MST Quarterly Newsletter Winter 2018

 

   
 

Introduction

Friends, welcome to the seventh edition of the Memorial Scrolls Trust Newsletter.

Our Czech Torah webpage project continues to progress and we have now made 265 reciprocal links to communities who have added a page about their Czech scroll onto their website.  

As you will read in an article below, following a request from the Olomouc Kehilla, Peninsular Sinai of Foster City CA agreed to return Torah MST#740 to the Trust in order that we could allocate it to Olomouc, its town of origin. This was a moving and unique occasion as there are now less than 5000 Jews in the Czech Republic and it is doubtful we shall receive another similar request.

Thanks to the generosity of Mr Max Webb in Los Angeles we are in the process of digitising our archives, as well as building a new CRM database and website.  Whilst this is under construction for the next 2 months our current website will not be updated.

We are now on Facebook and have nearly 900 followers. Please take a look. 

Articles are needed from our readers for publication in. Please send in material, as this is YOUR newsletter and we urgently need articles from scroll-holders.

Our proposed gathering for December 2018 has been delayed.  We are now working on arrangements for Spring 2019. We expect to be able to give details in our next Newsletter.

Wishing you and your communities a very happy and healthy 2018.

Jeffrey Ohrenstein

 

   
 

לך לך Moments PSC D’var Torah - Parashat Lech L’cha 5778

Rabbi Corey Helfand

The community effort to make this all happen has been remarkable. From Rachel Alexander's leadership of the fundraising campaign for the repair of the Torah to Lisa Joy Rosner's marketing of the campaign, from Michael Cohen's technical skills to run the GoFundMe site to Dan Freeman's travel assistance for our clergy, from Michael Hayat's arranging United Airlines VIP treatment and publicity for the Torah and our clergy to the Taube Foundation's generous matching grant and the 180 donors who helped to make this journey happen - thank you to our entire community for stepping up to make sure that the Torah and this inspiring story of Jewish continuity receives the kavod (honor) that it deserves.

It was truly a לך לך experience.  I felt a bit like Abraham; called to carry out a task without really comprehending what it was that I was doing.  I wonder what was going through Abraham’s mind when God, literally out of the blue, called to him—לך לך מארצך וממולדתך ומבית אביך אל הארץ אשר אראך--asking him to leave his land, his birthplace, and his family, to go on a journey where the destination was unknown, the trials and tribulations along the way were unfathomable.  Had he known the answers to these questions would he have still gone?  Would he have been able to become the first Jew, to enter a sacred relationship with God, to set the course for the future of the Jewish people?  Yet, as much as we plan and anticipate, there is no way to really prepare for a לך לך moment.

In all honesty, I didn’t really know what to expect.  Part of what I wanted to understand on this trip was to piece together all of the different לך לך moments involved in making this special occasion possible.  My journey in this experience began on January 8, 2016.  I received an email from Jeffrey Ohrenstein, the chair of the Memorial Scrolls Trust, established in 1967, guided by the vision to care for, and where possible, find a home for 1564 rescued Torah scrolls that came from throughout Czechoslovakia.  In 1942 the Jewish Museum in Prague, with the agreement of the Germans wrote a letter asking the Czech communities to send all their Judaica (silver, textiles, books and even some furniture as well as Torah and other scrolls) to the museum for safekeeping.  In the mid-1960’s, Ralph Yablon purchased the scrolls for what would be roughly 1 million pounds, and donated them to the Westminster Synagogue in London, who set up the Trust to Loan the scrolls to communities and organizations around the world.  Suddenly, the history of our two rescued scrolls here at Peninsula Sinai came alive in a new way through Jeffery’s email: 

Dear Rabbi Helfand,

I hope you do not mind my writing but an unusual situation has arisen.  Following the visit to our Czech Scrolls Museum by a visitor from Olomouc, Roman Gronsky, whose father escaped and fought in the Czech army, returning to Olomouc after the war, I received a note from the President of the Community, who is exploring the possibility of loaning an Olomouc Torah for his community…Peninsula Sinai has scroll #685 from Ceske Budejovice and scroll #740 from Olomouc.  This is the first time the Memorial Scrolls Trust has been approached in such a way. Please can you let me know what you and your community think of the proposal?

The first time?  Of course, the answer must be yes.  Though to be fair, at the time, I didn’t really knew what I was getting myself into.  What would it take to return a scroll?  Would our community go for it?  How much would it cost and how would we pay for it?  Could this really be the first time that such a request had been made?  It was the beginning of a לך לך journey.

