Rabbi Benzion Chanowitz at a Chanukah event in the synagogue.
MONTICELLO, N.Y. — Leaders of an upstate New York synagogue are hoping the thief who stole the congregation's Torah will be found or will return the valuable religious item.
Rabbi Ben-Zion Chanowitz tells the Times Herald-Record of Middletown that he discovered the Torah had been stolen when entered Monticello's Landfield Avenue Synagogue Saturday morning.
The Sefer Torah, a handwritten copy of the first five books of the bible, is valued at $35,000. The thief also stole $200 from the synagogue's offices.
The Torah was purchased from Israel a decade ago after a yearlong fundraising campaign.
State and village of Monticello police are investigating.