Suffolk gets its Sefer Torah, thanks to gift from London shul

The 30 member community is grateful for the permanent loan from Kingston Liberal Synagogue


The tiny Suffolk Liberal Jewish Community has welcomed its first Sefer Torah, courtesy of a permanent loan from the Liberal congregation in Kingston.

A Kingston delegation led by Rabbi Dr René Pfertzel visited Ipswich for a moving Shabbat service at which the scroll was presented.

He pointed out that “55 years ago, when KLS was formed, we were also a small community, meeting in someone else’s building.

“Now we are lucky enough to have our own synagogue, ark and scrolls, which is a real privilege. Being able to help a smaller community is also a privilege.”

The handover service had been “very special indeed and one we will always remember”.

As part of a team effort, Kingston chair Craig Simmons and Suffolk’s Ruth Stone were key players in the insurance and legal arrangements.

In a further show of support, a member of the Norwich Liberal congregation built a ner tamid (everlasting light) for the Suffolk ark that is being made to house the scroll.

Suffolk chair Beverley Levy said that “now the scroll is safely with us, we shall treasure it and use it to enliven our Shabbat services and inspire all those learning with us”.

Liberal Judaism director of development and membership Alexandra Gellnick noted that “having a Torah is so important for every community. We hope that this beautiful scroll will bring Suffolk much joy, renewed purpose and strength.

“Being a part of making this happen is what Progressive Judaism is all about — that is, fostering strong relationships and collaborations between our communities.” Suffolk has around 30 members, including four family units, and holds monthly services.

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