What prompted Jeffrey’s email was the note he had received just days earlier, from Petr Papousek, the president of the Federation of the Czech Jewish communities, a man who I would come to know intimately over the next 18 months over email and eventually in person:

Dear Mr. Chairman,

I received information from Mr. Gronsky regarding Torah scrolls from our former synagogue in Olomouc.  We are now in process to get any suitable or new Torah for our community because we have just one kosher Torah scroll and its status is deteriorating.  It would be for us great satisfaction to get one of the Torah scrolls which was used by our grandfathers in Olomouc.  Our community has 164 members.  We have regular Shabbat services, strictly kosher kitchen and we have about 30-45 participants in those services.  Let us know if it is possible to receive one of the Torahs and what we should do in this matter.  One of the conditions is that we need a Kosher Torah.

Unbelievable.  There are Jews who still live in Olomouc?  Who keep kosher and Shabbat?  Who read from the Torah?  Who would have thought that it was possible that the community in Olomouc was still alive and well?  Who could have known that Roman Gronsky and Jocelyn Shapira were cousins, and if it wasn’t for the fact that she found her bashert in Cantor Doron would we even be having this conversation? Abraham’s journey began because he was freely able to choose to leave one place to go to another.  But when the Nazi’s came, being Jewish meant we could no longer decide where we would journey or how we would get there.  The Nazi’s chose only one path for us: the path of death and no return.  Making this journey back to Olomouc, was not only unthinkable, it was, in a way the ultimate means of showing the Nazis that they had not succeeded.  Our journey with the Olomouc scroll was beginning of a new לך לך , one that should have never been able to happen, bringing PSC into relationship with Petr Papousek, Roman Gronsky, the Memorial Scrolls Trust, and the Olomouc community.  It was as if God and the Jewish people had once again found each other so that we can lech l’cha together.

When we were in Prague, Cantor Doron, Steve Lipman, Linda Oberstein and I toured around the Jewish quarter, visiting a half dozen synagogues, the Hevra Kadisha (burial society), and cemetery.  One of the graves that we saw belonged to the Kli Yakar, Rabbi Shlomo Ephraim of Luntschitz, the 16th century Torah scholar.  The Kli Yakar taught in his commentary on this week’s Torah portion that the phrase לך לך—go for yourself, go for yourself, means that you should go לעצמותך, for yourself as a part of exploring your עצם, your core, the essence of your identity.  What made Abraham’s journey so special is that it wasn’t only about the physical packing of his belongings and walking, leaving everything behind.  It was a spiritual journey.  אם כן שם עצמות הגוף ושם חביון עזה של הנשמה—this לך לך moment was about physical identity and strengthening that hidden part of our souls. I feel like this experience has been as much physical, carrying the scroll 6,000 miles, raising the funds, and sharing the story, as much as it’s been spiritual and emotional.

As many of you saw, traveling with our Torah was like traveling with a VIP.  And when you have Michael Hayat in your community, you are greeted in the airport by the head of PR for United, their chief photographer, and the head of security.  They definitely rolled out the red carpet.  They opened up a special security screening area for us, and by us, I mean Cantor Doron, Steve Lipman, Irene Moff, Michael Hayat, several high up people at United, and an entire news crew from ABC.  It was like the Torah had her very own paparazzi.  We unfurled the Torah in the boarding area, talked about the scrolls journey with ABC7 reporter Vic Lee, and were even presented with a special boarding pass with first name Torah, last name Torah.  Too bad they didn’t include her middle name so that it could have read Torah Torah Torah (sing this or else people won't understand).  We boarded the plane 30 minutes before the rest of the passengers, posing for multiple photo ops with the flight crew while singing עץ חיים היא.  It was touching to hear how our story was meaningful for the flight crew, including one flight attendant who is dating a Jewish man and attended Yom Kippur with him at Temple Sinai in Oakland.  Or the pilot, a devoutly spiritual woman, who was so moved she wanted to come over to see and touch the scroll.  Random people in the airports, both here and in Frankfurt were captivated by the story.  One woman in Frankfurt, initially perturbed because she thought that my golf clubs were occupying two seats in the boarding area, revealed that her family was from Olomouc once we told her the story.

