HELP RESTORE OUR HOLOCAUST TORAH
And become a part of our collective history
Our Holocaust Torah is a survivor, a beacon of hope and symbol of justice. In a time of rising anti-semitism and ethnic cleansing around the world, we are looking to you to help complete the restoration our Torah.
Join us in this journey.
The Holocaust Torah Restoration Project began as the brainchild of a teenage congregant, James Ayton, in anticipation of his Bar Mitzvah, in November, 2014. James spearheaded the initiative to restore Congregation Emanuel’s Holocaust Torah, the Czech Memorial Scroll #326, by raising awareness and raising funds for the restoration. You can learn more about his project here.
How to Help
We’re inviting the entire Hudson Valley community— family, friends and neighbors—to join in supporting the restoration.
Our efforts are ongoing to raise the $21,500 needed to carry out this sacred work. The goal is to have our Torah fully restored by Spring 2019. We are already more than a third of the way there.
Congregation Emanuel members will have the opportunity to work directly with the sofer or scribe, in restoring the Torah. Friends in the community will also be able to engage with this sacred process through educational events.
Would you like to have a Congregation member speak to your group about our Torah and this project? To set up a speaker, contact us.
To donate as a Friend of the Torah, click here.
To donate as a Synagogue Member, click here.
The History of Czech Memorial Scroll #326
Our Torah 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. 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.
In 1964, 1,564 Czech Memorial Scrolls were purchased from the Czechoslovakia Communist state and taken back into Jewish hands by the Memorial Scrolls Trust of Westminster Synagogue in London, England.
The scrolls were made ready 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.
This project is co-sponsored by CEHV’s Committee on Spiritual Practice and the Social Action Committee.