═══════════════════════════════ Rabbi David Lyon - Senior Rabbi - Congregation Beth Israel - Houston, TX Sofer   On   Site    provided   every   means   for   Congregation   Beth   Israel   families,   individuals, staff   and   friends   to   participate   emotionally   and   spiritually   in   the   writing   of   a   new   Sefer Torah.   As   we   learn,   “Marbeh   Torah;   Marbeh   Chayyim”,   more   Torah,   more   life;   this project   united   the   congregation   around   a   sacred   task   unlike   any   other.   From   those   who were   unaware   of   Torah’s   central   role   in   Jewish   life   to   those   who   study   it   every   week with   our   rabbis   and   cantor,   our   Torah   project   found   people   where   they   were   and   moved them along their personal Jewish journeys. Though   some   believed   that   they   chose   the   letters   and   words   to   complete,   they   quickly   learned   that   the   place   in   the Torah   actually   chose   them.   This   Torah   project   became   a   touchstone   in   their   lives   and   forever   connected   them   to   this time   and   this   place.   When   more   than   900   people   arrived   for   our   Chanukah   Family   Service   to   dedicate   the   new   Torah, we   recited   Shehecheyanu   for   life’s   blessings,   which   God   grants   us,   and   for   the   privilege   to   share   in   the   extraordinary mitzvah   of   learning   and   living Torah.   Rabbi   David   Lyon,   Senior   Rabbi,   Congregation   Beth   Israel,   Houston, Texas,   on   our 160th Anniversary (1854-2015) _________________ Joseph Chesnick, Jr. - Head Chair - Congregation Beth Israel - Houston, TX   I   had   the   honor   of   serving   as   co-chair,   along   with   Roslyn   Haikin,   for   our   congregation's   160th   Anniversary   Celebration. The   main   component   of   this   special   year   was   the   dedication   of   a   new   Torah   to   commemorate   this   milestone   in   Beth Israel's historic history, being the oldest Jewish synagogue in the State of Texas. In   August,   2013,   we   wisely   selected   the   professionals   at   Sofer   On   Site    to   lead   us   through   the   preparation   and   full process   -   including   scribing   dates,   marketing,   volunteer   recruitment   and   fundraising.   Upon   the   dedication   of   our   Torah on   December   19,   2014,   we   now   have   a   chance   to   reflect   on   the   success   of   this   project.   We   are   proud   to   report   that   we achieved,   and   in   fact   surpassed,   all   our   goals   -   the   primary   one   being   our   intent   to   "include"   a   record   number   of   our Temple   community   and   end   the   year   with   a   strong   feeling   and   closeness   to   our   beloved   congregation   that   will   continue forward for many years. A   wonderful   by-product   was   the   success   of   our   fundraising   efforts   that   will   greatly   assist   us   with   projects   deemed important    by    our    clergy    and    lay    leadership.    Rabbis    Druin    and    Salazar    made    it    their    responsibility    to    learn    our community's   culture   and   history   which   aided   them   in   bonding   with   our   congregants   -   they   both   played   an   integral   role   in the   process   as   over   2,500   individuals   scribed   over   the   course   of   17   dates   during   the   past   anniversary   year   -   a remarkable number that gained momentum by word-of-mouth from those who enjoyed such a positive experience. We   wish   to   thank   all   the   wonderful   Rabbinic   associates   at   Sofer   On   Site    for   their   dedication   and   guidance   which   was instrumental to our success. _________________ Dawn Blitz - Marketing Chair - Congregation Beth Israel - Houston, TX Sofer   On   Site    is   always   willing   to   answer   questions,   provide   information,   share   best   practices   and   templates   that   have been   used   at   synagogues   all   over   the   country.   They   have   extremely   strong   systems   in   place   for   data   tracking,   program implementation and service delivery. Sofer On Site  is truly a one-stop-shop for Torah writing projects. _________________ Robert   E.   Lapin   -   President   -   Congregation   Beth   Israel   -   Houston,   TX I   can   share   with   great   pleasure   that   the   experience   we   had   with   Sofer   On   Site    was   extremely   positive   and   we   are grateful   for   the   partnership   we   enjoyed   throughout   our   project.   