Hachnasat Sefer Torah – Aloney Yitzhak Youth Village
18 Oct 2015
There was an electric atmosphere at Aloney Yitzhak Youth Village on 18th October when the village was privileged to open its first synagogue and host its first Hachnasat Sefer Torah, through the generous support of Francine and Selwyn Tarn, in memory of Louis and Marie Bardiger z’l, lifelong supporters of Aloney Yitzhak. The Ark cover is donated in the name of Myer and Sonia Silverman, z’l and the Ner Tamid by Sion Mehdi in memory of his parents.
After the affixing of the Mezuzot on the synagogue by three generations of the Tarn family – Norman Tarn, his son and daughter-in-law, Selwyn and Francine Tarn and Norman’s grandchildren, Gregory and Louisa, everybody gathered in the Student Clubroom, where the last letters of the Sefer Torah written for the Village were added. Friends and family of Francine and Selwyn as well as Melvin Robinson, chairman of Youth Aliyah Child Rescue and Youth Aliyah Village directors from Aloney Yitzchak, TOM, Yemin Orde, and Talpiot, one of the students and local Rabbi Yair Silverman, who led the ceremonies.
The 315 students, 100 staff, and all visiting for this special occasion then joyously escorted the Torah under a chuppah around the Village, accompanied by lively, upbeat Jewish music from a Chabbad music van, taking turns carrying the Torah under the chuppah. Students and staff spontaneously danced the Horah. After circling the Village, as many as could fit crowded into the synagogue for the first Tefilot in this space. The magical evening ended with a festive dinner for everyone in the Dining Room, following speeches and music by the students.
Aloney Yitzchak Director and alumnus Yaakov Benbenisti explained the importance of these gifts to the students and village at the dinner, “The Torah contains our identity, enabling us to have an ongoing discussion of who we are and who we want to be – each of us as a person and together as a nation. We are taking a very important, meaningful step on our path to becoming an ideal society in Israel. The Torah, this “Book of Books”, is a foundation stone, on which we will continue to build. We thank you, sincerely and gratefully, for these contributions.”
The day also celebrated the refurbishment of Suzanne House, supported by the Tarns.
The synagogue is located in a series of rooms connected by a red roof. The rest of “Red House” now also includes 4 new therapy rooms kindly donated by the Sussman family in memory of Leslie Sussman z’l , Max and Jeanie Williams z’l and Jack and Rena Sussman z’l. Two therapy rooms were also generously donated by Ruth and Joseph Smilg. Joseph visited a week earlier with their son, Jeremy, and his niece, Edna.
Our heartfelt thanks go to Francine and Selwyn Tarn, Adrienne Sussman and Family, and Ruth and Joseph Smilg who have made this possible for the children.