Earlier this week, Kaveh Lahijani, an Iranian Jewish contractor in Laguna Beach dedicated a newly written Torah scroll in honor of his late father Isaac Lahijani to the Chabad Jewish Center in Laguna Beach. The gathering attracted nearly 400 guests from all around Southern California. According to close friends of the Lahijani family, the torah dedication was an emotional gathering as the circumstances of Isaac Lahijaniâs disappearance are still unknown after he was spirited away by police in Iran 28 years ago at the start of the Iranian revolution. “The family informed me that they really did not want to make a big story about this and I’d like to respect their wishes,” said Rabbi Elimelech Goorevitch, of the Chabad of Laguna Beach.
It is not unusual for Southern California based Iranian Jews to purchase and dedicate torahs to local synagogues and schools. New torahs have been purchased in recent years for the Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills by a number of generous donors and just last summer the Iranian Jewish Namvar family dedicated a brand new torah to the Downtown Synagogue, the only synagogue located in the garment district of Downtown Los Angeles. On the average the cost of a new Torah ranges from mid-$20,000 to mid-$40,000 depending on the cost of the time and labor of the torah scribe.
My article regarding the Downtown Synagogue can be found here.