The Memorial Scrolls Trust is launching its travelling exhibition at Camden’s Jewish Museum on 7 December, writes Joseph Millis.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis will be the guest of honour at the launch of the exhibition, which marks the 50th anniversary of the rescue and subsequent restoration and return to use of 1,564 Czech Torah Scrolls.
The scrolls are part of a unique collection brought to Prague from every corner of Czechoslovakia by the Jewish community at the height of the Second World War.
They are now owned and loaned out to synagogues around the world by the Memorial Scrolls Trust, which is housed at the Reform Westminster Synagogue.
Rabbi Mirvis will be the first Chief Rabbi to view the collection since Lord Jakobovits, whose relative Tobias Jacobovits worked at the Prague Museum before he died in the Holocaust in 1944.
Backing the exhibition are two former chairmen of the Football Association, Lord Triesman and David Bernstein. Lord Triesman told Jewish News: “Rabbi Tomas Salamon [Westminster’s Czechoslovakia-born minister] came to see David and asked for help to spread the word.
David asked me and I’m pleased this is working. We must carry these memories across the generations.”
Rabbi Salamon recalled visiting the Czech town of Horažďovice, home to one of the scrolls. “I met the mayor and he told me, unprompted: ‘Our town is poorer for not having Jews. They contributed so much’.”
Trust chairman Evelyn Friedlander said: ”The launch of our educational resource and travelling exhibition means even more people will hopefully be inspired to take action.”
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This event is in aid of the Memorial Scrolls Trust’s 50th anniversary year.