Welcoming A Torah
In A 'Grand' Style
Mackinac Island congregation delivers
new scroll by horse-drawn carriage.
The Torah arrives at the Grand Hotel via horse-drawn carriage.
Front row: Robert Spitzer, congregation president, holding the Torah.
Middle row: Phil Tewel, Rabbi David Shepherd and Mendel Shepherd.
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Back row: Dr. Ann Silverman, congregation vice president and wife of Spitzer.
Hagadol, the congre-
gation of Mackinac
Island, brought in the New
Year in a historic celebration.
In addition to Rosh Hashanah
services, which were held at
the Grand Hotel, the congrega-
tion celebrated the donation of
a Sefer Torah.
The Congregation of the
Great Turtle was founded in
2006 to provide for the local
Rabbi David Shepherd and Robert Spitzer at
Jews of northern Michigan, and the Torah celebration
for the needs of the many visit-
ing Jews who come as tourists
to the area. In addition to seasonal
the island full circle said Dr. Robert
Shabbat services, periodic programs
Spitzer, president of the congrega-
are held, such as visiting speakers and tion.
the Rosh Hashanah services.
Donors of the Torah included Jack
During Rosh Hashanah services
and Miriam Shenkman, with addi-
this year, a special lecture was given
tional contributions from Dr. Derek
by Phil Porter, director of Mackinac
Grossman, Morris Spitzer and the
Island State Park, who spoke about
Spitzer family, among others.
the Jewish history of Mackinac Island.
The procession and ceremony for
He spoke about Ezekiel Solomon, a
receiving a Torah is considered like
Jewish fur trader who resided on the
a wedding ceremony for a groom
island during the Revolutionary War
and a bride. Therefore, in traditional
period and survived a massacre by
Mackinac Island style, the Torah
was carried across the entire island,
"In starting the Jewish congrega-
through downtown to the Grand
tion of Mackinac Island and receiv-
Hotel in a horse-drawn carriage
ing the donation of the Sefer Torah,
accompanied by celebrants, members
we are bringing Jewish history on
of the congregation and the rabbi. LI
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