After arriving, we spent the evening and next morning in Prague before boarding a RegioJet train to Olomouc.  We were greeted with warmth, smiles and hugs from Roman Gronsky, Jocelyn’s cousin, the man, who is perhaps responsible for making this all happen.  After quickly settling in to our hotel, Cantor Doron, Steve Lipman, Linda Oberstein and I met up with Ron and Liz Mester at the Olomouc Museum for the opening celebration of the Jewish Cultural Festival.  For the last nine years, the museum has created a special exhibit to celebrate Jewish life and culture in Olomouc, and this year, in honor of the 10th anniversary, the museum featured a special exhibit all about the history of the Olomouc Synagogue, including original pews and stained-glass windows from the synagogue that was burned down by the Nazis in March of 1939.  Despite not understanding most of the ceremony because it was in Czech, we felt the warmth and recognition in bringing the Torah returned home.

On Friday, several of us toured around the historic downtown of Olomouc, admiring the beautiful baroque towers, fountains, cobblestone roads and of course, the incredible anatomical and astrological clock.  In the early afternoon, several of us visited a small town called Lostice, where Jews had once lived as far back as the mid-16th century.  Over time, the number of Jews waned during times of discrimination and persecution and in 1942, the remaining 59 Jews were transported to Terezin where all but three died.  The survivors would eventually move and become a part of the Olomouc community.   

As I shared last week, we met with a righteous gentile, Ludek Stipl, who, in cooperation with the Respect and Tolerance Foundation, helped restore the space.  Today, Ludek welcomes more than 45 groups a year to teach them the story of the Jews of Lostice, what happened during the Holocaust, and to make sure that the memory of the synagogue and Jewish community is never forgotten. Ludek told us how a few years back, a congregation outside of Chicago who had restored their Torah scroll from Lostiche, brought a group to visit the synagogue and hold a bat mitzvah in that sacred space.  Yet, unlike our experience, their לך לך required them to bring the Torah with them and bring it back to Chicago, a reminder that most of the Jewish communities in the Czech Republic, had been decimated by the Nazis.  It was yet another powerful reminder of the sacred and unique nature of our trip.  

Unlike the Lostice synagogue, or the Olomouc synagogue that once stood before it was burned in 1939, the current Olomouc synagogue constitutes the floor of a building around the corner from the museum.  Although the synagogue that once rose high above the city is no longer, the spirit of this Jewish community is bright and beautiful.  I think what made Shabbat so special was being led in a ruach filled service by Cantor Doron.  Rabbi Moshe Druin, the sofer, when he sat with Cantor Doron and me to scribe the final letters in the Torah, emphasized the beauty that he felt the harmonies we created over Shabbat.  It was like we brought a little bit of PSC davenning to Olomouc.  Rabbi Druin’s comments were quite apropos, considering the letter that Cantor Doron and I wrote was a part of the word אשירה, from the Song of the Sea, meaning “I will sing.”  Yet, perhaps the most amazing moment of Shabbat took place just as services were ending on Friday night.  I went with Petr Papousek, outside the sanctuary and together, we came back in singing and dancing, the Olomouc scroll in hand, parading around the sanctuary so that every person present could touch, kiss and see their Torah make its historic return.  After completing the hakafah (circling) around the pews, watching faces light up with joy, I passed the Torah to Petr, and he placed the scroll back in the ark.  The Torah was finally home.

I think what heightened our experience in Olomouc was hearing the לך לך moments of so many members of the community.  I spoke with two congregants, Josef and Ari, who told me about their journey to choose Judaism for them and their families. How powerful to hear that in a place like Olomouc, that people who grew up with another faith tradition would take it upon themselves to proudly identify as Jews.  Steve Lipman and Linda Oberstein spent more than an hour talking with a woman named Helga about her story.  With the help of her daughter who translated, Helga talked about growing up in Olomouc only to return to the war, refusing to this day to leave her home town and her Poodle to join her family in Australia.  You can see the entire interview on Facebook.  And then there was 87-year Peter Bries, who was born in Olomouc and grew up at the original synagogue before it was destroyed.  Peter and his family escaped by trading the Nazis their new home as a command center in exchange for passage to England.  Peter had come back with his younger sister Helen to be a part of this moment and to visit their childhood home.  He shared with me that the ruach of Shabbat brought him to tears, as he experienced the vibrancy of old brought back to life.  And on Sunday, in the moments after the Torah was restored and put back in the ark, Peter said that he had been in the Olomouc synagogue in the late 1930’s before it was burned down, and had witnessed the community read out of that same scroll that started her journey in Olomouc, before coming to Peninsula Sinai, only to now return home once again.  Talk about a לך לך moment of strength, memory and survival. 

