Over 300 people gathered at Scotland’s oldest Synagogue for a historic sefer dedication in honor of Scotland’s senior and longest serving Rabbi and Rebbetzin Chaim and Sora Jacobs.
The Lubavitch of Scotland 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Sefer Torah dedication was held on Sunday, January 11 in the Glasgow city centre.
The event was to celebrate 45 years of active shlichus service on behalf of the Lubavitcher Rebbe establishing and running Lubavitch in Scotland, the work carried out by Rabbi Chaim and Sora Jacobs, together with their son and daughter-in-law Rabbi Mendel and Tzirl Jacobs and Rabbi Pinny and Gitty Weinman in Edinburgh.
Over the past 16 months a Sefer Torah was written in their honor, sponsored by family, friends and supporters from near and far.
The day’s events began in the morning with the writing of the final letters in the Torah by a cross section of members of the local Jewish community at the Jacobs home. This included letters being written by the sons and sons in law of the family, with the final two letters written by Rabbi Chaim Jacobs.
In the afternoon the dedication service was followed by a concert with the Shabbaton choir of London.
The proceedings began with Rabbi Jacobs entering the Shul carrying the new Torah scroll under a chupa. The chupa was held by his grandsons Zushe and Dovid from London, Avrohom from Glasgow, Ari from Birmingham and Menach from New York as well as Moishe from Melbourne, Australia. The hakofos were led first by Rabbi Chaim Jacobs and the family and then by the local Rabbonim, community leaders and close friends. The lively simcha dancing with Chaim Jacobs being carried on the shoulders of Michael Firestone of London saw a large crowd up and dancing.
The electric atmosphere created by the choir led by conductor Steven Levey and Chazanim Rabbis Lionel Rosenfeld and Danny Bergson was fantastic. The choir entertained for almost an hour and a half.
During the interval a celebration tea was served, supplied by L’Chaim’s Restaurant and organized by Sora Jacobs, and a historic ten minute video of activities over the past 45 years was shown.
The key address was given by Rabbi Chaim Jacobs. Mincha was led by Rabbi Mendel Jacobs, a selection of psalms from Hallel was sung by Sholom Jacobs. The afternoon’s proceedings were chaired by Rabbi Yossi Jacobs.
The event concluded with presentations, including a Yad by Rabbi Shmuel Arkush who spoke on behalf Lubavitch, UK. The vote of thanks was given by close friend Dr. Steven Kayne.
On Monday morning the Torah was read at a morning service at ‘shul in the park’ and later at a special shacharis minyan held at the Jacobs home. The Torah reading was read by grandson Zushe Sandman who lives in London.
Dignitaries in attendance included: Councilor Martin Rhodes, councilor with responsibility for communities; who represented the Leader of the council Councilor Gordon Matheson; Bailie Liz Cameron represented the Lord Provost of Glasgow; Councilor Alastair Carmichael the Provost of East Renfrewshire Council.
Messages were received for the occasion from Sir Malcolm Rifking MP, a long standing friend of Lubavitch, and the Rt Hon Lord Provost Donald Wilson The Lord Provost of Edinburgh.
Rabbi Chaim Jacobs Address at 45th Anniversary Celebration