Gala Parade Escorts Two Torah Scrolls From Russia
To New Home at F.R.E.E. Brighton Beach Synagogue
Gift of an ancient Torah has B'klyn doing the hora
- Daily News

October 25, 2004

Click here to see a photo gallery of the event
Click here to read this article in Daily News

A delicate Torah scroll hidden in a closet for a half-century - surviving the Nazis and anti-Semitic Soviet rule - was welcomed yesterday with dancing, singing and tears in the streets of Brooklyn.

Jubilant Brooklynites dance through Brighton Beach as a Torah (below) hidden from Nazi and Soviet hands was donated to local synagogue.  

More than a thousand Brighton Beach residents, many of them Jewish emigres from the former Soviet Union, paraded on Coney Island Ave. as they carried the Torah under a bridal canopy to its new home in the Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe Synagogue.

"It's a miracle the Torah survived," said Rabbi Hershel Okunov. "It symbolizes the survival of the Jewish nation."

The 150-year-old handmade parchment is a gift from Senya Dovidov, a one-time shoe-factory worker from Latvia who inherited the scroll from his father, Abraham.

Dovidov, 68, said his father took great care to safeguard the scroll when the Nazis invaded Latvia during World War II and later when the Soviet government cracked down on religious freedom and routinely locked, looted or seized synagogues.

"We kept it in a closet, behind the clothes. And every week my father carried it to the Sabbath service then back home to hide it," said Dovidov, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1995.

The Torah, worth an estimated $15,000, has a new burgundy velvet case embroidered in gold thread with Abraham Dovidov's name.

"Our Torah has found its home," Senya Dovidov said. "We can walk in the streets here with the Torah, and we don't have to be afraid of anybody."

Back to Top

Torah Gala Parade
 Scroll Survivors
New York Post
 Moving Scripture
USA Today

 Hidden Torah finds new home
Washington Times

День Торы в Бруклине
A report of the story in Russian

 A second Simchas Torah in Brighton Beach (Yidish)
Algemeiner Journal

  A Second Simchas Torah in Brighton Beach (Yidish)
Algemeiner Journal

Прикоснуться к Торе (Russian)
Russkaya Reklama

Тора нашла свой дом (Russian)
Evreysky Mir

Torah Scrolls' New Home
The Jewish Week

Hidden Torah finds new home
Kfar Chabad Magazine

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