Of   greatest   significance   to   me,   however,   was   the   warmth, genuineness    and    sensitivity    which    characterized    all    of    Rabbi    Druin’s    and    Rabbi    Salazar’s    encounters    with    our congregants   and   staff   who   participated   in   the   scribing. To   a   person,   each   one   commented   on   how   meaningful   the   rabbis made the scribing experience and we are very grateful for that. Wish Sofer On Site  much continued success. _________________ Rosalyn   Margolis   -   Torah   Writing   Chair   -   Congregation   Beth   Israel,   TX While   my   direct   involvement   with   the   support   Rabbis   at   Sofer   On   Site    was   very   limited,   my   opportunities   to   observe Rabbi   Salazar   were   many.   As   head   of   volunteers   for   the   project,   I   attended   most   every   Scribing   Day,   having   the opportunity   to   see   Rabbi   Salazar   in   action.   He   was   not   only   delightfully   informative,   he   was   truly   indefatigable!   Every congregant left his presence spiritually uplifted as well as emotionally touched. The   activities   surrounding   the   scribing   process   was   very   impressive;   it   was   obvious   much   time   and   talent   went   into   their design and execution (thanks to our Chairmen). Our Torah Creation was truly a labor of love for us all!   ═══════════════════════════════ R abbi   Daniel   Alter   -   Denver   Academy   of   Torah,   CO Rabbi   Druin   talks   were   engaging,   funny,   educational   and   a   great   experience   overall   for our kids. Rabbi   Druin's   talks   were   engaging   and   informative.   His   talks   were   as   effective   when speaking   to   the   early   childhood   students   as   they   were   when   he   spoke   to   the   high school   students.   His   experiential,   hands   on   approach   to   education   was   very   much   in line   with   the   educational   philosophy   of   our   school.   we   highly   recommend   his   programs for students of all ages. _________________ Naomi   Lev,   MaEd   -   Assistant   Principal   -   Denver   Academy   of   Torah,   CO I   would   echo   Rabbi   Alter's   sentiments.   The   students   at   the   high   school   were   extremely   engaged   and   were   still   talking about the speech content a few days later. We   are   appreciative   of   this   opportunity   to   both   hear   an   inspirational   talk,   and   take   part   in   the   mitzvah   of   writing   a   sefer Torah. ═══════════════════════════════ R abbi Bruce Dollin, Cantor Martin Goldstein Sheryl Feiler (Head Chair), Neal Price & Lauried Morris (Fundraising Chairs) Congregation Hebrew Educational Alliance - Denver, CO Working    with    Sofer    On    Site ,    and    in    particular    Rabbi    Druin,    was    an    absolute    pleasure.    Their    expertise    and professionalism   could   not   possibly   be   surpassed. They   guided   us   throughout   our   Mitzvah   613   campaign,   and   there   turn- about time for helping us with campaign materials was fantastic. Over   the   course   of   a   year,   over   700   of   our   families   met   individually   with   Rabbi   Druin   to   learn   about   the   meaning   of   the letter   they   were   to   write,   and   to   hold   his   hand   and/or   quill   as   the   letter   was   written.   The   individual   words   of   Torah   the Rabbi   imparted   to   each   family   were   truly   inspiring.   Many   told   us   this   was   not   only   one   of   the   most   meaningful   actions they had taken as a Jew, but that it was a memorable life-event. In   addition   to   allowing   so   many   to   fulfill   this   mitzvah,   the   congregation   had   a   very   successful   “Dedication   Campaign”   that added significantly to our Endowment Fund. I   cannot   emphasize   too   much,   what   a   wonderful   experience   working   with   Sofer   On   Site   was   to   our   committee   and congregants. Our members were brought closer to our congregation in so many ways. ═══════════════════════════════ R abbi Robert Haas - Congregation Mickve Israel - Savannah, GA In   early   2014,   our   synagogue,   Congregation   Mickve   Israel   of   Savannah,   had   the   great pleasure   of   dedicating   our   first   new   Torah   scroll   in   over   150   years,   and   we   were   so very    fortunate    to    have    chosen    to    undergo    this    project    with    Sofer    On    Site.    