Queens, NY – Tifferet Shalom, the Sephardi Minyan of Young Israel Forest Hills dedicated a new Sefer Torah on Sunday evening, October 25. The Sefer Torah was donated by Young Israel members Esther and Lev Zavlyanov. It was written in Eretz Yisrael, where many Gedolei Yisrael, from elderly Roshei Yeshivas such as Rav Shmuel Aurbach and Rav Shalom Cohen to both Chief Rabbis of Israel, Rav Yitzchak Yosef and Rav David Lau, participated in writing letter. The Sefer Torah was brought to New York by Chazaq director Rabbi Ilan Meirov.
The glorious celebration was attended by community rabbis and lay leaders, members of Tiffereth Shalom and the main minyan of Young Israel Forest Hills, along with children and adults from the Forest-Hills/Rego Park community and beyond.
The evening began with a parade with music and dancing to accompany the Sefer Torah from the Zavlyanov home to its new home in the Aron HaKodesh of Tifferet Shalom. Bystanders on the sidewalks, at windows and on terraces waved and cheered at this special occurrence. One woman on the street questioned one of the rabbis in the march as to the significance of the occasion, and proudly displayed her Magen David after she received his answer. This was well-received outreach to the community in which Tiffereth Shalom and the Young Israel take pride.
The procession and the new Torah were greeted at the Young Israel by both Ashkenaz and Sephardi Sifrei Torah held by YI and community members. The dancing and singing continued outside the shul.
Participants then entered the main shul where, at the request of Rabbi Yehuda Oppenheimer, Rav of the Young Israel, everyone davened together, being led by the Chazzan using Nusach Eidat Hamizrach.
At a beautiful (and delicious) dinner in the Grand Ballroom of the Young Israel, the last letters in the Sefer Torah were auctioned off, to music and dancing, and much joy.