HUC-JIR is honored to care for two Czech Sifrei Torah on our New York campus, in partnership with Memorial Scrolls Trust.
Torah MST#383 is from Kutna Hora. It was scribed c.1825 and was loaned to HUC-JIR in 1967 following a request from the New York Federation of Reform Synagogues.
Torah MST#1135 is from Vlasim. It was also scribed c.1825 and was loaned in 1983 following a request from the Dean, Dr. Paul M. Steinberg, who collected it personally.
These Sifrei Torah are two of 1564 Torah scrolls from Bohemia and Moravia that survived the Shoah. As part of the collection of Jewish art and artifacts collected by the Nazis for their planned Museum of a Destroyed People, they were stored in the synagogue that after the war became the Jewish Museum in Prague. In 1964 they were lying in a damp warehouse that was formerly the 16th century Michle Synagogue when they were sold by the Czech government and Artia to Ralph Yablon, on condition that they came to the Westminster Synagogue in London, UK. The Memorial Scrolls Trust has loaned over 1400 of these Torah scrolls around the world, with over 1000 loaned to synagogues and organisations in the USA.
Our campus community is privileged to have these treasured Sifrei Torah, witnesses to the destruction of European Jewry during the Holocaust, as part of the worship and learning that takes place in our Petrie Synagogue.
Learn more about the Memorial Scrolls Trust here.