The energy at a recent afternoon service at the Ben and Esther Rosenbloom Hillel Center for Jewish Life at the University of Maryland was particularly inspiring as students and community members celebrated the dedication of a new Sefer Torah scroll donated by Ira A. Lipman and his family. The Lipmans presented the Torah to Maryland Hillel to celebrate the yahrtzeit of their beloved father and grandfather, Mark, of blessed memory.
"This event is all the more special because it is not an isolated moment in time, but a point of connection between the past, the present and the future. It was Mark's example that informed and inspired Ira and the entire Lipman family to lead lives filled with Jewish joy," Hillel President Avraham Infeld said. "The giving of this Torah connects three generations of the Lipman family, and will enrich the lives of generations of Jewish students who will benefit from the magnificent gift of Torah for many years to come."
Ira Lipman was accompanied by sons Joshua, Benjamin and Gustave, who serves on both Hillel's International Board of Governors and the Hillel: Board of Directors. Students, faculty, university officials Hillel professionals, and community leaders, joined together to watch the Torah's scribe, Rabbi Binyomin Spiro, carefully complete the final letters of the Sefer Torah with a quill and ink – just as other scribes have done for thousands of years. Rabbis Samuel Fox, Rafael Grossman and Sol Roth, dear friends of the Lipmans, shared their moving recollections of Mark Lipman and the family. Cantor Joseph Malovany led the emotional service as the Torah was presented to and received by the Maryland Hillel community.
"The Lipman family continues to live this blessed double life of Jewish Chayim – God in the center, and a passion for truth and goodness in their everyday lives through their business practices, family values and generosity. This Torah that we completed today will continue to teach us how to live God's word," said Rabbi Ari Israel, the executive director of University of Maryland Hillel. Israel also thanked University of Maryland Hillel Board member Diane Garrett for her efforts in planning the event.
This was the 11th Torah scroll dedicated in memory of Mark Lipman, z"l, by his family and the sixth presented to a Hillel. The Jewish campus communities at the University of Pennsylvania, Northeastern University, Columbia University, The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan treasure the Torah scrolls that have been bestowed upon their Hillels. The Lipman family plans to present Torah scrolls to Hillels in Israel and the former Soviet Union in the future.