Over 250 men, women and children attended the joyful dedication ceremony Sunday, June 22, of the first Torah scroll to be owned by the Plano branch of DATA, the Dallas Area Torah Association.
The ceremony was held at the DATA of Plano Center, 3198 W. Parker Road, Suite 3124, located between Half-Price Books and Firestone Tire.
The Torah scroll, named the “Verschleisser Family Torah,” is a gift from Moshe and Annette Nudell of Baltimore, Md., in honor of Mrs. Nudell’s parents and in memory of her brother. The Nudells are parents of Mrs. Shifra Robkin, wife of DATA of Plano Co-Director Rabbi Yogi Robkin.
Prior to receiving the gift of the scroll, DATA of Plano was required to borrow a Torah from various synagogues in order to hold services.
The dedication ceremony included a joyous processional in which the Torah was paraded and danced with, prior to being installed in the ark inside the Center.
The ceremony signals the beginning of a new era for DATA of Plano, which has experienced tremendous growth since it was founded five years ago by Rabbi Yaakov and Suri Rosenblatt, later led by Rabbi Shimson and Sara Silkin and, most recently, Rabbi Chanoch and Sarah Oppenheim.
DATA of Plano serves the greater Plano community through classes, programs, family activities, and Shabbat weekends that include services, classes and meals.
“We are touching Jews from many segments of Jewish observance: from the completely unaffiliated to those wishing to grow beyond their less-observant roots,” Rabbi Robkin said.
“Young families are moving into the neighborhood to be part of DATA,” DATA Co-Director Rabbi Nesanya Zakon added, “and we hope it will become another successful, full-blown Jewish community like those connected with other DATA branches south of LBJ and in Far North Dallas.
“We’re committed to stemming the tide of the spiritual holocaust that has occurred in the U.S. by creating a new generation of Jews who are connected, rather than disconnected.”
DATA of Plano is a branch of the Dallas Area Torah Association. Since its founding in 1992, DATA has become the premier Jewish learning institution in North Texas, providing classes, special events, ongoing programs, personal guidance to individuals and couples, and other means to impart Torah wisdom to Jews of all backgrounds and levels of observance and of all ages.
The eight rabbinical couples who make up the DATA faculty service over 600 Jews a week. Classes are offered at three DATA locations — 5840 Forest Lane in North Dallas, 3198 W. Parker Road in Plano, and 18616 Thomas Chapel Road in Far North Dallas — as well as at area businesses and synagogues.