We are thrilled that you have been asked to receive a Torah Aliyah in honor of one of our students becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah. We ask that you read this brief set of instructions, and hope they will be helpful to you in preparing to participate with us. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call.
WHAT IS AN ALIYAH ? Aliyah means "going up." It refers to the honor of going up to the sanctuary bimah (the space from which a service is led) to participate in one of our worship rituals. A Torah aliyah is different from most other bimah opportunities because there are requirements regarding who may participate, and there is some preparation as well.
At Congregation Kol Ami we are privileged to have Czech Memorial Torah Scroll #45, which is estimated to be between 200 and 250 years old. It’s provenance is from Brno, now in the Czech republic and likely came from one of the many small village communities in the countryside near the city.
The torah came to Kol Ami in October of 1973 through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Petschek. Mr. Petschek’s grandmother was born in Brno and he thus asked for the privilege of acquiring the scroll. On Friday, December 7, 1973 at the 50th Anniversary of the Congregation, the Torah was introduced into the service as part of the celebration.
The Nazis collected gold and silver ornaments, ceremonial objects and Torah scrolls from towns all over Europe. [See note] A group of Czechoslovakian Jews was forced to arrange and catalogue the items which had been assembled in Prague. After the war, the Communist Government of Czechoslovakia released the Torahs scrolls.