Torah to remember car crash victims

TALIA JACOBS

Zev and Rochel Simons

Zev and Rochel Simons

THE Tzemach Tzedek Community Centre will receive a new Torah scroll in commemoration of the lives of Sydney Chassidic couple Zev and Rochel Simons.

In a day of dedication and celebration, a new Sefer Torah will be ceremonially completed and inducted for use by the centre on September 13, in memory of the Simons. The parents of 10 were killed in a car accident on December 20, 2007, on the Hume Highway, on the way to a wedding in Melbourne.

“They were, and always will be, role models for our community,” said Tzemach Tzedek’s Rabbi Yossi Braun.

“The positive qualities that they have shown us will remain with us forever and will only improve over time.”

As the Simons were former members of the South Head Synagogue, the dedication will begin at that synagogue, where the last 10 letters of the Sefer Torah will be auctioned off, and then completed.

Following its completion, the Torah will then be carried under a wedding canopy by a procession to its home at the Tzemach Tzedek Community Centre in Penkivil Street, Bondi.

“They dedicated their lives to the community, and with this Sefer Torah, they will continue to be a part of the community,” said Rabbi Braun.

The Simons, who are survived by their 10 children and many grandchildren, were both involved in the Sydney Jewish community. Zev was the former head of primary and a Jewish studies at Kesser Torah College, while Rochel was a preschool teacher as well as an assistant at the woman’s mikvah.

“Many thousands of people have been influenced [and] many children have had the opportunity to learn and grow through their relationships with the Simons,” said Rabbi Braun.

Two of the Simons’ daughters will be in Sydney to attend the dedication.