The History of the Holocaust Torah
Our Torah is very special, it is one that was salvaged from the ashes of the Holocaust. In 1942, as Jews were being exterminated across Europe, Hitler agreed to allow the beleaguered Prague Jewish community to collect and store Torah scrolls and other sacred artifacts from the decimated Czech provincial communities. While Hitler envisioned these as trophies for a future museum to showcase his annihilation of the Jewish people, instead the surviving Torah scrolls became a testament to Jewish resilience, endurance, and hope. Today, the Holocaust Torah Restoration Project honors this legacy by giving a voice to this Torah on behalf of those who were silenced.
In 1964, 1,564 Czech Memorial Scrolls were purchased from the Czechoslovak Communist state and taken back into Jewish hands by the Memorial Scrolls Trust of Westminster Synagogue in London, England. The scrolls were restored and distributed to hundreds of Congregations all over the world, including our community in Kingston, NY. Although our Torah scroll, Czech Memorial Scroll #326, survived the Holocaust, it is fragile, damaged, and in need of repair. To restore this Holocaust Torah, we invite the entire Hudson Valley community, family, friends and neighbors, to join in supporting its restoration.