Boca Raton Synagogue and Guinness Book of World Records recently announced that the South Florida synagogue holds the record for the worlds largest Talit, Jewish prayer shawl.
The idea for a large Talit first came up in 2012. “We had an idea to create a massive Talit to be used on the holiday of Simchat Torah, when it is customary to have all of the children, under the age of Bar and Bat-Mitzvah, come under the Talit and receive a special blessing,” said Matthew Hocherman, Executive Director of BRS. “ In previous years, men would use their personal prayer shawls and hold them together to make one very large talit.”
The Talit was created not only for the special prayer but also as a way for parents and grandparents to add their children’s names to it. “The idea was to be able to have a child under the Talit, look up and see his or her name,” added Hocherman.
The Synagogue enlisted the help of Tami Katz of Boca Judaica to create the 1,471.74 sq. ft. Talit that was unfurled for the first time in 2013. After its second year in use, Mr. Hocherman realized it was probably the largest of its kind and contacted Guinness World Records. On March 5, 2015, the synagogue received notification that they did in fact set a world record with their prayer shawl.
“We are blessed to have close to a thousand children in this Synagogue, which necessitated a Talit of this size,” said Rabbi Efrem Goldberg. “While we are proud of the record, we hope to break it ourselves because we will need a bigger one to fit even more children.”
In honor of their grandchildren, three corners of the prayer shawl have been generously sponsored by Dr. Robert & Judith Bruckstein, Dr. Merv & Elaine Jacobs and Saul & Bobbie Friedman.
Those interested in sponsoring the fourth corner or adding their children’s names to the Talit should contact Jamie Lebersfeld at Jamie@brsonline.org.