June 13, 2024
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Zichron Dovid in West Orange Welcomes New Sefer Torah to Mark Special Bnei Mitzvah

New sefer Torah is welcomed at Beit Knesset Zichron Dovid in West Orange in honor of Philip and Jacob Abrahamian.

This Shabbat, Parshat Bo, twins Jacob and Philip Abrahamian will finally get to lein their bar mitzvah parsha at Beit Knesset Zichron Dovid in West Orange.

Unlike other bar mitzvahs that take place all across Jewish communities, Philip and Jacob did not start learning for this moment a year ago. In fact, it wasn’t until a recent confluence of events that the boys decided they would even take a more active role in this rite of passage.

The boys’ parents, Shimshon and Elena Abrahamian, have been a part of the community and members of Beit Knesset Zichron Dovid for a while. But it was only recently that they became more involved in the synagogue, regularly attending minyanim on Shabbat and weekdays.

Philip and Jacob Abrahamian with the new sefer Torah.

Until the middle of October, Jacob and Philip had been attending public school. Their parents had been considering moving them to a Jewish day school, but when the October 7 attacks occurred and antisemitism rose to unprecedented levels in this country, they knew it was time to make the switch, even if that meant it would happen well after the school year had begun.

Through the community’s strong kiruv efforts and initiative, the parents enrolled Philip and Jacob in JEC’s seventh grade class. In no time at all, the boys acclimated to their new environment, proudly donning tzitzit, thriving in the Torah-rich environment and enthusiastically embracing all that a Jewish day school has to offer.

From there, plans commenced for the boys to become bar mitzvah.

To further enhance this important milestone, a few months ago Shimshon decided to have a sefer Torah dedicated in honor of his family on the occasion of his sons’ upcoming bar mitzvah. Shul Founder Dr. Joe Rozehzadeh brought back the sefer Torah from Israel just a few weeks ago and the congregation joyfully celebrated a magnificent hachnasat sefer Torah this past Sunday, January 14.

Shimshon Abrahamian, father of Philip and Jacob.

Rozehzadeh recalled how the sofer (scribe) was especially moved by this particular hachnasat sefer Torah after seeing how deeply emotional the experience was for the whole family. As the final letters were being inscribed, Rozehzadeh said “there were literally tears in their eyes and they were so grateful to Hakadosh Baruch Hu to be able to take part in this incredible mitzvah. They came full circle.”

Indeed, these two young men, who were students in a public school just a few months ago, are now on the cusp of gil mitzvot, wearing tzitzit every day and about to lein their parsha from a sefer Torah dedicated by their family.

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