Northeast Times

Torah scroll given to Paul's Run residents

(left to right} Liberty Luther­anÕs PaulÕs Run Chap­lain, Steph­en Weis­s­er, Arnold Lurie, ex­ec­ut­ive board mem­ber of Beth Sho­lom, PaulÕs Run res­id­ents, Shir­ley and Dav­id Shein­son, Rabbi An­drea Merow of Beth Sho­lom, and Si­mon Shein­son at the Torah ded­ic­a­tion ce­re­mony at Liberty Luther­anÕs PaulÕs Run Re­tire­ment Com­munity, Sunday, April 29, 2012, Phil­adelphia, Pa.

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Temple Sho­lom no longer is at the corner of Large and Roosevelt Boulevard in Ox­ford Circle, but its leg­acy lives on through its former con­greg­a­tion and its cher­ished Torah scrolls, which joined Beth Sho­lom Con­greg­a­tion in Elkins Park through a mer­ger eight years ago.

On April 29, one of those scrolls was ded­ic­ated to the Jew­ish res­id­ents at Liberty Luther­an’s Paul’s Run Re­tire­ment Com­munity, 9698 Bustleton Ave.

The gift was made pos­sible by Beth Sho­lom Con­greg­a­tion, a Con­ser­vat­ive syn­agogue and Na­tion­al His­tor­ic Land­mark de­signed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and the ef­forts of former Temple Sho­lom con­greg­ants, who reside at Paul’s Run.

Dav­id Shein­son, 93, his wife, Shir­ley, 91, along with Dav­id’s broth­er Si­mon are res­id­ents of Paul’s Run Re­tire­ment Com­munity and former act­ive mem­bers of Temple Sho­lom.

Dav­id, a past pres­id­ent of the temple, was the syn­agogue’s treas­urer at the time of its clos­ing and mer­ger with Beth Sho­lom. Rabbi An­drea Merow, Temple Sho­lom’s rabbi for sev­en years, joined Beth Sho­lom Con­greg­a­tion upon the mer­ger.

The com­munity set up the Temple Sho­lom Leg­acy Fund with pro­ceeds from the sale of the syn­agogue. The Leg­acy Fund con­trols the former syn­agogue’s Torah scrolls and provides schol­ar­ships and char­it­able giv­ing with­in the syn­agogue com­munity.

When Rabbi Merow learned through a meet­ing with Dav­id Shein­son and Paul’s Run para-chap­lain, Lili­an Sil­ver­stein, that the re­tire­ment com­munity had a sig­ni­fic­ant pray­er com­munity but did not have a full and kosh­er Torah scroll, she ap­proached the trust­ees of the Temple Sho­lom Leg­acy Fund and board of dir­ect­ors of Beth Sho­lom, work­ing closely with Arnold Lurie, an ex­ec­ut­ive board mem­ber of Beth Sho­lom and former pres­id­ent of the now-closed temple, and asked if they could per­man­ently loan Paul’s Run a Torah. In re­sponse, the board de­cided to give this scroll back to the North­east.

Paul’s Run chap­lain, Steph­en Weis­s­er, knows how mean­ing­ful this gift of the Torah is to the res­id­ents, since the Torah read­ing is so cent­ral to the Shab­bat ser­vices that he has ad­ded in his ten­ure as a way of en­cour­aging the spir­itu­al­ity that he knew was there.

“People star­ted com­ing to the ser­vices, and that made its own grav­ity, and the weekly ser­vice is now very im­port­ant to our com­munity,” said Weis­s­er. ”Ima­gine a Luther­an fa­cil­ity in North­east Phil­adelphia now help­ing Jews from Europe and sur­viv­ors of the Holo­caust cel­eb­rate Rosh Hasha­nah, Pesach, and the reg­u­lar Shab­bat ser­vice. The Torah is a liv­ing doc­u­ment with a his­tory that will out­live all of us, and this gift is a re­mind­er of all of this his­tory and the prom­ise of the fu­ture. I am in awe.” ••

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You can reach at noreply@bsmphilly.com.

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