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Our Czech Scroll

FRS has, on permanent loan from the Memorial Scrolls Trust, a Torah scroll from the Czech town of Říčany situated 15 miles South East of Prague.

When FRS was a relatively new congregation, Rabbi Henry Goldstein requested a Czech scroll. We received our scroll, number 286, in 1968. When we received it the attribution was that it came from the small market town of Uhříněves, 10 miles South East of Prague, and is one of 1564 Czech scrolls which were brought from Prague to London in 1964.

In early 2023 new documents were discovered and translated. These revealed that our scroll was actually from Říčany and had been sent via Uhříněves, which is four miles from Říčany, when Jewish artifacts were being collected and brought to Prague.

The scroll is approximately 200 years old and was probably written in Germany. It is distinguished in having unusually wide columns.

The scroll was used regularly for more than 30 years but became pasul* and is now on display in a cabinet in the Ohel.

Each year, normally on Shabbat Shuva**, we remove the scroll from the cabinet and read from it. During the service we remember the 378 Jews from Uhříněves who perished in death camps.

The scroll is also removed from the cabinet and explained to local schoolchildren during the annual Holocaust education sessions held at FRS

In 1999 FRS formed a group to explore the rich cultural treasure trove that the scroll brings to the synagogue.

*declared unfit for Jewish ceremonial use  
**"Sabbath of Repentance;" the Shabbat between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur

Mon, 15 July 2024 9 Tammuz 5784