Holocaust Memorial Scrolls
Bethesda Jewish Congregation is a proud guardian of one of 1,564 Torah scrolls that, having been gathered for storage during World War 2, survived the communities that owned them before the Shoah.
Scroll # 143, from the town of Boskovice located in Moravia, Czech Republic, is on permanent loan to Bethesda Jewish Congregation from the Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust in London. The scroll is over 165 years old and arrived at BJC in 1971.
Boskovice was home to one of the largest Jewish communities in the province of Moravia. On March 19, 1942 the entire Jewish population of the town was deported and/or executed by the Nazis. Only 14 Jews are known to have survived. A descendent of one surviving family, Charles Ticho, visited BJC in 2005 and read from this Sefer Torah, one of only four that remain intact from the town.
Very fragile, with holes where vermin gnawed on the sheepskin, faded print in many places, and with a few missing sections, the congregation still lovingly reads from the scroll on Yom HaShoah and on, or near, the anniversary of Kristallnacht. With 160 years of service, we consider it the oldest member of our congregation and honor the memory of the Jewish community of the town each time we take it from the ark.
For more information please see the Memorial Scrolls Trust.