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Conejo Jewish Academy

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David Bergstein to Dedicate New Torah Scroll in Honor of "Trail-Blazing" Father


A community dedication celebration inducting the new Torah into the Center for Jewish Life has been slated for March 11, 2018, to coincide with the tenth yahrtzeit, or anniversary, of the late Dr. Bergstein’s passing.

Los Angeles, CA, February 09, 2018 --(PR.com)-- David Bergstein, a financier and philanthropist residing in Hidden Hills, California, has commissioned the scribing of a new Torah Scroll in honor of his late father, Dr. Leonard Bergstein, to be housed in Chabad of the Conejo’s Center of Jewish Life in Agoura Hills. The Center is the site of the Leonard Bergstein Conejo Jewish Academy, an adult education center likewise dedicated by David Bergstein in his father’s memory.

The writing of a Torah, a meticulous process involving the precise hand-scribing of one letter at a time, typically takes one-to-two years to complete (the Torah consists of 304,805 letters). Leaders of Chabad of the Conejo report that the final letters of the Leonard Bergstein Torah were recently inscribed by a “Sofer” (a qualified and ordained Hebrew scribe) at David Bergstein’s home in Hidden Hills, as David looked on and even held the Sofer’s writing hand to ceremoniously complete the final letters together, in unison.

A community dedication celebration inducting the new Torah into the Center for Jewish Life has been slated for March 11, 2018, to coincide with the tenth yahrtzeit, or anniversary, of the late Dr. Bergstein’s passing.

“Leonard Bergstein was a kind and brilliant man who dedicated his life to innovation, invention and the dissemination of deeper knowledge,” said Rabbi Moshe Bryski, Director of Chabad of the Conejo and Dean of the Bergstein Conejo Jewish Academy. “Even as his son, David, who majored in pre-med and minored in math at the Polytechnic Institute of New York (now NYU) before attending law school at Cardozo University, has made business and finance his primary career, he is nonetheless deeply committed to education and the perpetuation of Jewish values from generation to generation.”

Polish-born Leonard Bergstein who, after surviving the Holocaust, pursued his academic studies in Germany, Canada and the United States, was counted among the post-World War II “founding fathers” of integration in numerous fields of science and technology. His PhD dissertation at Columbia University gave birth to the original Zoom Lens, which revolutionized photography and film recordings. His expertise in optics, electronics and lasers made him sought after by American and Israeli tech companies throughout many sectors including those specializing in space exploration, lens development and barcode laser scanning.

In addition to his professorships at City College of New York, the Polytechnic Institute, Technion and the Israel Institute of Technology, Leonard Bergstein was reputed for his almost encyclopedic knowledge of Jewish texts, including the Talmud and other great works of Jewish law, history and philosophy.

“My dad was a proud Jew, a prolific Torah scholar and a gem of a human being who contributed a great deal to this world,” said son, David Bergstein. “I know that I have big shoes to fill, and that is a goal I aim to continue pursuing for the rest of my life. For now, I am gratified by this opportunity to eternalize his memory by having this beautiful Torah scribed in his memory, and having it housed in the learning Center that bears his name. Knowing that people from all walks of life will be coming to study sacred texts in his merit inspires and humbles me. It is exactly the sort of legacy he would want to leave; a legacy I am proud to perpetuate by making this gift to the Jewish community.”

The Bergstein Conejo Jewish Academy is an educational institute attended by thousands from around the Conejo Valley on an annual basis. Its diverse curriculum includes classes, lectures, films, workshops and seminars covering a broad range of Jewish subjects -- catering to all levels from beginner to scholar.

The Torah dedication celebration on Sunday, March 11, will be a festive event featuring a traditional street processional, highlighted by music and dancing, as the new Torah is welcomed into its new home at 30345 Canwood Street in Agoura Hills. It will be open to the community at large.

Contact: Rabbi Moshe Bryskiw, Email: rabbi@chabadconejo.com​, Phone: 818-991-0991
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Conejo Jewish Academy
Moshe Bryski
818-991-0991
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jewishacademy.com

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