Temple Beth Tikvah is blessed with four Torah Scrolls.
One of our scrolls is on permanent loan to us, as its care takers, from the Memorial Scrolls Trust.
In 1983, we received “Scroll #727” which was originally from the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) in Eastern Europe. Written near the end of the 19th century and beloved by the Pinkas congregation, this scroll was stolen by the Nazis during World War II. The Nazis anticipated using the Pinkas scroll and many other Torahs as a display in a museum commemorating the murdered Jews of Europe.
From the website of the Memorial Scrolls Trust:
In 1963, the Artia, a company run by the Czech Communist government approached Eric Estorick an art dealer who frequently visited Prague to buy paintings for his Grosvenor Gallery in London, to ask if he was interested in buying some Torah and other scrolls. He approached a client, Ralph Yablon who discussed the situation with Harold Reinhart, Rabbi of the Westminster Synagogue.
It was decided to instruct Chimen Abramsky, Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College, London to examine the scrolls in Prague and report on their authenticity and condition, on receipt of which Ralph Yablon generously agreed to fund the purchase of 1564 scrolls that arrived in London in February 1964. …
Subsequently the Memorial Scrolls Trust, a charity, was set up and the scrolls have subsequently been allocated on to communities and organisations around the world. The scrolls are never sold or donated, but allocated on loan. Communities that close or merge with other Czech scroll-holders are obliged to return their scroll to the Trust.
Learn more about the Memorial Scrolls project HERE.