On Wednesday, the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) and the International Young Israel Movement – Israel Region (IYIM) donate a Sefer Torah to the IDF for the 187th time. This was done as part of a project which has been running for the past 12 years and was initiated by NCYI Executive Vice President Rabbi Pesach Lerner and Rabbi Yedidya Atlas of the IDF Rabbinate. The unique project allows for IDF soldiers in bases throughout Israel to fulfill their spiritual needs, while connecting them with synagogues in the United States..
The NCYI – Ruby Davidman Sifrei Torah for the IDF Project is named for the late Ruby Davidman, a gentleman who made aliyah over 30 years ago and volunteered on behalf of Eretz Israel, Torat Israel and especially the soldiers of Israel.
During a special ceremony attended by Davidman’s wife on Wednesday morning, the scroll was placed in the ark of the synagogue located in the IDF’s main base in Gush Etzion. The donated scrolls are brought to Israel from synagogues throughout North America. They are in a worn or damaged state and donors are found to repair them and rededicate them in memory of loved ones. Upon their arrival in Israel, the scrolls are placed in different army bases according to the needs of the IDF.
This particular Sefer Torah was rededicated by Joe and Rozanne Polansky (formerly of North Bellmore, NY, now Jerusalem) and Gershon and Braina Tryfus (of West Hempstead, NY) through the Gemach [charity fund, ed.] of Young Israel of North Bellmore.
The Young Israel Movement is an organization whose purpose is “to foster and maintain a program of spiritual, cultural, social and communal activity towards the advancement and perpetuation of traditional Torah-true Judaism; and to instill into American Jewish youth an understanding and appreciation of the high ethical and spiritual values of Judaism and demonstrate the compatibility of the ancient faith of Israel with good Americanism,” states its website.
“The National Council of Young Israel is proud to be the conduit for so many Young Israel and non Young Israel synagogues in the USA and Canada to send our IDF soldiers a Torah scroll for their daily and Shabbat needs,” said Rabbi Pesach Lerner. “These soldiers put their lives on the line every day to protect their people and land, this is the very least we can do. It is indeed an honor.”