Brandeis Today

Spring 2023 A New Torah for Brandeis

A New Torah for Brandeis

The Brandeis Campus has evolved over the years as have our relationships with our neighbors on Brotherhood Way like the KZV Armenian School where our students gather annually to connect and share cultures. Just up the hill, Brandeis has utilized our neighbor synagogue for many years to celebrate tefillot, Purim spiels, and graduation with our students and their families. Most recently, life next door shifted as Congregation Am Tikvah formed as a merger of two legacy San Francisco Jewish communities, B’nai Emunah and Beth Israel Judea. The synagogue continues to be a place that our community is bonded to as a partner in Jewish life and learning - one that holds many joyful moments of celebration and growth. 
As a result of this merger, Am Tikvah realized they had an extra legacy Torah which they generously offered to loan to Brandeis to replace our fragile and damaged Torah. On January 23rd, Executive Director of Am Tikvah and Brandeis alumna and parent Talya Brass Kesselman ‘94 joined Brandeis Director of Jewish Learning Debby Arzt-Mor and seventh grade students to gather for a ceremony in which the Torah was delivered to Brandeis.

The Uherský Brod Scroll, a rescued Czechoslovakian Torah, comes with a history of its own and was loaned to B’nai Emunah from the Memorial Scrolls Trust of London. Talya dedicated the Torah to our school, ”as the community who gets to give light to its lessons for the 21st century.” Following the dedication, just days away from his Bar Mitzvah, seventh grade student Max Yugoff read from the Torah and it was placed in the Ark in our Beit Midrash. 

Debby Arzt-Mor closed the ceremony sharing that, “While the name of Am Tikvah might be a new one, our relationship with our neighbor as Jewish community remains unchanged and that together we will continue to help our students grow as Jews, good people, and leaders.” We are grateful to have these special relationships with our neighbors and friends on Brotherhood Way who support our school, our students' lives and learning, and our community.