FANWOOD/SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — Congregation Temple Sholom held a Torah march Sunday, marking the official move into its newly constructed building at 1925 Lake Ave. in Scotch Plains.
Members of the congregation took turns carrying the holy scrolls as they walked for two hours from Fanwood Presbyterian Church, which hosted the Reform Jewish congregation for more than 10 years.
“What a wonderful day. I’m holding back the tears,” said Temple Sholom President Suzanne Lyte.
Rabbi Joel Abraham thanked everyone who contributed to making the dream of a new building in Scotch Plains a reality.
"So many people have worked so hard to make sure that this congregation has thrived, serving its members and the community for one hundred years. So many have worked to create this new home to go forward into our second century,” said Abraham.
Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr and Fanwood Police Chief Richard Trigo marched along with the members.
“Good luck to all of you. Thank you for being such wonderful neighbors while you were here,” Mahr told the congregation at the beginning of the march.
Fanwood Police Chief Richard Trigo told the crowd, “Congratulations on your new home and best of luck.”
Once the marchers arrived at the new building, the Torahs were taken inside and many of the more than 100 congregants present saw the completed inside of the building for the first time.
Afterward, a housewarming barbecue was held outside.
Founded in 1913, the Reform congregation of Temple Sholom left Plainfield in 2003 and spent more than 10 years sharing space with Fanwood Presbyterian Church—a favor returned, as one of the founding members of Temple Sholom had donated the land to the church. Last summer, the congregation broke ground in Scotch Plains.
On the evening of Friday, Sept. 12, the temple invites the community to attend a special dedication service.
For the congregation's first High Holiday services in its new home, tickets are available to anyone in the community. Temple Sholom also hosts free family services for the High Holidays open to everyone that don't require tickets. (RSVP requested.)
Religious school begins Sept. 7.