Sullivan synagogue gets support after Torah scroll theft

| January 9, 2012

MONTICELLO — Shock, outrage and sadness filled Monticello's oldest synagogue Sunday afternoon in response to the theft of its sacred Torah scroll two weeks ago.

Inside the Landfield Avenue Synagogue, about 75 people gathered to show their support and ask for the return of the scroll.

"When God sees that so many people care, he would review the case and hand down another ruling," said Rabbi Moshe Frank of Congregation Ezrath Israel in Ellenville.

The $35,000 Sefer Torah was stolen Dec. 31, along with $200 meant for charity.

No arrests have been made.

"It's slow going, but we have several leads," said Monticello police Chief Doug Solomon.

The synagogue received the scroll in 1997 to replace a 100-year-old Torah that was in bad shape. The stolen Torah took more than a year to make and was handwritten by a scribe in Israel known as a sofer.

The sofer wrote each of the Torah's roughly 304,000 letters individually with the tip of a goose feather.

Synagogue board of directors member Jeffrey Wechsler said many of the congregation members are elderly and on fixed incomes — which could make it hard to help raise money for a new Torah, much less a better security system.

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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