Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust

Birmingham Progressive Synagogue is proud to have been entrusted with a Czech Memorial Scroll from the town of Kastel-Podivin, which was obtained for the Synagogue by its Leamington Group. We hold an annual Czech Scroll Shabbat on Shabbat Vayakhel-Pikkudei, the anniversary of our receiving it.

The Memorial Scrolls Trust has a sacred responsibility for nearly 1600 Czech Torah scrolls. The scrolls were rescued from the Holocaust by the Prague Jewish community, which largely perished, and were brought to Westminster Synagogue almost 50 years ago.

Through the work of the Trust, today, these scrolls can be found in every corner of the globe. They help their host congregations to remember not just individual Jews, but whole communities, whose names might otherwise be forgotten. In many cases they are their congregation's only scrolls, defiantly enabling the continuity of Jewish life. Some of the scrolls are used to bring together different faiths, to understand each others' traditions and beliefs, and pray together. Others have even played a part in reuniting families.

Transcript of certificate:
The Sefer Torah number 130 which this certificate accompanies, is one of the 1564 Czech Memorial Sifre Torah which constituted part of the treasures looted by the Nazis during the 1939-1945 war from the desolated Jewish communities of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia and which had been cared for by the Czechoslovak Government for many years, and which were acquired, with the good-will of the Czechoslovak Government, by good friends, from Artia (the State Cultural Agency) for Westminster Synagogue, where they arrived on the 7th February 1964.Some of the collection remain at Westminster Synagogue, a permanent memorial to the martyrs from whose synagogues they come; many of them are distributed throughout the world, to be memorials everywhere to the Jewish tragedy, and to spread light as harbingers of future brotherhood on earth; and all of them bear witness to the glory of the holy Name.
The memorial scroll #130 at Birmingham Progressive Synagogue comes from the town of KOSTEL PODIVIN and was written in 1860.

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