There was, however, no לך לך moment quite like that final one, when Roman Gronsky was called to the Torah to join Rabbi Druin in completing the restoration of the Torah.  As Rabbi Druin explained the meaning of those final words גאה גאה, incredible pride, I saw Rabbi Druin begin to well up, noticeably moved by this first of its kind moment.  The letters were restored, the scroll glistened with beautiful new ink, and the celebration began.  As Petr Papousek said to me, it was like experiencing the joy and happiness of Simchat Torah and a wedding all at once.  We danced for what seemed like forever, uniting all of our communities in one voice and as one people: The Scrolls Trust, Peninsula Sinai, Olomouc, and the memories of those who are no longer with us.  לך לך, from life, to death, and back again.  From tradition, to a tradition nearly lost, to a tradition restored once more.  

In thinking about the next לך לך moments, I continue to wonder about what’s next for Olomouc.  Cantor Doron, Steve and I talked about the struggle that the Jews of Olomouc and the Czech Republic long term.  With an aging population and few Jews who are moving to the area, it will be hard to see real growth over time.  I’m also aware that like with all Jewish communities, there are internal politics between the streams of Jews.  There are still very real consequences of the Shoah that will exist for a long time to come, perhaps even forever when it comes to the number of Jewish communities that were destroyed during the war.  Yet, I think that in many ways, the Olomouc community is different.  They are proud of their Jewish identities, of their heritage, and they are committed to continuing to live Jewishly.  Their לך לך, for the foreseeable future, will include gathering several times a month to celebrate Shabbat and holidays together while eating Kosher food.  Each year they will create a new exhibition at the museum to highlight their Jewish identities and stories.  And most importantly, I do believe that every time they read from their scroll, they will have their joy renewed once again, inspired by the miracle of last week’s events.  As long as those לך לך moments continue to not only be physical, but as the Kli Yakar taught us, to speak to our souls, I think that the Olomouc community will continue to thrive and grow, becoming an example of what it means live despite unthinkable circumstances.  

For us at Peninsula Sinai, while the journey of restoring the scroll is complete, it’s time that we begin our own journey of writing our own Torah scroll, celebrating who we are, all we have accomplished and all we will continue to do in the future.  We now begin our Torat Chayim, our year of Torah as we light the path for generations to come.  Together, many of us will visit Prague and the city of Olomouc, our sister congregation, in May of 2018.  We will continue to be in touch with Petr and Roman, and have invited them to come and visit.  I have just been put in touch with people who came from the Ceske Budejovice community, who I hope will come as well to share their story, too.  As for our לך לך, I’ll leave you with the end of the proclamation that I wrote and that we signed as this part of the journey ended and another began: “In completing this scroll, we join together in reciting Hazak Hazak V'nitchazek: may the strength of our past join with the strength of our present so that we may, לך לך, walk with strength and courage now and forever.”

 

Linked below is an article from the Jewish Chronicle about the Czech Sefer Torah returning home to Olomouc, written by Lianne Kolirin: 

Czech Sefer Torah returns home after 75 years

 

 

   
 

Congregation Old York Road Temple-Beth Am celebrate the 50th anniversary of the arrival of MST #169

On November 2, 2014, Congregation Old York Road Temple-Beth Am in Abington, Pennsylvania, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the arrival of 1564 rescued Czech Torah Scrolls to the Westminster Synagogue in London with a program, We Remember;   a program to rededicate our three Czech Memorial Holocaust Scrolls and to honor the martyred Jews from their towns, Louny, Svetlá nad Sázavou and Tábor.

Amazing as the event was, it inspired us to do much more. Ever aware of how privileged we are to have three Czech Memorial Holocaust Scrolls that survived the ravages of the Holocaust and finally came to rest in our Holy Arks, Beth Am has become more vigilant about our obligation to give each scroll a meaningful role in the spiritual and educational life of the congregation and to maintain our connection to their towns and the memory of their devastated Jewish communities

For the three congregants, Deena Schuman (Tábor), Dr. Barry Stein (Louny) and Jane Hurwitz (Svetlá nad Sázavou) whose assignment was to document the histories of each town and their torahs, their work has become a lifelong commitment. 

