Our New Czech Torah
Nachshon Minyan is honored...
Nachshon Minyan is honored to become the home of a two hundred year old Czechoslovakian Torah, Czech Torah #24. This torah is from the town of Breznice in Bohemia, Czech Republic. Our Torah was one of 1,564 Czech Torahs saved during the Holocaust.
During World War II, the Nazis invaded Jewish communities across Europe and stole private and community property. They sought to resell, reuse, and/or destroy the stolen goods, which included torahs. When World War II ended, the Nazis fled the territories they occupied such as Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovakian government regained control of it's land and found the abandoned torahs. The Czechs could not afford to take care of and repair the scrolls, offering to sell them to other countries and groups. London's Westminster Synagogue purchased the scrolls with the help of a synagogue member who financed the endeavor.
After arriving in London, the scrolls were placed in the Kent House of Westminster Synagogue. During the summer of 1964, the Memorial Scrolls Trust was established and determined it needed a full time scribe to rehabilitate the torahs. The Memorial Scrolls Trust had difficulty finding a scribe that could devote the necessary time to this project. However, in May 1967, a scribe from Jerusalem appeared at the doors of the Kent House and asked if the synagogue had any torahs that needed to be repaired. This scribe, David Brand, agreed to take on the task of repairing the rescued scrolls. As he worked on the scrolls, word spread about the Czech torahs. The Memorial Scrolls Trust received inquiries and requests from synagogues, Jewish organizations and individuals across the world to house these rescued and rehabilitated scrolls.
Through a generous donation by one of our members, Nachshon Minyan is proud to be the guardian of Czech Torah #24. On April 22, 2017, we celebrated both the homecoming of our torah and the commemoration of Yom HaShoah. The first member of our community to read from Czech Torah #24 was Abraham Teitman, an 84 year old Holocaust Survivor. After spending many years dreaming of becoming a Bar Mitzvah, we were honored to have Teitman read from the torah and fulfill his lifelong dream.
As Rabbi/Cantor Judy Greenfeld expressed, "Our new scroll is to be cherished as a memorial to a tragic past but at the same time, to be read and studied by a new generation of Jews, the guarantors of Jewish survival and rebirth."
We look forward to incorporating Czech Torah #24 into our community throughout the years to come.
To learn more about the Memorial Scrolls Trust, please visit: