30 May 2013

Sharing our Torot with the World

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From the Ritual Committee
Congregation Torat El – 2013-05-29
Sharing our Torot with the World

Dear CTE Family,

As we have let everyone know, we have donated a number of our excess Torot to deserving congregations around the world.   Torot have been brought over to Israel, Germany, the Netherlands and right here in Ocean to the Yeshiva of the Jersey Shore.

Below is a letter from Masorti Weeps, the Netherlands, thanking us for our gift to them.  Pictures were also sent and are included.

Our entire congregation has done a great mitzvah in helping keep our Torot alive and in use throughout the world.

The entire committee thanks everyone for their support in this endeavor.

If you have any questions or comments about our program, please feel free to contact me via phone at 732-984-7204 or via e-mail at neilweit@gmail.com.



Neil Weitzenkorn


Chairman, CTE Ritual Committee


Exterior, Weesp Synagogue.
Lochem, the Netherlands, May 21, 2013


Bert Oude Engberink
Congregation Masorti Almere-Weesp
Vogelwikke 10
NL 7242 MA Lochem


Congregation Torat El
301 Monmouth Road
Oakhurst    NJ   07755

Subject: Concerning the donated Torah Scroll # 15 – 7313 (1625)


Dear Members of the Board,
Dear Rabbi Aaron Schonbrun,
Dear Chaverim and Chaveroth of Congregation  Torat El,
It was Tuesday the 7th of May that Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg from British New North London Synagogue visited our Congregation Masorti Almere-Weesp on his way from the UK to Frankfurt in Germany. He used his visit to bring us the Sefer Torah you gave us, while staying a whole day for meeting and learning. The Board, some members as well as I, welcomed Rabbi Wittenberg and sat together for lunch and study, after we had a closer look at the beautiful scroll. The first text our eyes fell upon was Bemidbar 6;24-26 – the Priestly Blessing, which was to be read that coming Shabbath.

Being the ba’al korey I had a closer look at the Sefer Torah afterwards and I concluded that the text is still in a reasonable state, written in a nice handwriting; very suitable to read.

For Friday the 10th of May we had a special program to welcome the new Sefer Torah into our midst. During the Afternoon Service we’ve brought the Sefer Torah in under a large tallith, forming a chuppah. Chazan Mr. Daan Daniëls sang the Baruch haba. One of our senior members, Mr. Joop Waterman, born in 1943 in the Dutch ‘Durchgangslager’ Westerbork and a survivor of Bergen-Belsen, had the honor, together with me, to carry our other Sifrey Torah towards the Synagogue entrance for welcoming. Our chairman Mr. Nicky Cohen had the honor to carry the new Sefer Torah into the Synagogue. The Sefer Torah was placed upon the bimah, where we had some words of joy and where we blessed our children under the same chuppah under which our new Sefer Torah was placed. After that the Sefer Torah was placed into the Aron ha-Kodesh, followed by Chairman Mr. Nicky Cohen’s derashah.  Immediately followed by Kabbalath Shabbath Service. That evening was the first time we could pray for our new King Willem-Alexander as well, when we said our prayers for the Government and for Israel, as we made a Mishebeyrach for your Congregation Torat El. Before closing the Aron ha-Kodesh we said the Shehechiyanu Blessing for this happy moment.

After the Service we sat together for a festive traditional Shabbath evening dinner.

The Waterman family donated a set of mantles for the new Sefer Torah, in commemoration of the departed members of their families.

Together with this letter I enclose some pictures showing diverse moments of the reception of our new Sefer Torah.

Thank you, Congregation Torat El. Thank you for your very special gift for us. We are grateful that we can continue to offer Masorti Judaism to our members; that we can present our beautiful Masorti Judaism to reach out towards  the whole Dutch Jewish society. There is much work to do.

Yours sincerely,


Bert Oude Engberink,


Chazan and Senior Advisor of the Board


Congregation Masorti Almere-Weesp


Lunch with Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, flanked by Mrs. Sandra Blankstein-Cohen and Mr. Bert Oude Engberink. Honorary President Mr. Bernhard Cohen at the left.