Though no Jews remain in our three Czech towns, their Jewish presence endures. 

Tragically, the beautiful synagogue of Tábor was used by the Nazis as a warehouse and eventually torn down in 1977. In its place, in what is now a parking lot, is a memorial plaque.

In April of 2013, a group of “Beth Amniks” led by Rabbi Leib made a pilgrimage to Louny to visit their former synagogue building and Jewish cemetery. Mayor Radovan Sabata and representatives of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Prague and beyond warmly welcomed them. In 2015, members of the Jewish community of the neighboring town of Teplice, as part of their program to celebrate 600 years of Jews inTeplice, came to Louny and in a moving service with Mayor Sabata, unveiled a memorial plaque in honor of the martyred Jews of that town. A few months later, Dr. Barry Stein and his wife Carol traveled to Louny and were graciously hosted by the Mayor and other dignitaries who hope to salvage their beautiful synagogue building and continue their special relationship with Beth Am.

But it is the very unique bond between Svetlá nad Sázavou and its Little Torah and Old York Road Temple- Beth Am, that inspired a most extraordinary “happening.”  

How lucky Jane Hurwitz was to have been “given” Svetlá nad Sázavou to research for the rededication program of our three Czech Memorial Holocaust Scrolls. Everything about the SvetláTorah was different. It was the poor sister among our Sifrei Torahs, only 14 inches tall and dressed in a plain blue velvet cover with Shalom and Etz Chaim embroidered in gold. And of the three Czech towns, Svetlá nad Sázavou was the one with no memorial to its Jewish past. Yet, buried along with every one of its Jews was a story that had to be told.

Like so many other Czech towns, Svetlá had a small assimilated Jewish community; a cross section of merchants, scholars, farmers and industrialists; similar but different because it was a town with a castle.  A deportation list with the names of 55 of its Jews who were taken to Terezin on the same day, June 13, 1942, to die there or later in other camps, changed its story forever. For our program, time was running out. We needed a survivor who remembered. Incredibly, one name appeared after hundreds of Google searches: Herbert Morawetz, who was born in Prague in 1915 to the Jewish family that owned the Castle of Svetlá nad Sázavou, who lived there until his escape from the Nazis, who was the last Jew in Svetlá to pray with our Little Torah, and who now, of all places, lives in Greenwich Village, New York. His connection to our Little Torah from Svetlá reads like fiction but that is a story for another day. 

Herbert, his family, Old York Road Temple-Beth Am and Jane Hurwitz decided it was time Svetlá nad Sázavou remembered and honored their fifty-five murdered Jews with a memorial ceremony and plaque. It took two years of planning, nagging, and corresponding via hundreds of emails with people who often seemed not to care very much about our vision. Magically, just a few months before our June 20th deadline, things began to happen. A reasonable design for the plaque was proposed and accepted, the Jewish Community of Prague finally woke up and made the necessary connections, and most shocking of all, an invitation including all our requests arrived from Mayor Jan Tourek of Svetlá nad Sázavou.

On June 17, 2016, seven Beth Amniks and three members of the Morawetz family met at the Iron Gate Hotel in Prague, CR and began an odyssey we will never forget. Sylvie Wittmann whose family survived the darkest periods of Nazi occupation and Soviet domination, along with her staff became mishpucha. They showed us every corner of Jewish Prague, shared an unforgettable Shabbat dinner with us at the home of their friends, treated us to a private piano concert of Hatikvah melodies in the Jubilee Synagogue, and took us to visit the graves of Sylvie’s mother and relatives of the Morawetz family.  

Finally, the time had come to fulfill our solemn promise-Zachor- to face Svetlá’s Jewish past and 74 years after their deportation, to remember their 55 murdered Jews. Nothing could have prepared us for the reception we received in a town hall packed with dignitaries and guests who had come to welcome us and embrace our sacred mission. We had brought letters of support from Philadelphia’s Mayor Jim Kenney, the local County Commissioner Josh Shapiro and of course a moving message from Rabbi Leib. Mayor Jan Tourek in his official mayoral garb was joined by the Deputy Mayor of Svetlá, the President of the Prague Jewish Community, the Chief Rabbi of the Federation of Jewish Communities and of the entire Czech Republic, the President of all Czech Jewish Communities, two members of the Kahila of the town of Teplice, descendents of the Mahler family who had once lived in Svetlá and were victims of the holocaust, and a 95 year old woman, a non-Jew who was adopted by a Jewish family, survived years in Terezin and had traveled from Poland to attend.  Imagine the chills and tears when Jews and Gentiles stood to sing Hatikvah, setting the tone of respect and repentance for the program of speeches and promises that followed. The town of Svetlá nad Sázavou would never forget for they joined us in unveiling a magnificent stone plaque placed in a prominent place in their town hall with an inscription in Czech, Hebrew and English, etched in gold :

Na paměť židovských obyvatel našeho města, kteří se v letech 1939 – 1945 stali oběťmi holocaustu.

