Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
A gift from the heart: custom High Holiday Torah covers
Edythe Cohen wasn’t born in Texas but, as the saying goes, she and her husband, Noel, got here as fast as they could some 50 years ago when they moved their English and Western store from New Jersey to Texas.
And the rest is history, a history of Edythe Cohen’s involvement in many arenas in Fort Worth, particularly the Jewish community where her activities — such as managing the Judaica Shop — have utilized her talents and fulfilled her desire to enhance Jewish life.
And so it was not surprising that when Cohen scanned Beth-El’s Wish List of needed and desired items, her decision to purchase new High Holiday Torah covers came easily.
“I wanted to ‘give back’ something significant that would be a lasting legacy for generations of worship at Beth-El,” she said. “It was a pleasure.”
And thus began the months-long process of creating six custom-designed High Holiday Torah covers.
Working with Custom Judaica, a Tucson, Arizona company that has created keepsakes and ritual items for customers on five continents, Cohen worked closely with Beth-El President Laurie Kelfer, studying pictures of designs as well as fabric swatches and trims and then reviewing and approving the finished covers. Each Torah mantle features a white chenille (velvet-like upholstery) background with silver-and-gold textured bands and neutral colors that complement the artistic, elegant designs.
Each Torah cover displays a different theme. The six themes are: “Behold It Was Very Good,” “Etz Chayim” (Tree of Life), “Pomegranates,” “L’Shanah Tovah” (Shofar Trio), “Shalom Ahava” (Peace and Love), and “Yom Teruah” (Day of Trumpets).
The inscription, “A Gift from Edythe Cohen, In Memory of Noel Arthur Cohen,” graces the back of each Torah cover, which will be stored in acid-free boxes until the next High Holiday season.
— Submitted by Arlene Reynolds