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Holocaust Torah Cover Dedication
In honor of Dan Ebert and Beryl Loveland

To make a donation in honor of Dan and Beryl please click here

At Shabbat services on June 5, 2021  we dedicated the beautiful new cover for our Holocaust Torah in honor of Dan Ebert and Beryl Loveland who devoted themselves to restoring this precious Torah. Dan chaired the committee that restored this Torah, with Beryl by his side, expertly guiding the dedicated committee members every step of the way and inspiring the congregants to donate to the restoration. 

If you would like to make a donation in honor of Dan’s and Beryl’s love for the Holocaust Torah and for Congregation Adat Reyim, please  donate to the Interiors Rejuvenation fund here. 

Our Torah was originally from a congregation in Sedlcany, Czechoslovakia which was  destroyed by the Nazis. Our congregation chose to embrace this Torah by restoring it, rather than just putting it on display. Orthodox scribes worked more than 1600 hours to restore it.  It has become a vital part of our community with hundreds of students reading from it. It has been passed from generation to generation on our bima. The Holocaust Torah  symbolizes our people's will to survive and our remembrance of those who came before us. Today, in a fragile condition, we use it to mark special moments.

We dedicated our restored Holocaust Torah at a special community ceremony  on November 5, 1995 and with a special Chai (18 year) Rededication the weekend of December 6-8, 2013.  To view a video with photo highlights of our rededication in 2013, please click here

On June 5, we dedicated the Torah cover designed and created by fabric artist Jeannette Kuvin Oren. It will be placed in our rejuvenated ark when it is completed, next to our other two Torah scrolls. The design is a flowing representation of the tree of life, carrying us through the generations. 

History of our Holocaust Torah

In 1990, Rabbi Tvzi Porath, our Rabbi at the time, visited London to learn about acquiring a Holocaust Torah. It required extensive repairs, and at that time, Adat Reyim could not take this on. When Rabbi Bruce Aft became our Rabbi, he encouraged the congregation to pursue the task.

In the summer of 1993, Rabbi Aft and his children met a plane at Dulles Airport and received our Torah, which was in a box resembling a coffin. This Torah was rescued from a small community in Czechoslovakia called Sedlcany. (The synagogue in Sedlcany is pictured at right. As of 2013, It had been used as a car repair shop.) The dedication was held on November 5, 1995, and the theme was Past, Present, and Future. Sadly the evening before, Israel’s then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. We came together to mourn and to recognize even more strongly how important this Torah was to Adat Reyim and to the entire Jewish community. 

The Torah had been stored in a Prague museum as a memorial to a vanished people.  It was later shipped to Westminster Synagogue in London and became part of the Czech Memorial Scrolls. Thirty years later, Adat Reyim acquired this Torah on “permanent loan.” The Board made a commitment to restore and use this Torah, not just display it. 

The Washington Post wrote about the Torah dedication, stating, "In November, 14 survivors of the Holocaust joined 400 others at Congregation Adat Reyim to dedicate the 200-year-old Torah, which has been painstakingly restored by Orthodox scribes in New York for use in religious services. Congregation members throughout Northern Virginia paid for the $16,000 restoration letter by letter, with schoolchildren chipping in dimes and quarters earned by doing chores and parents contributing larger sums." You can read the full article here.

On December 8, 2013, we had a Chai celebration of 18 years with our Holocaust Torah. This time our theme was The Place Where I Belong. After 18 years, our Torah needed additional repairs and we were able to accomplish this with many generous donations. At the ceremony, Holocaust survivors were accompanied into the sanctuary by our teens, and then each lit a candle to continue the light of the Torah. 

Congregation Adat Reyim has rescued a Holocaust Torah. We have created several opportunities in the past to celebrate this mission. We celebrate once again as Rabbi Chana Leslie Glazer leads us in dedicating the new Torah cover in honor of Dan Ebert and Beryl Loveland.   

Wed, May 22 2024 14 Iyyar 5784