A Torah dedication for baby Max’s bar mitzvah
By Leah R. Singer
SAN DIEGO –When Dr. Frank Kretzer heard about the Congregation Beth Israel Torah Project, he knew this was the perfect opportunity to participate in an historic moment, honor his Jewish roots, and most importantly, create a lasting memory for his grandson.
Dr. Kretzer, a 67-year-old doctor and teacher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, is connected to Congregation Beth Israel through his daughter, Jessica Kretzer, who teaches in the religious school, and Jessica’s 6-month-old son, Max Rubenshtein.
Knowing he will likely not be here for Max’s Bar Mitzvah, Dr. Kretzer decided to dedicate Max’s Torah portion of Parashah Balak to him through the Torah Project.
Dr. Kretzer hopes by making this dedication, Max and his family will tell the story for many years to come and keep the tradition of Judaism and Torah study alive in their family. In addition, he hopes this story will be told at Max’s Bar Mitzvah in July 2024.
Just as exciting to Dr. Kretzer is the chance to participate in the scribing of a Torah. “We’ve belonged to temples my entire life. But I’ve never had the opportunity where a temple was writing a Torah and you can be part of that tradition,” Dr. Kretzer said.
He also feels proud that this is being done through Congregation Beth Israel as this is where his daughter teaches; his grandson was named; and where Jessica’s first-cousin, Randy Robbins, was the architect who designed the building. In man ways, Dr. Kretzer feels this Torah dedication is a tribute to his entire family.
Dr. Kretzer, Jessica and Max will inscribe in the Torah on Father’s Day of this year. His only regret is that his late wife, Marilyn (whom Max is named for), will not be a part of this tradition.
“I want Max to know about his history,” Dr. Kretzer said. “We need to talk about Judaism and the importance of tradition. I hope when Max sees the pictures and hears about this mitzvah, he will know that even when he was just a little baby, we were already thinking about his Bar Mitzvah.”
Leah R. Singer is a freelance writer and marketing strategist in San Diego. This article is reprinted from Tidings, the monthly news letter of Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego. Visitors may more about Leah’s business and writing on her website: www.leahrsinger.com. She also blogs about family, writing and Judaism at www.leahsthoughts.com.
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