When Rabbi Neil Kraft passed away from Covid at the end of March last year, there was no doubt in the mind of any of the members at Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue that a lasting memorial was needed to ensure that his name would forever live on in the hearts and minds of all who knew him.
Eventually it was agreed that the best memorial possible would be for the writing of a Torah Scroll to be commissioned in Rabbi Kraft’s name.
In February this year, articles and messages started appearing within the synagogue magazine and weekly community email urging members to donate and pledge towards this most worthy cause.
Over £30,000 was needed before the synagogue could give the go-ahead for the Scroll to be written, and by early May that target was reached thanks to the generosity of over 200 donors.
Laurence Stein, chairperson of this fundraising initiative commented, “I am staggered at the response from the members of EHRS as well as some non-members. We expected it to take many months to reach our target but Rabbi Kraft was a much loved, respected and greatly appreciated man and Rabbi, and those who admired him just wanted to donate as quickly as they could. Neil taught, loved and cherished Torah, so a new Scroll is the perfect lasting memorial.”
Ideally a few more donations are still required in order that new breastplates, rimmonim, and a yad can be purchased, and if anyone would like to donate they can email email@example.com with the amount they’d like to donate and their telephone number.
It is hoped that the new Scroll will be ready in time for next year’s High Holy Days.