Today is September 18, 2020 -
In 1978 two members of The Fair Lawn Jewish Center, Ed and Alix Davidson, obtained, on permanent loan for our congregation, a Holocaust Memorial Torah. Originally from Pacov, a small town some fifty miles southeast of Prague, the Torah had been taken to the Westminster synagogue in London in 1964, along with over 1,500 other Torah Scrolls from Czechoslovakia. A special case was constructed in our main sanctuary, where the Torah is prominently displayed. This is a link to the website of the Memorial Scrolls Trust www.memorialscrollstrust.org
The text below is the Memorial Scroll Certificate from the Memorial Scrolls Trust about the Torah. The Memorial Scrolls Trust asks us to make each scroll “a messenger from a martyred community that depends on its new community to ensure that their heritage is cherished as well as their remembrance as individuals.”
The Sefer Torah Number 74 which this certificate accompanies is one of the 1564 Czech Memorial Sifre Torah which formed part of treasures were saved by being collected in Prague during the Nazi occupation 1939 – 1945 from the desolated Jewish communities of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, and which then came under the control of the Czechoslovak government for many years.
The scrolls were acquired, with the help of good friends, from Artia (the Czechoslovak State Cultural Agency) for Westminster Synagogue, where they arrived on the 7th February 1964.
Some of the collection remain at Westminster Synagogue, permanent memorial to the martyrs from whose Synagogues they came; many of them are distributed throughout the World, to be memorials everywhere to the Jewish tragedy, and spread light as harbingers of future brotherhood on Earth; and all of them bear witness to the glory of the Holly Name.
This Scroll came from Pacov and was written in 1900
Fair Lawn Jewish Center/Congregation B’nai Israel December 1978
This Scroll is the property of the Memorial Scrolls Trust
In 2016 Rabbi Ronald Roth published a booklet, The Jews of Pacov Remembered in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, that contains a translation of an article, The History of the Jews of Pacov written in Czech in 1934. That town of 5,000 residents had a Jewish population of a few hundred. The first Jews moved to Pacov in the second half of the sixteenth century and lived there for some four hundred years. If you would like a copy of the booklet, please contact Rabbi Roth – firstname.lastname@example.org