New Sefer Torah for Children is Dedicated at Kol Avrohom
For the past six years, Congregation Bais Bezalel on Pico Boulevard has hosted a children’s minyan named Kol Avrohom. Headed by Rabbi Zalmy Hecht, Kol Avrohom offers lively and inspiring davening for boys and girls from pre1-A through bar or bas mitzvah, when the young congregants become counselors and help Rabbi Hecht run the program. Some of the older boys become chazzanim and baalei koreh.
Soon after Shavuos, Kol Avrohom reached a new milestone when it welcomed its very own sefer Torah. Until then, the minyan had been borrowing sifrei Torah from Bais Bezalel, making do with whichever one was available, but its members and their parents yearned for a sefer Torah of their own.
Rabbi Hecht shared their sentiments with his father, Rabbi Eli Hecht, Chabad shliach in Lomita, California. Rabbi Hecht senior loved the idea and decided to make it happen, in loving memory of his parents, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Avrohom and Liba Hecht, for whom Kol Avrohom is named, and also in memory of his son, habochur hatamim, R’ Yehoshua Hecht, who passed away earlier this year.
The completion and dedication of the sefer Torah, which took place on Sunday, June 16th, was a beautiful event. Rabbi Dovid Nissen Bressman, a renowned sofer and a proud Kol Avrohom parent, oversaw the completion and filling in of the letters. Many local rabbis participated in the ceremony, as well as the Biala Rebbe of Bnei Brak, who was visiting Los Angeles at the time. The last letters were carefully filled in by the rav of Bais Bezalel, Rabbi Moshe Levin, and Rabbi Eli Hecht, who noted that the last two letters, alef and lamed, are the initials of his dear parents, R’ Avrohom and Liba, in whose memory this Torah is dedicated.
Many children and adults joined the lively procession, which paraded with dancing and singing from Bais Chaya Mushka, down Pico Boulevard, to Bais Bezalel, where the participants enjoyed hakafos and a festive meal.
The young members of Kol Avrohom found the event especially meaningful. They each received a badge bearing the words “I am a proud member of Kol Avrohom Kids,” with material of the new Torah’s mantel placed in it. “When we use this sefer Torah on Shabbos, the children are excited to touch and kiss their own sefer Torah,” says Rabbi Zalmy Hecht.