Returning Home to Torah and Taglit
By Greg Kellner, Founding Director of 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy and Member of the 10th Anniversary Celebration planning committee
6 Points Sci-Tech was a special place from the moment the idea was sparked. Recalling the year before our pioneer summer in 2014, there was a great deal of work to get the camp ready and anticipate a challenging journey ahead.
In April 2014, a woman called me from Sinai Reform Temple in Bayshore, a town on Long Island. Sadly, like other temples in the area, they were closing their doors and wanted to know if we needed anything for our new camp. We still needed many important ritual items.
They had already moved from their own building into a room at another synagogue. I was very lucky to attend the final service of the temple led by Rabbi Emily Losben. She physically handed down the Torah during the service. I remember getting very emotional when the congregation said goodbye to their Torah. The Rabbi bestowed a blessing on me and the Torah. While it was sad that the synagogue was closing, the membership was happy that their Torah would be used by a future generation of Jewish scientists.
Prior to opening camp, there were few ritual items, but aside from the Torah, the Temple also gave us a kiddush cup, an ark with an image of children studying Torah on it, and many other items. I made the connection recently that Rabbi Mike Churgel was at this synagogue at one time. Rabbi Churgel will be faculty during the 10th Anniversary Celebration. When he arrives at camp, he will be reunited with the Torah that was once at his synagogue.
When I visit camp in a few weeks for the 10th Anniversary Celebration, I am very excited to see Rabbi Churgel with the Torah from his temple. We know that 6 Points Sci-Tech is a special place for many children, and while the temple shuttered its doors, its memory lives on here every single Shabbat. Just like we tell the Passover story to remember how we were once slaves, we will always remember how Sinai Reform Temple impacted 6 Points Sci-Tech.
The 10th Anniversary Celebration will be Sat, July 29. You can still attend, place an ad, or make a gift by visiting the 10th Anniversary website. If you are unable to attend for financial reasons, please call the camp office at 857-246-8677.