Making a Difference

Making a Difference


Action against prejudice

During a trip to Louny, members of Temple Beth-Am in Philadelphia were greeted by the Mayor, Radovan Sabata and three representatives of the small Jewish community of nearby Teplice. On visiting the disused 19th century synagogue from which Beth-Am’s 150 year-old Torah scroll came, the Mayor announced the rehabilitation of the building as a Jewish Museum to help local people understand Judaism and the need to confront prejudice.

To use the Pilsen scroll was very special. It was a link to my Grandma and beyond her to generations of my family.”

Sam Finkelstein
Barmitzvah, May 2013

Inspiring new Jewish life

Nottingham Progressive Jewish Congregation, which has a scroll from Slavkov (better known as Austerlitz) went there with their scroll to mark the bat mitzvah of their Chairman’s daughter, Hana. They are one of hundreds of communities to regularly use their scrolls for b’nei mitzvah, including Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, where earlier this year Sam used a scroll from Pilsen, where his grandmother was born, for his bar mitzvah.

Rediscovering the lost communities

Under the leadership of Rabbi Norman Patz, the community in Cedar Grove, New Jersey has inspired the Czechs to put up a monument on the site of the former synagogue in Dvur Kralove nad Labem from where their scroll came. (The synagogue was torn down during the Communist era.)

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