A Treasure Saved
from the Past
"If we don’t care about our past, we cannot hope for the future…"
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
"“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and
obliterate their own understanding of their history..."
- George Orwell
In November 1990, Congregation Beth Shalom received a special Torah through the generosity of Bea and Sydney Laub and the Leibowitz Fund.
The Sefer Torah number 337 which is housed in our Levin Chapel is one of the 1564 Czech Memorial Sifre Torah which formed part of the treasures which 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 in London, where they arrived on the 7th February 1964.
Some of the collection remain at Westminster Synagogue, a permanent memorial to the martyrs from whose synagogues they come; many of them are distributed throughout the world, to be memorials everywhere to the Jewish tragedy, and to spread light as harbingers of future brotherhood on earth; and all of them bear witness to the glory of the holy Name.
Our scroll came from Kolin and was believed to be written in the middle of the 19th century.
The scroll is on permanent loan from the Memorial Scrolls Trust. You can learn more about the Memorial Scrolls Trust by clicking here.
Beatrice "Bea" and Sidney Laub of blessed memory were long-time congregants of CBS until their move to California in the early 1990s. Bea was a born to Lillie and Morris Leibowitz (for whom the Educational Wing is named) and together they were known to be philanthropists, bridge players and loved to play golf. In fact, it is said, at one-time Bea shot a hole in one!