On February 5, Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan, in partnership with Memorial Scrolls Trust of London, held a processional with 75 Torah scrolls from Czechoslovakia that survived the Holocaust. It was timed to mark the opening of a new exhibit in the shul’s museum called “The Guiding Hand: An Exhibition of Torah Pointers, Past and Present,” which will display 200 Torah pointers of all styles and national origins, some up to 400 years old. The exhibit will be on display through May 30.
Rabbi Steven Sirbu of Temple Emeth in Teaneck held the shul’s Holocaust Torah, which was rescued from the city of Plseň.
Jean and Charlie Ticho, members of Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley in Woodcliff Lake for 53 years, were invited to attend the Manhattan gathering to bring the shul’s Torah scroll from the destroyed Jewish community of Pribram.
After the Nazi army invaded Czechoslovakia in March 1939, they ordered all Jewish congregations to ship their possessions to the Jewish Museum in Prague. There, more than 1,800 scrolls were carefully inventoried and tagged by Jewish scholars. Then they were unceremoniously stored in an abandoned synagogue. After the war, a donor bought the scrolls and brought them to the Westminster Synagogue in London, where they were cleaned, and some were restored for kosher use. The scrolls were made available as a memorial for safekeeping in Jewish and non-Jewish institutions all over the world.