OUR CZECH TORAH SCROLLS: #181 and #296

 

Makom Czech Sefer Skokie Shoah Torah

 

Every member of our Schechter community has a unique Jewish journey, including our Torah scrolls. We are honored to host two Torah scrolls that were rescued from a Czech warehouse after the Holocaust. Czech Memorial Torah Scroll #181 comes from the town of Brno and currently resides in our M’kom Tefillah. Czech Memorial Torah Scroll #296 comes from the town of Trebic and currently resides in our Downstairs Beit Knesset.


During the Holocaust, the Nazis collected gold and silver ornaments, ceremonial objects and Torah scrolls from towns all over Europe. A group of Czechoslovakian Jews was forced to arrange and catalogue the items which had been assembled in Prague. After the war, the Communist Government of Czechoslovakia released the Torah scrolls.
 

In 1964, the Memorial Scrolls Committee of Westminster Synagogue in London arranged for the shipment of 1564 scrolls to the Synagogue, where they were catalogued and repaired and restored when possible. Each Torah was given a numbered brass plaque to identify its origin. Scrolls that could not be made fit for synagogue use were sent to religious and educational institutions as solemn memorials. This is how we received our two scrolls. Scroll #181 was brought to us by Mr. Arthur Weil, and Scroll #296 was brought to us by Mr. Larry Adler. In 1983, then Schechter grandmother Marvell Ginsburg z’’l published her children’s picture book The Tattood Torah, which lovingly describes the journey of Scroll #181 from its original, vibrant community in Brno to its installation at Schechter, where the community excitedly welcomed it and adorned it with a new mantle.

We believe that a Jewish life should be a joyous life. When we see our precious Czech Torah scrolls, we recall the words of the Psalmist: “You have turned my mourning into dancing” (Ps 30:11). Indeed, our students read from the Torah and dance to its words just as they learn to build a bright future for all people.

 

The Memorial Scrolls Trust, a U.K. non-profit organization, has recently begun to reach out to synagogues and other instititutions who received the Czech scrolls to gather updated information about them. They plan to continue to enhance their website so it becomes "a repository of all knowledge concerning the 1564 scrolls, the Jewish history of the towns they came from, the Jews of those towns, their fate, survivors stories, photos etc. Also where the scrolls are now, how they are used  and honoured etc." More information about the Memorial Scrolls Trust is available on their website. 

 
 

Joy | Simcha

A Jewish life is a joyous life. SSDS provides a joyful learning environment for children,
families, and educators. Jewish holidays and life cycle events are an opportunity for everyone
to come together to celebrate and experience the richness of Jewish life.

Journey | Masa

SSDS welcomes and partners with parents to encourage and support their children and families
throughout their Schechter journey. We also promote a love of learning in our students, and create
opportunities for children, parents, families, educators, and volunteers to engage in life-long learning and growth.

Israel | Yisrael

Through Hebrew language education and immersion in Israeli culture, SSDS personalizes for its students
the American Jewish connection to Israel, instilling a passionate, lasting commitment to, and a sense of responsibility
for, the State of Israel.

In the Image of God | Btzelem Elohim

SSDS values the uniqueness and worth of every individual. Our school emphasizes respect, dignity,
inclusiveness, and compassion. We nurture the health, safety, and well-being of every member of our community.

Exemplary | Dugma

SSDS is committed to providing an education that weaves the best of General studies and Judaic
studies in an integrated program that is the benchmark against which Jewish day school programs are measured.

Community | Kehillah

SSDS is a community of students, families, educators, donors, and volunteer leaders who support
each other through times of joy and sorrow, forging life-long bonds of friendship
based on a shared commitment to each other and to Jewish life and learning.

A partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving our community. We appreciate the generous assistance provided by the Bernard Heerey Family Foundation Seventh Grade Scholarship Program for our Schechter families. Solomon Schechter Day School accepts students and parents of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

Administrative Office: 3210 Dundee Road, Northbrook, IL 60062 | 847.498.2100
©2014, Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chicago