Rabbi Neil Kraft z”l Torah Scroll

Commissioning a new Torah Scroll in the name of our dear Rabbi Neil Kraft z"l

In just a few weeks, we will be commemorating the yahrzeit of Rabbi Neil Kraft z”l, who as you will all recall, passed away from Covid-19 towards the end of March 2020.

The Synagogue Council has agreed that it would like to commission a Torah Scroll in Rabbi Kraft’s name, as a lasting memorial to this much loved rabbi.

We very much want contributions for this Scroll to come from our community and from friends of Rabbi Kraft. This would ensure that on any occasion we entered the sanctuary during a Shabbat or a Chag and saw this Scroll especially written to honour Rabbi Kraft’s name that we would appreciate that the donations had come directly from the community he served for nearly 20 years.

We are able to commission the writing of a new Torah Scroll for £30,000. That cost will increase as it is likely that a mantle for the Scroll will need to be designed, and we will also need to purchase bells (rimmonim), and a yad etc. The total cost will be approximately £35,000.

We would love our members to sponsor part of the writing of the Scroll, and suggested amounts are as follows:
A letter would cost £1
A word would cost £5
A verse would cost £30 (if you wish to choose a particular verse the cost would be £50)
A chapter would cost £100
An entire portion/sedrah would cost £600
One of the Five Books of Moses would cost £6000.
Obviously, any other donations would be greatly and very much appreciated.

We are hopeful that those who celebrated their bar/batmitzvah (or their family) with Rabbi Kraft may wish to donate, as well as those who were married by him. It is possible that those who have lost loved ones, for whom Rabbi Kraft officiated at the funeral would also like to contribute. Rabbi Kraft also helped many of our members through the conversion process and we envisage that some of those members may wish to contribute.

Those who wish to donate have a choice. You can either donate immediately, in which case your money will be held in the EHRS account, or your could make a pledge, and when the required amount has been reached which allows us to commission the writing of the Scroll we would then come to you for the actual donation.

With over 3,000 members EHRS has the largest synagogue membership of any reform Shul in Europe. Bearing that in mind, we are confident that your generosity will ensure that we can purchase this ‘Community Torah Scroll’ which will be a permanent reminder of the affection Rabbi Kraft had and still has in our hearts.

Please do contact me by email at scroll@ehrs.uk, informing me whether you wish to pledge an amount or donate immediately. Please let me know the amount you wish to donate, include your telephone number, and I will call you very soon after your email has been received.

Thank you so much, Laurence Stein

Please join us on Zoom as we launch our Rabbi Neil Kraft Memorial Scroll programme on Sunday 14 March at 11:00 for an intergenerational interactive morning of discovery. We will explore how a Torah scroll is written, why we would want to have one written, and what else a sofer or Torah scribe does. This event will take place just a day before Rabbi Kraft’s yahrzeit. Please look out for the Zoom link in forthcoming Our Week Ahead emails, or email admin@ehrs.uk.