Thursday 8 October 2015

Siyum for MST #655 in Sharon, MA

MST Chair Jeffrey Ohrenstein has just returned from a weekend in Sharon MA where he attended a siyum for the repair of our scroll MST #655 from Prestice, on loan to Temple Sinai for the last 26 years. Westminster Synagogue is also the holder of a scroll from Prestice,and in his role as Chair of the synagogue, Mr Ohrenstein brought MST #178 to Sharon to join 16 other New England scrolls and Sofer Kevin Hale  for a moving reunion in the Temple Sinai sanctuary.  He writes:
"...there were 18 MST Sifrei Torah and there were a lot of wet eyes in the congregation. Rabbi Meszler and his community have done an incredible job and I was privileged to take part in the siyum."
One attendee wrote:
"I have been to events at Temple Sinai for over 25 years and this was so very, very special. It was the BEST. Seeing those other 17 Torahs reunited from Czechoslovakia pre Holocaust and having our own Czech Torah restored for use by our congregation gave us chills and memories that will be forever remembered."
Mr Ohrenstein was also invited to Shabbat services at Temple Israel of Sharon, holders of MST #1029 from Prestice, and spoke to the congregation about the work of the MST. The congregation was thus motivated to begin restoration work on their scroll, and to join with the MST to develop education projects in their community.
If your congregation is interested in hosting a Scrolls Reunion for the MST scrolls in your city or state, do contact us and we shall do all we can to assist and support such a project!


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  2. I heard about your reunion in 2016 from Rabbi Bearman at Temple B'nai Chaim in Connecticut.

    Our community, Peninsula Sinai Congregation in Foster City, CA, has a scroll from České Budějovice as well. It is one of two that were allocated to our community from the Westminster Trust.

    Interestingly, our second Czech scroll from the Moravian town of Olomouc was returned, kosher, to that community in October, 2017. It was the first time, to our knowledge, that one of the 1564 Czech Torah Scrolls had permanently been returned to its ancestral home.

    I was part of the delegation from our synagogue that accompanied the scroll back to Olomouc last Fall along with other lay leaders and our Rabbi Corey Helfand. It was an amazing, historic and emotional event attended by 350 people from around the world.

    I also had a chance to visit České Budějovice briefly on that trip and saw the monument to that community's destroyed synagogue. Sadly there is no Jewish community to speak of in
    České Budějovice today.

    I'm copying two links which might be of interest to you. The first is from my trip blog documenting the whole trip to Olomouc and specifically my visit to České Budějovice. There's plenty more about the rest of our trip as well, if you're interested from September, 2017 onward.

    The second is to a short ABC News story that ran locally and nationally the day we left with the scroll last October

    All the best. Please be in touch

    Steve Lipman