A New Torah Arrives
Written by: Kevin Rosenthal
Camp Livingston Counselor
efreshing transaction absent of monetary implications recently took shape between Congregation Etz Chaim and Camp Livingston. Etz Chaim, located on Cornell Rd. in
, OH, has graciously offered a Torah to Camp Livingston to use for the next ten summers in Bennington, IN.
Celebrating its 100th summer in 2020, Camp Livingston sought a new Torah
to the aged and no longer kosher condition of the Torah
it currently has
, which was given to camp in the 1980's by Congregation Beth El in Springfield, Ohio.
Shabbat at Camp Livingston represents a meaningful time during which campers rest, enjoy leisure activities
and attend Friday night and Saturday morning services
and a havdallah service
The Torah is unfurled and read before the campers and staff at each of the Saturday morning services.
As is the case with many Torahs, the scroll which Camp Livingston will read starting in June has a compelling story.
Originally a Torah at Congregation Beth Yehuda in Brooklyn, NY, this scroll survived a fire in the synagogue during the late 1940s.
Less than one decade after the fire Beth Yehuda became defunct. All rescued Torahs were shelved in the Brooklyn home of a senior trustee to the inoperative congregation.
In 1967, after the Torahs had sat idle for over ten years, trustees to Beth Yehuda agreed the Torahs should be dispersed to various United States congregations where they could be of purpose to jewish communities.
One Torah was granted to Congregation B'nai Tzedek in Cincinnati.
During January, 1968, the Torah was read for the first time to its Cincinnati congregants.
Nearly fifty years later in 2015 Congregation B'nai Tzedek merged with Congregation Ohav Shalom to become Congregation Etz Chaim.
Hundreds of jewish kids and families will benefit from the next stop in the journey of this Torah: southeastern Indiana.