In memory of the Jewish citizens of our city who perished in the Holocaust 1939-1945.

לברכה זכרונם

Old York Road Temple-Beth Am, PA, USA a rodina Morawetz    Město Světlá nad Sázavou

2016

 

No one had ever recited the Mourner’s Kaddish for Svetlá’s Holocaust victims. That would be our last task. In the peaceful old Jewish cemetery, in the presence of the Mayor and the Chief Rabbi of the Czech Republic, we read the name of every one of Svetlá’s Jewish citizens killed by the Nazis and recited Kaddish on their behalf. It had begun to rain as we approached the cemetery and one of our congregants observed, “I had no doubt the skies were crying, matching our tears.”

In the end, we had accomplished an amazing mitzvah. Though most of the people of Svetlá nad Sázavou knew nothing about the fate of their Jewish citizens, their long gone synagogue or the journey their Torah made from the ashes of the Holocaust to Old York Road Temple-Beth Am, they were truly touched and ashamed of what had happened. They were determined it would never happen again. They were proud to have that plaque affixed to the wall of their town hall to remind them of the 55 Jews taken together on June 13, 1942 and murdered in concentration camps. They were proud the Little Torah of Svetlá had an honored place in our synagogue. I know they were proud of us.

One year after our “mission,” and on the 75th Anniversary of the deportation of the Jews of Svetlá, Mayor Tourek and several people from the town, reaffirmed their pledge never to forget with a memorial ceremony. Photos of the event show the group solemnly and proudly in front of our plaque where they had placed a beautiful bouquet with red, white and blue ribbons. The Mayor’s message to us was:

“A year has passed. But we all here remember the event. We keep nice memories in our minds. Nobody here in Svetlá will ever forget those innocent people who were murdered in Holocaust…If anyone of you would like to return one day, anyone is very welcome to our Svetlá nad Sázavou.”

The memorial plaque of Svetlá will serve as a lasting testament to the vitality, endurance, and spiritual continuity of the Jewish People, and remind everyone who sees it that Am Yisrael Chai—“The Jewish People Shall Live.”

 

   
 

Holocaust Torah scrolls participate in Lexington’s Yom HaShoah commemoration

By Hanna B. Smith

The Lexington, Kentucky Jewish community is home to two Holocaust Torah scrolls which are on permanent loan from the Czech Memorial Trust of Westminster Synagogue, London, England. One of the scrolls resides with Temple Adath Israel while the second scroll resides with the Lexington Havurah, a fellowship affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Both scrolls featured prominently in this year’s annual Yom HaShoah commemoration held on April 23, 2017 at Temple Adath Israel. 

The program started with an invocation given by Rabbi David Wirtschafter of Temple Adath Israel, and the singing of the hymn “Ani ma’amim, I believe with perfect faith” by Rabbi Uriel Smith, accompanied by Dr. Lorne Dechtenberg.  Following this, Ms. Hanna Smith gave a brief overview of the history of the scrolls. Following this introduction the scrolls were carried into the hall in solemn procession. They were carried by Dr. Steve Shedlofsky, President of the Havurah, and Ms. Beth Ellen Rosenbaum for Temple Adath Israel.  

The six community members charged with lighting the memorial candles and their six teenage companions, representing the new generation, escorted the scrolls. The combined choir of Temple Adath Israel and Ohavay Zion Synagogue sung the hymn “L’Dor va-Dor, from Generation to Generation” during the procession. At the end of the procession the two scrolls were placed into their cabinets, one scroll on each side of the table holding the memorial candles. The scrolls remained in the hall, visible to all, throughout the duration of the program.  

The printed program for the event also contained a history of the scrolls. This included information about the website of the Czech Memorial Trust. An article about the scrolls had also been published in the September 2016 edition of ‘Shalom’, the newspaper of the Jewish Federation of the Bluegrass, Lexington, Kentucky.

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