Czech Memorial Torah Scroll
During the Holocaust, nearly 1,564 Czech Torah scrolls were rescued by the Prague Jewish community, which largely perished. They were brought to Westminster Synagogue almost 50 years ago. These precious Torah scrolls, which are found throughout the world, help us remember European Jewish life before the Holocaust, challenge us to confront prejudice and hatred and inspire us to build bridges across communities.
Congregation Beth Shalom was honored to receive our Czech Memorial Torah scroll in 1994. Our current Choir Director, Marilyn Ladin, was instrumental in this process. She contacted the Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust as our congregation was looking for a second Torah scroll. Once we were approved, the scroll was brought to our synagogue from London, where the Memorial Scrolls Trust is located.
Our Memorial Scroll, #928, is considered an “orphan” scroll, meaning no one knows about its origin. However, we do know that the Torah is about 150-200 years ago. Among the various requirements for safekeeping a Czech Memorial Scroll is to have an annual dedication ceremony, which takes place each November when we commemorate Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass.
To learn more about the Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust, visit their website here.