple family.

How do I sign up? What do I do?
Call the Temple Office 604.266.7190 or make an appointment on-line. Please plan up to an hour for the FULL experience. Call TODAY to obtain your preferred time. Do not miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Is there a fee to participate?
There is no participation fee. We do hope, however, that you will be inspired to perform the mitzvah of tzedakah after writing a letter. Funds are needed, not just to support the Torah project, but also to help ensure the continuity of Torah transmission from generation to generation within our Temple Sholom community.

How may I contribute?
After writing your letter, you may contribute by making a Dedication. A Dedication is a voluntary contribution made by selecting a portion of the Torah in order in honor or memory of a loved one, or to commemorate a simcha. Our rabbis will meet privately with each family to help you find a meaningful passage. Dedications will be recorded in perpetuity as part of the Temple archives and a beautiful certificate and photo will be presented to your family to acknowledge your Dedication.

Can I participate without making a Dedication?
While we do encourage everyone who participates to make a Dedication, it is not required in order to write a letter.

Key Dates
Oct 24-25, 2014 – Decade Shabbat 1965-1975
Oct 26, 2014 10:30am – Kick-off Ceremony: Writing the First Letters
Oct 26-27, 2014 – Scribing Session #1: Write Your Letter
Nov 14-15, 2014 – Decade Shabbat 1975-1985
Dec 5-6, 2014 – Celebrating our Sisterhood
Feb 13-14, 2015 – Decade Shabbat 1985-1995
Feb 15-16, 2015 – Scribing Session #2: Write Your Letter
Mar 27-28, 2015 – Decade Shabbat 1995-2005
We will be joined by Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ)
April 11, 2015: Honouring our Holocaust Torah Scroll
May 1-2, 2015: Decade Shabbat 2005-2015
May 3, 2015: Siyum-The closing ceremony

Make Your Scribing Appointment Today
The scribe will join us for five days during the course of our project to assist us in writing our letters in our Torah. Appointments are made by family and you may bring as many family members as you wish. Appointments will last approximately one hour. Advance registration is required.

Scribing Sessions are as follows
Oct 26, 2014: afternoon or evening
Oct 27, 2014: morning or late afternoon
Feb 15, 2015: afternoon or evening
Feb 16, 2015: morning or late afternoon
• April 26, 2015: afternoon or evening
April 27, 2015: morning or afternoon
April 28, 2015: morning or afternoon

Please call us to book your appointment 604.266.7190 or book on-line.

The letters of the Torah have written into them incredible messages of wonder that have inspired us for over 3,000 years. As writers of Torah, each of us will be written into Temple Sholom’s history and future – Letter by Letter.