The Allegheny Young Men’s Sephar Club was created by a group of young Jewish men in Allegheny, Pa. for the purposes of acquiring a Torah scroll for Rodef Shalom Congregation. The 16-member group presented the scroll to the congregation on Sunday, May 27, 1860, the first day of Shavuout. While previous Torah scrolls were known to have existed in Pittsburgh by the 1850s, the ceremony was likely the first siyum sefer Torah (ceremony marking the completion of a Torah scroll) in Western Pennsylvania.
Jacob Klee purchased a “silk velvet” mantle from Frankfort-on-Maine. Mrs. Joseph Meyers acquired a gilt crown for the Torah scroll. Fanny Rosenbach of the Hebrew Ladies Aid Society made a damask parochet (curtain) to cover the Torah ark.
Rev. William Armhold led the service. The ceremony began at the home of Joseph Meyers with readings and continued with a procession to the Rodef Shalom Congregation synagogue. The ceremony included a talk in German by Rev. Armhold and a talk in English by Josiah Cohen. The club also arranged for a ball on Monday, May 28, 1860.