Synagogue acquires first Torah

Congregation Kol Am of Freehold held its third annual dinner-dance on May 7 at the Ramada Inn ballroom in East Windsor to celebrate a very special milestone, the acquisition of a Torah.

For the past three years, the Freehold-based congregation had been using a Torah graciously loaned by a northern New Jersey synagogue for its observance of holidays and the celebration of bar and bat mitzvahs. Due to a generous donation by Ro and Art Rosen, of Manalapan, Congregation Kol Am was able to acquire, via the Internet, a Torah estimated to be at least 100 years old that was originally from Eastern Europe.

The Torah, restored to its former splendor by sofer (scribe) Moti Blumenthal of New York City, was consecrated at the dinner by founding rabbi Brooks R. Susman.

As is the tradition, the rabbi performed a wedding ceremony between the Torah and the congregation. Ro and Art Rosen embraced the Torah beneath a “chuppa” (canopy), assembled from three tallitot (prayer shawls) handcrafted by students of the temple’s religious school, Jonathan Rose, Eric Rose and Sara Mintzer.

The chuppa was held by three of the adult confirmands, Phyllis Garr, Shelly Soloff and Eileen Dramer-Davidson, as well as Jonathan Klein, Kol Am’s first president. The ceremony ended with the congregants assembling around the Torah in a manner similar to a wedding ring on the finger of a bride to recite the marriage vows.