New York: First Prize - A Sefer Torah From Israel
A new synagogue is being built in Queens by the family of Michael Yagudaev. The synagogue, being built for the Bukharan community in Kew Garden Hills, will be six stories tall and will include schools, a Talmud Torah, and a handsomely appointed prayer hall.
The aim, said a member of the congregation, is to enhance the Jewish identity of the large Bukharan Jewish community in Queens. “We will have Torah classes in Bukharian, with speakers who will address congregants in their native language. The new synagogue will unify the entire community,” the community member said.
Members of the community appealed to the general Jewish community for assistance in completing the building, and held a special gala evening. The latter answered with unprecedented support, and as a thank-you to its supporters, the synagogue decided to raffle off a special gift – a Sefer Torah from the Land of Israel.