Czech Torah #1403
The Journey of MST#1403 Torah Scroll
MST#1403 was written in the latter part of the 18th century and comes from the town of Kostelec nad Labem, Czechoslovakia, where a Jewish community flourished until the 1940s, when all of its citizens were deported by the Nazis, the vast majority to death camps. For many years it was believed the Nazis had the intention of creating a Museum of an Extinct Race” however no records have been found supporting this and now historians believe the Jewish communities were allowed to bring the scrolls with over 200,000 other items of Judaica to Prague for safe storing. No doubt the Nazis had the intention of looting valuables at a later date.
The scroll was warehoused at two collection points before being sent to the Jewish Museum of Prague. In 1987 the Torah was then made available by the Memorial Scrolls Trust in London to Congregation B’nai Israel on “permanent loan.” Our generous members, Ira Futeran (z’l”) and Phyllis Malmuth went to London and brought the Torah back to CBI, and we consider it a memorial to the communities that are no more.
Since then our congregation has cherished this historic Scroll. The Torah lives in a beautiful case donated by the L’Dor V’Dor Seniors and has been an integral part of our synagogue’s spiritual life, especially during B’nai Mitzvahs of grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, while inspiring us to never forget its past history.
Through this Torah, our community will be forever connected to the Jews of the Czech Republic, who perished during the Holocaust. May we always remember the Shabbat Services, High Holidays, Simchas and Blessings that this Torah shared with that Jewish community!
To Learn More About the Memorial Scrolls Trust
Please visit the Memorial Scrolls Trust website to learn the story of how 1564 scrolls were saved. Any additional questions can be directed to Lauren Mufson at 561.716.1359