In 2003, Zev Vallance placed his five-generation “backpack” Torah in the care of our religious community. This backpack Torah traveled by cart from village to village in Russia, making the “Teaching” available to all. This family scroll, on loan to us from a member family, now becomes part of our family. When Zev’s sister asked who would get the Torah if he didn’t want it, Zev whipped around and said, “It is going to go to whoever cherishes it, stupid” (AZJP, 8/13/04, p. 26). Cherish it we do!
Our Torah Scrolls
Since our founding in 1995 we have been blessed to acquire five Sifrei Torah. Each of our scrolls has its own story of how it made its way to our home in Tucson.
In February 2006 Or Chadash launched the Make Your Mark project with Sofer Rabbi Shmuel Miller writing a Sefer Torah scroll for the congregation. On the 28th of Kislev (fourth day of Chanukah) in the year 2007, we welcomed the Helaine and Yoram “Levy Family Torah” to our congregation.
In December of 2009, Herb and Sue Cohn brought to us an Orphan Holocaust Torah scroll. The Memorial Scrolls Trust in Westminster, England loans 1600 Czech Torah scrolls to synagogues across the world. We were blessed to receive this one. Though the scroll itself survives, the memory of its home synagogue has been lost. Thus, it is known as an Orphan Scroll.
The Gould Family Torah was donated to our congregation by Wayne and Amy Gould in 2017. It is a Sephardic scroll whose origin is traced to southeastern Europe about 150 years ago.
In August of our second year, 1996, we were blessed to receive our first Torah scroll. Goldie Silverman made a kind donation in memory of her husband Jake to afford us the ability to acquire a scroll. Rabbi and Marcia Louchheim travelled to St. Joseph, Missouri to her family’s orthodox synagogue, B’nai Sholem. The scroll was brought from Kharkov, Russia (near the Black Sea) by Marcia Louchheim’s great-grandfather, Rabbi Joshua Frumhoff.
Mary Ann Danin created a mantle and Fran Braverman donated two yaddim. The congregation attended the scroll’s dedication Friday evening, January 29, 1999.