Ruth, 96, reads from the Torah for the first time
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Ruth, 96, reads from the Torah for the first time

Holocaust survivor takes part in special service at Birmingham Progressive Synagogue, before speaking about her upbringing under the Nazis

Ruth Shire and her family at BPS
Ruth Shire and her family at BPS

Birmingham Progressive Synagogue (BPS) member and Holocaust survivor Ruth Shire read from the Torah for the first time, at the age of 96, in front of a packed BPS sanctuary.

In a moving D’var Torah, Ruth explained how she had not had the chance to learn Hebrew growing up in Nazi Germany.

The service was led by Ruth’s son and daughter-in-law, Rabbis Michael Shire and Marcia Plumb, along with Birmingham’s Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi. Ruth’s grandchildren read her a specially written blessing on the Bimah.

The Shul was full to celebrate Ruth, who has been a member of the congregation for about 70 years.

Ruth – pictured with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and wider family – has been a member of BPS for 70 years.

Rabbi Margaret Jacobi: “This was a very special and truly memorable Shabbat, and the whole community came out to celebrate with Ruth.”

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