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Memorial Scrolls Trust

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. During WWII, the Nazis collected gold and silver ornaments, ceremonial objects and Torah scrolls from towns all over Europe.  A group of Czechoslovakian Jews was forced to arrange and catalog the items which had been collected in Prague. After the war, the Communist Government of Czechoslovakia released the Torah scrolls. 


In 1964, the Memorial Scrolls Committee of Westminster Synagogue in London arranged for the shipment of 1564 scrolls from Prague to the Synagogue, where they were cataloged and repaired and restored when possible. Each Torah was given a numbered brass plaque to identify its origin. Scrolls that could not be made fit for synagogue use were sent to religious and educational institutions as solemn memorials. Those that were repaired and could be used in religious service were sent to fulfill requests of synagogues all over the world in return for a contribution toward restoration expenses.


In November of 1985, scroll number 206 was assigned on permanent loan to Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek. The Torah rests in the main entryway of the Temple, in conjunction with our memorial wall. The scrolls are dedicated in everlasting memory to the millions of Jews who perished during the Holocaust, and are used as an educational symbol of remembrance. 

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