They ensured   that   every   single   aspect   of   the   project   went   extremely   smoothly,   from   the choosing   of   the   script   to   the   dedication   itself.   Every   member   of   their   staff   worked   diligently   to   ensure   the   project   was completed on time, and they couldn’t have been more caring and supportive throughout the process. I   cannot   begin   to   detail   the   joy   of   our   congregants   when   they   actually   filled   in   the   letters   that   they   themselves   dedicated on   the   scroll.   Every   family   received   a   wonderful   explanation   on   the   meaning   of   the   portion   and   a   mystical   view   of   the letters   they   wrote,   and   the   rabbi   could   not   have   been   nicer. Yet,   none   of   these   great   experience   were   unexpected,   as   we had   heard   from   several   synagogues   that   Sofer   On   Site   was   a   wonderful   organization.   In   fact,   we   just   recently   had   a Torah Scroll refurbished and look forward to our next project with them, the refurbishing of our very old Megillah. Sincerely, ═══════════════════════════════ C ol.   Martin   Siegel   (Ret)   -   President   -   Temple   Beth   Shalom,   Fort   Walton   Beach,   FL   Dear Rabbi Bialo On   behalf   of   Temple   Beth   shalom   I   want   to   thank   Rabbi   Salazar   and   your   organization for   the   excellent   service   you   have   provided.   The   presentation   and   the   writing   of   letters in   the   Torah   was   without   doubt   the   highlight   of   the   many   years   I   have   been   at   the Temple and of my term as President of the Temple. I   have   attached   a   copy   of   the   last   Temple   bulletin   with   the   column   I   wrote   on   the   history   of   our   Holocaust   Torah.   My   twin brother   and   I   in August   traveled   to   Lithuania.   Poland   and   Czech   Republic   to   in   order   to   find   out   more   information   about our   family   history.   We   visited   many   synagogues,   cemeteries,   museums   and   many   other   memorial   sites.   It   was   in   Prague at   the   Jerusalem   Synagogue   that   we   saw   the   display   about   Ledec.   Of   course   the   most   moving   visit   was   to   Auschwitz where we spent a full day. Again,   I   would   like   to   express   my   personal   thanks   for   making   my   term   as Temple   President   a   success. This Torah   will   be used for many generations of Jews in Fort Walton Beach and will be a reminder to “never forget.” ═══════════════════════════════ R abbi Malcolm Cohen - Temple Sinai Las Vegas, NV Dear Rabbi Goldstein, Our   experience   with   Sofer   On   Site   was   very   positive.   Rabbi   Druin's   presentations were    well    received.    Sofer    On    Site    was    organized    and    helpful.    The    congregation received   inspiration   during   their   writing   sessions.   I   wrote   the   letter   raysh   at   the   end   of D'varim.   The   writing   took   place   at   the   end   of   the   dedication   ceremony   of   the   shul   and the   Torah.   Writing   the   raysh,   I   felt   great   responsibility   as   the   'rosh"   of   the   kehilah   for helping the congregation write our next chapter. I   am   really   appreciative   of   everything   you   have   done   for   us.   I   have   spoken   to   many congregants   about   the   project   and   they   were   all   positive.   They   enjoyed   and   were   inspired   by   Rabbi   Druin’s   talks   before the   letter   writing.   The   talks   gave   them   new   insight   and   knowledge   into   the   whole   process.   The   young   people   also appreciated   this   aspect   of   the   project.   There   was   great   excitement   for   your   visit   to   the   Religious   School.   The   most impactful   piece   was,   of   course,   the   actual   writing.   Many   people   spoke   about   their   conversations   with   Rabbi   Druin   and how the writing was a “once in a lifetime” deal. Thank you for the contribution you have made to our community.   L’shalom _________________ Rick   Hollander   -   Temple   Sinai   Las   Vegas,   NV Our   Torah   project   successfully   bridged   together   the   entire   congregation   as   we   also   built   out   a   new   campus.   