$35,000 Sefer Torah Stolen From Monticello Shul


rabbi-ben-zion-chanowitzMonticello, NY – The scene of crime was Monticello’s Landfield Avenue Synagogue, where Shabbos morning, the rabbi discovered something important was missing.

“And I just could not believe what I saw. The Torah was gone,” Rabbi Ben-Zion Chanowitz told CBS 2′s John Slattery on Wednesday.

Rabbi Chanowitz has a photo of the stolen Torah, which his kehillah acquired from Eretz Yisroel about 10 years ago.

“Somebody just violated our synagogue,” the rabbi said.

The stolen Sefer Torah is said to be valued at $35,000.

The thief entered by shattering a rear window. Once inside, he went throughout the shul.

The doors to three offices were forced open. Security was turned off for Shabbos, so there were no cameras. As much as $200 in cash was taken. Several other Sifrei Torah, including the ones used in the main shul, were safely locked up in a safe, but the one that was not, was taken.

The rabbi said he believes the motive was to sell it.

“What they may end up doing is putting it on the black market, and why would they want a Torah?” Rabbi Chanowitz said.

The rabbi says, in the past, he’s helped out several ex-cons, even employing a few; something police are now looking into.

{CBS Local/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. either the gov’t has to subsidize surveillance cameras, or at least, in our case, everyone has to collect the amount needed for a surveillance camera to their own jewish organizations. Its needed and deserved. Not a big investment really