Keynote by Nicole Krauss
In 1862, forty families from Central Europe moved to Brooklyn and established Congregation Beth Elohim. They arrived with two Torah scrolls, bought cemetery plots, and began an inspiring journey of teaching the eternal values of the Jewish tradition, offering words of prayer, and performing acts of lovingkindness to their membership and the surrounding community.
During this remarkable 150 year period, an American Civil War was fought to end slavery, women gained suffrage, Israel became a nation, and major Civil Rights legislation was passed--and during each of those monumental moments, members of Congregation Beth Elohim were active and present in those historic achievements. On the occasion of celebrating our 150th Anniversary as a sacred community, Congregation Beth Elohim commissioned the writing of a new Sefer Torah--the first written by a female scribe orsoferet in the history of New York City.
To mark this event, Congregation Beth Elohim asked the noted author Nicole Krauss, a member of CBE, to share her thoughts on writing, words of Torah, and the Jewish people.