Work began on a new Torah scroll for a Chabad House in Miami Beach, Fla., that was torched in an apparent arson last month.

Jewish community members gathered at the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center on Sunday to watch Rabbi Yochanon Klein, a ritual scribe, write the first few letters of a Torah that will likely take eight to 10 months to complete.

Directed by Rabbi Zev and Chani Katz, the Miami Beach synagogue perished in a fire that the FBI is currently investigating. Its borrowed Torah scroll was likely stolen before the blaze was set.

At the Aventura fundraiser, Harriet Kritz, whose husband Karl sponsored one of the new scroll's letters, told The Miami Herald that she and her husband were glad to help out.

"It's a very special happening to write a Torah," she said, "more so to replace one that has been desecrated." ...