Edison Jewish congregants perform centuries-old Torah walk to celebrate move to new temple

Members of the Jewish faith in Edison held a Torah walk Sunday to commemorate their move to a new temple.
It's an ancient tradition that holds much meaning for the Jewish community. It happens when a congregation moves from one temple to another.
Members of Temple Emanu-El even called the Torah walk bittersweet. It had been home to the congregation for 60 years.
The congregants walked their sacred scrolls from 100 James Street to the Jewish Community Center of Middlesex County.
For centuries, Jewish groups have done a Torah walk to hallmark the changing of temples. The five scrolls are carried from the old sanctuary to the new one to mark the journey of moving forward.
Though this was a joyous occasion, congregant Florette Applebaum, of Edison, said it sadden her to leave.
"Many people have been there for years. I've been privileged to be there for the past seven years," Applebaum said.
"Originally, the tablets were walked through the desert for 40 years and now we get to walk our sacred scrolls to their new home as they were originally walked to the first sanctuary," explained temple president Mike Leber.
"By carrying the Torahs in this Torah walk that we had today, we are really touching our ancestors. We're walking with them and they with us," said Interim Rabbi Vicki Axe.
The new temple is part of the Jewish Community Center's expansion plan and construction is scheduled to start this summer. The Jewish Community Center, which serves a diverse population, said the walk was a coming-together of community.
"To be able to do that while at the same time strengthening the local Jewish community, is particularly transformational for us and to welcome their Torah scrolls really means that we're welcoming them home," said Jewish Community Center of Middlesex County CEO Adam Glinn.
The last service at James Street was held Friday night and services at the Jewish Community Center of Middlesex County will start next Friday.