Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Bagels, lox, latkes and learning

Sixty people gathered on a Wednesday afternoon in December expecting to hear the Chanukah story. Much to everyone’s surprise, Susan Bernstein began speaking about the art of writing the Torah. As the residents of Oakmonte Village in Lake Mary feasted on their bagels, lox and latkes, Bernstein, a program director for the Jewish Pavilion, began to speak.

She described the process from the requirements to become a Sofer, the preparation of the parchment, the special ink, the writing and assembly process and the final Torah. She also spoke about the laws and traditions for handling the Torah and maintaining its sanctity.

Bernstein then showed tefillin arm and head pieces and the scrolls inside also prepared by a Sofer. She shared a copy of a Tikun, used for pronunciation and chanting.

As lunch and the presentation concluded, 15 more minutes of questions and answers continued. Many of the audience came up to Bernstein to share their own Torah stories and thank her for sharing her time and knowledge.

Bernstein conducts a Lunch & Learn at Oakmonte Village Lake Mary quarterly. Every Friday she conducts Shabbat services at Oakmonte Village’s independent and assisted living buildings. Bernstein also conducts services and prepares holiday parties at other buildings throughout the greater Orlando area for the Jewish Pavilion. Volunteers are welcome to join the services and festivities. Contact the Jewish Pavilion at 407-678-9363 or check out the website at http://www.jewishpavilion.org.


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