FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2013
Congregation Beth Israel to Create People’s Torah, Celebrate 160th Anniversary
Unique Project Enables Congregants to Fulfill the 613th Commandment to Write a Torah
WHAT: To celebrate its 160th Anniversary, Congregation Beth Israel will provide its congregants and Shlenker School families a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to honor the 613th Commandment to write a Torah, while creating a permanent legacy for future generations.
WHO: Congregation members will help scribe their own People’s Torah, by filling in a letter on the scroll and dedicating a meaningful word, verse or favorite portion to honor their loved ones or Beth Israel’s anniversary. When the outlined letters are filled in, the parchments will be sewn together, thus completing the Torah.
WHEN: Celebrations begin with the Be a Blessing Musical Shabbat on Dec. 6, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. The official opening ceremony and first scribing will be held January 12, 2014 and 1,000 outlined letters will be filled in over the course of 16 scribing events throughout 2014. In addition, the project will include a year-long series of events where Beth Israel members and Shlenker families will worship, learn and celebrate together. The 160th anniversary People’s Torah project will last one year, beginning in December, 2013 and culminating at the Chanukah service in December, 2014.
WHERE: Congregation Beth Israel
5600 North Braeswood Blvd.
Houston, TX 77096
MEDIA VISUALS/AUDIO/INTERVIEWS: The remarkably unique December 6th Shabbat Service features trumpet music, Shofar blowing and pageantry as Beth Israel clergy parade Torahs through the sanctuary. Senior Rabbi David Lyon will deliver a sermon that explains the 613th commandment, how Torahs are made, the history of Beth Israel’s existing Torahs, and how Beth Israel and Shlenker families will create our People’s Torah, making it easy to cover this unique feature story. Additionally, individual interviews may be arranged for this event and others throughout the anniversary year.