As   the President   of   the   congregation   at   that   time,   It   is   rare   when   one   strategy   can   transform   and   be   universal   no   matter   what demographic of our membership. On   a   personal   note,   While   being   present   for   much   of   the   scribing,   I   saw   our   congregants   transfixed   by   explanations   of their   scribing   letter   and   meanings,   with   even   a   few   miracles   that   some   told   me   about   after   Rabbi   Druin's   interpretations and explanations. My one regret, was not having a journal for individual and families and the immediate and post scribing experiences. Watching this experience, I now understand "tears of joy" ═══════════════════════════════ Tom Carroll - Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe, NM Sofer   On   Site   helped   us   to   preserve   a   vital   piece   of   history,   one   which   we   had   a   moral responsibility   to   maintain. The   project   is   over,   the Torah   scroll   is   back   in   its   rightful   place and   being   used   by   our   congregation.   It   looks   great,   by   the   way.   We   had   to   decide   early on   if   the   costs   were   worth   it,   and   after   all   this   I   would   say   that   yes,   it   was   worth   it.   In   my view,   this   is   extremely   important   work,   and   you   helped   make   this   happen.   Good   luck   in future restorations. Shana Tova. _________________ Cindy Lyon & Daniel Yohalem - Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe, NM Rabbi   Moshe   Druin   made   everyone   feel   welcome   and   connected   to   the   Torah.   He   valued   the   importance   of   having women   participate   fully   in   this   project,   which   was   very   important   to   our   congregation.   He   was   thoughtful,   respectful, open,   interesting,   spiritual,   funny,   and   engaging.   We   learned   many   interesting   things   about   the   calligraphy   and   style   of our Czech Torah, and the Montefiore Las Vegas scroll, which has even older, Kabbalistic details. The   structure   of   the   scribing   sessions   was   very   effective.   We   added   our   own   details   such   as   the   rock   painting   project   to commemorate   the   letters   and   the   Talk   Torah   area   where   people   chatted   with   our   Rabbi,   Chazan   and   educators   about their   birth   portions   and   their   connection   to   Torah.   Most   participants   found   the   experience   deeply   moving.   We   could   not have created this learning and spiritual experience without the guidance, leadership and participation of Sofer On Site. Another   example   of   Sofer's   leadership   was   the   Closing   Ceremony.   We   might   not   have   known   the   importance   of   a closing   ceremony   had   Sofer   not   suggested   it.   Having   congregants   watch   as   the   last   letters   were   scribed   and   the   scroll was    stitched    back    onto    the    Aytz    Chayim    was    moving    and    gave    us    all    a    feeling    of    connection    to    the    Torah, accomplishment and closure. Overall,   this   has   been   a   rewarding   and   important   learning   and   community   building   process   for   Temple   Beth   Shalom. Most   importantly,   we   have   a   restored   Holocaust   Torah   and   a   vibrant   part   of   the   congregation   who   participated   in   this process. Thank you for working with us to make it happen. _________________ Meryl Marchand - Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe, NM I   had   the   privilege   of   working   with   Rabbi   Goldstein   on   our   Holocaust   Torah   Restoration   Project.   His   patience,   creativity and his brilliant computer skill made working with him a total joy.
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Torah         is         the         prized         inheritance        of         the         Jewish         people.         It         moves,        motivates,         and         unites         us         as         a        nation.         For      3,000         years         we         have        learned      to      live      our      lives      through     the          teachings,          guidance          and       message      of      Torah.      We   search      for     new        ways        to        bring        ourselves      closer      to      it.      At      Sofer      On      Site,      we     are      honored      to      provide      beautiful STa’M        of        the        highest        Halachic      standards,      while      bringing      Torah’s     timeless        messages        to        you,        and      inspire generations to come.
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