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Temple Shalom is privileged to have the Czech Holocaust Memorial Torah Scroll #22. It is believed to be one of the Torahs from  Budyne nad Ohri (Budin ad Eger), a town in northern Bohemia, Czech Republic. This Torah scroll was written in 1874 and acquired by Temple Shalom in August, 1978. 

A Jewish presence in Budyne nad Ohri is recorded as early as the 13th and 14th centuries. By 1632, the Jewish community purchased and established a building as a prayer house and opened a school; the synagogue would later be burned down in 1759 and rebuilt in 1821. Towards the end of the 19th century, the vast majority of the Jewish community in Budyne nad Ohri migrated all over the region to bigger towns and cities and by 1930 there were only 39 Jews still living in there.

Beginning in November 1941, the Germans sent the Jews still living in the Czech territory to the Terezin Ghetto. From there they were sent to concentration and death camps, mainly in Poland, where most were killed. 

The Nazis collected gold and silver ornaments, ceremonial objects and Torah scrolls from towns all over Europe.  A group of Czechoslovakian Jews was forced to arrange and catalog the items which had been gathered in Prague. After the war, the Communist Government of Czechoslovakia released the Torahs scrolls. 

In 1964, the Memorial Scrolls Committee of Westminster Synagogue in London arranged for 1,564 of the scrolls to be shipped to that synagogue. Once there, the scrolls were assessed and cataloged. Following the assessment, they were repaired and restored when possible. Each Torah was given a numbered brass plaque to identify its origin. Scrolls that could not be made fit for synagogue use found homes in religious and educational institutions. Those that were repaired and could be used in religious services were sent to synagogues all over the world in return for a contribution toward restoration expenses.

For more information on the Memorial Scrolls Trust, click here.

Sat, July 13 2024 7 Tammuz 5784