We are excited to start shipping out the ten packs of our new book to Scroll Holder Communities which have taken advantage of our ten pack offer. We hope that your Synagogue can also place your order for your B'nei Mitzvah gift books.
The 60th anniversary Scroll Gatherings
We encourage your community to carry on the tradition of a Czech Memorial Scroll gathering service, in partnership with your regional scroll holder communities. We are delighted to list some of the Scroll Gatherings which are happening across the world to mark the 60th anniversary. Thank you for telling us of the new events being planned.
Czech Jewish life
Our congratulations to Rabbi Dr Kamila Kopřivová on her ordination and the start of her pastoral and teaching career as assistant rabbi at Westminster Synagogue, London.
L'Shana Tovah. Wishing you all a very happy, health and peaceful 5784
PS We publish many short articles and Czech Scroll Museum visitor pictures on our Facebook page - please click Facebook Like to keep in touch with us.
We are offering a ten pack at £100 plus postage, a discount of £75. A single book is offered at £17.50 plus postage for 150 pages, full colour, hardback.
We expect to be able to ship to you during the second week of September. This morning we received an email to say that the books are moving through UK Customs. We are looking forward to packing and shipping out hundreds of books over the next week.
In summer 1965, at a cross community service at Westminster Synagogue, Chief Rabbi Dr Israel Brodie led the saying of kaddish for those who had died in the Shoah. This Jewish service can take many forms, and is expected to be cross community, bringing multiple Scroll Holder Communities together across a region.
The following are special scroll gatherings being organised to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Memorial Scrolls arriving in London.
Hopkins Centre at Dartmouth College, will host a showing of the documentary Carpati: 50 Miles, 50 years on 30 January, 2024. There will be a talk about the Czech scrolls before the event. The Upper Valley Jewish Community and Dartmouth Hillel, are co-trustees of a Czech Memorial Scroll.
MST's home synagogue, Westminster Synagogue, London, will host the 60th anniversary Scroll Gathering on Sunday 4th February 2024, to mark the arrival of the Czech Scrolls at Kent House on 5th February 1964.
The Jewish Federation of Sarasota Manatee will host a Czech Memorial Scroll Gathering on 10 November 2024.
The Non Czech Scrolls Adoption Service
We are pleased to announce that MST is offering a scroll re homing service for non Czech Sifrei Torah. If your community has scrolls it can no longer care for, we will take, examine for being made kosher, and offer to communities around the world who need a kosher Torah Scroll, but not necessarily a Czech Memorial Scroll.
This project started when communities shut down and contacted us to return their Czech Memorial Scroll. They asked us did we know of any organisation which could handle their other scrolls. We thought to ourselves, well, we know how to handle Torah Scrolls! We have taken in 8 scrolls so far. We have re-homed three kosher Sifrei Torah.
Congratulations to Dr Kamila Kopřivová on her smicha as the first female Czech rabbi
On 4th September, Dr Kamila Kopřivová received smicha at Kent House and started as assistant rabbi at Westminster Synagogue, London, UK.
After completing her Ph.D. in Jewish Theology at Charles University, Prague, and working as a university lecturer, Kamila discovered her true passion is shared and lived Judaism. That is why she decided to become a rabbi. She studied at rabbinical colleges in Berlin and Jerusalem, completing her rabbinic training at Leo Baeck College in London.
Kamila was one of the co-editors on our new book. We are incredibly thankful for the breadth and depth of knowledge and skill she offers to help make this MST book come to fruition. We were very lucky to have a Czech Citizen on hand to guide us.
We reproduce her first rabbinic address:
Kdybych mohla svou cestu k rabínství zfilmovat, tak by to jednoznačně byla disneyovka.
Spousta barev a chundelatá zvířátka s velkýma očima. Holka z malého města se vydává za svými sny a vyráží na cestu. Během svého dobrodružství cestuje skrze cizí země, plaví se přes hluboká moře a prochází tajemnými lesy. Na své cestě se učí od mudrců a studuje těžké a zaprášené svazky plné moudrosti, co jsou napsané ve starobylých jazycích. Jak už to tak v podobných příbězích bývá, tak na cestě pozná sama sebe. Udělá taky spoustu chyb, ze kterých se poučí. To jí pomůže vyrůst a překonat svůj stín.
Stejně jako v každé dobré pohádce, i tady jsou překážky a nepřátelé. Hory tak vysoké, že nevidí jejich vrchol, hamižní draci a zlí čarodějové, co na ni zkouší své triky. Naštěstí jsou v příběhu ale také přátelé, hodné víly a léčitelé, mudrci a moudré ženy, kteří chrání a napravují.
Skutečnost, že jsem se včera, v den Jahrzeitu našeho svatého Maharala, stala rabínkou svědčí o tom, že život někdy skutečně může být pohádka.
Tento týden čteme dvojitou porci Tóry – Nicavim-Vajelech. Podle mě má taky trochu pohádkovou strukturu.
Poté, co si Izraelité prošli pouští teď naposledy zastavují. Stojí před vstupem do zaslíbené země, aby se znovu ujistili o své víře. Zdálo by se, že příběh končí. Jenže my víme, že to je jen začátek.
Nicavim často překládáme jako „stáli“, jenže ve skutečnosti to znamená mnohem víc – stát pevně a neotřesitelně – stát si za něčím.
Izraelité si prošli svým formativním obdobím a teď vědí, za čím stojí.
Vajelech znamená pravý opak „a on šel“.
