Tuesday, November 23, 2010


The FJMC Sefer Haftorah Visits Anshei Darom

Since it was first unveiled during the 2003 FJMC Biennial Convention in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the FJMC Sefer Haftorah scroll - a parchment scroll containing the entire year’s Haftorah readings, complete with vowels and trope notes - has traveled around North America to Men’s Clubs and Brotherhoods, to regional retreats and to FJMC conventions. It has been used in synagogues from West Coast to East Coast, from Florida to Canada.

As part of this year’s itinerary, the Sefer Haftorah made a stop at Congregation Or Hadash in Sandy Springs, Georgia last week. Here’s Stan Schnitzer, President of Congregation Or Hadash Men’s Club, with his commentary on the visit...

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“This is really cool! This is really cool!”

That was the reaction of Rabbi Dr. Analia Bortz, co-spiritual leader of Congregation Or Hadash, Sandy Springs, GA, when she saw the FJMC Sefer Haftorah for the first time.

“Wow,” she said. “I have never seen anything like this.”

Neither had the congregation’s 50 Religious School students and teachers who gathered around to hear the story of how chanting the Haftorah and how the Sefer Haftorah project was born. Club President Stan Schnitzer, as past member of the FJMC Executive Committee and past president of the Northern New Jersey Region and Temple Beth Shalom (Livingston, NJ) Men’s Club, was able to tell some of the personal stories about people involved whose names are inscribed.

Stan Schnitzer and Rabbi Dr. Analia Bortz share the Sefer Haftorah with Or Hadash Hebrew School students.

On Shabbat morning, club member Aaron Stambler chanted the Haftorah from the scroll. Aaron is one of our congregation’s frequent Torah readers and Haftorah chanters, and he was most appreciative of being able to have the honor of this reading, the first in our congregation. The congregation is only seven years old, and the Men’s Club was formed four years ago and just affiliated last year.

The Men’s Club was extremely pleased to be able to bring this FJMC treasure to the congregation, and our rabbis and congregants are already looking forward to the next time the Sefer Haftorah can visit our synagogue.

The Sefer Haftorah travels from one congregation to the next every week. Where distances are great, the scroll is shipped via common carrier... but within the Southeast region, we try to add the personal touch. In the true Men’s Club spirit of brotherhood, Stan and his counterpart from the Temple Israel Men’s Club in Charlotte, NC, Mike Eisner, had met for lunch in Duncan, SC - midway between their synagogues - and had had lunch while making the transfer. (For those of you with New Jersey roots, it was Exit 63 off I-85.) After Shabbat, Stan then handed the Sefer Haftorah off to Steve Krodman, Anshei Darom Region President and member of Congregation Etz Chaim Men’s Club – the scroll’s next stop.



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