Tohle spojení dvou oddílů Tóry nás učí, že nejdřív musíme být nicavim – musíme stát klidně, ale pevně, učit se, pozorovat, nechat se formovat a chápat. Poté ale musíme být vajelech – musíme vyrazit a jednat ve jménu toho, za čím si stojíme.
Když se jedna kapitola uzavře, vždycky začne nová.
Měla jsem neuvěřitelné štěstí, že jsem se mohla učit od mnohých z vás, mých přátel, kolegů a učitelů. To vy jste na téhle cestě byli mými moudrými čaroděj, léčiteli i a dobrými vílami. Pomohli jste mi pochopit, za čím si stojím. Teď se můžu vydat za dalším dobrodružstvím.
Vaše rabínka Kamila
If I was able to turn my journey towards the rabbinate into a movie, it would have to be a Disney fairy tale.
Animated with lots of colours, filled with fluffy animals with big eyes. A girl from a small town decides to pursue her dreams and sets out on a journey. During her adventures while travelling through foreign lands, she crosses deep oceans and passes through scary forests. On her journey she also learns from sages and reads heavy dusty tomes full of wisdom written in ancient languages. And as is usual in fairy tales, she also learns quite a great deal about herself. She learns from her mistakes, and it helps her grow.
As in every good fairy tale there are also opponents and obstacles in her way. Mountains so high, she cannot see their peak, greedy dragons and evil wizards playing their tricks. But luckily, there are also friends, fairies and wise men and women, who help, correct and protect.
The fact that I became a rabbi on the day of the Yahrzeit of our holy Maharal, is a testament to the fact that life can indeed be a fairy tale sometimes.
This week, we are reading a double Torah portion – Nitzavim-Vajelech.
It also has a bit of the structure of a fairy tale.
After the Israelites went through everything that happened in the wilderness, now they are standing for one last time to recommit themselves to their belief. The story, so it would seem, is over. But we know this is just a beginning of another chapter.
Nitzavim, often translated as standing, means so much more than just plain passive standing. It means standing firmly, unshakable, standing deeply rooted – standing for something.
The Israelites have been shaped through their adventures and they now know what they stand for.
Vajelech, on the other hand, means the exact opposite – “and he went”. This little connection Nitzavim-Vayelech can teach us that first, we need to stand still, we need to be nitzavim – to learn, listen, observe, be shaped, and understand – find what we stand for. Then we must go out – vayelech – and act upon it. When one chapter ends, another always begins.
I have been so lucky to learn from many of you, my friends, colleagues and teachers. You have been my wise wizards, and good fairies. You helped me to understand what I stand for. Now, I am allowed to go on another adventure.
When a Memorial Torah Scroll is entrusted to a congregation on long term loan, it is on the understanding that the congregation makes a long term commitment to give this Sefer Torah a prominent and meaningful role in the spiritual and educational life of the congregation. This requires the rabbi and the leaders of the congregation to pledge to dedicate one Shabbat every year to the Jews of their Memorial Torah Scroll – the people, their community, their fate and their heritage. Each Scroll is a messenger from a martyred community that depends on its new community to ensure that their heritage is cherished as well as their remembrance as individuals.
The Torah Scroll is the property of the Memorial Scrolls Trust.
The Torah Scroll is issued exclusively to a designated congregation or institution (“the Recipient”) on long term loan.
The Recipient will pay to the Trust an initial donation of $5000
New Recipients shall make an annual donation to the Trust of $360.
The Recipients website should have a page or an article about their Czech Torah and its history, as well as the Memorial Scrolls Trust and the Czech Scrolls Museum. The website should also have a link to the MST website www.memorialscrollstrust.org
Recipients who are synagogues, shall have an annual commemorative service dedicated to the Jews of the Memorial Scroll town.
The Recipient must provide the Trust with a written report a minimum of once every 5 years. This will give an update of the physical condition of the scroll and share highlights of the role it plays in the community.
The Torah Scroll may not be transferred to any other organisation, and must be returned to the Trust in the event of the closure or merger of the designated organisation.
Where a Torah Scroll has been loaned to a museum, it should be placed on display. If it is kept in storage for a period of more than 2 months, it should be returned to the Trust.
The Recipient is responsible for the safekeeping of the Scroll, and for its condition.
The Recipient must arrange and pay for any repairs or restoration that may be necessary while the Scroll is in their care.
Before any repair or restoration work may be undertaken on the Scroll, advance notice must be given and permission needs to be granted by the Trust. The specified work must be undertaken only by or under the close supervision of a nominated certified scribe approved by the Trust.
Where the Etz Chayim are replaced, the MST brass plaque with the Scroll’s identification number must be preserved and reaffixed
Under no circumstances whatsoever may the Torah Scroll be buried.
The certificate of origin that comes with the Torah Scroll must be framed and displayed in a prominent position near the Scroll. If the certificate cannot be found, then the Recipient must contact the Trust to arrange and pay for a replacement.
The Recipient must maintain adequate insurance against normal risks, and the Trust’s ownership of the Torah Scroll must be endorsed on the insurance policy. Each Torah Scroll to be insured for $25,000.
The Torah Scroll may not be unrolled in its entirety for any reason except that which pertains to its upkeep.
UK £ Sterling Bank Account
Sort Code 60-04-04 Account 86880594
IBAN GB28NWBK60040486880594 BIC: NWBKGB2L
USD $ Bank Account
Sort code 60-04-04 Currency 140 Type 00 Account 87579650 [140/00/87579650]