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Petaluma's Inclusive Center for Jewish Life

A Community Gathering: Survival and Dedication

Sunday, December 5, 2021 1 Tevet 5782

3:30 PM - 5:30 PM

A Community Gathering: Survival and Dedication

Sunday, December 5, 3:30 p.m.
In-Person and via Zoom
B’nai Israel Jewish Center
740 Western Ave., Petaluma, CA 94952

Survival and Dedication: Before celebrating the last night of Hanukkah at B'nai Israel Jewish Center, our community will formally accept the arrival of a Torah, created in the middle of the 18th century, for a shul in what is now the Czech Republic.

The Torah survived almost two hundred years, but as the Holocaust neared, was lost to the Nazis. Confiscated in the Holocaust, the Torah was found in the 1960’s and refurbished by scribes working for the Memorial Scrolls Trust in London, England. Ultimately, the Trust obtained 1,564 such scrolls all confiscated by Hitler. Each is now available on permanent loan to Jewish Congregations around the world.


In-person attendance will be subject to limitations. Proof of vaccination is required for entry. If attending in-person, please register below. Login is not needed or recommended. Follow the prompts under "Enter your details."


The Zoom link will be shared in future email newsletters. To receive the weekly BIJC newsletter, sign up here

The scroll that comes to Petaluma first went to Temple Beth Emunah of Brockton, Massachusetts, co-founded by Nathan and Ruth Richman, parents of past president of Petaluma’s BIJC, Naomi Richman. When her parent’s Congregation in Massachusetts closed, Naomi requested that the Torah be brought to BIJC in Petaluma, California. Her wish was granted by the Memorial Scrolls Trust. The scroll is now on permanent loan to the B’nai Israel Jewish Center, in Petaluma.

Just as Hanukkah marks the rededication of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, we welcome this living history of our past, which like many of our congregants, survived the Ha-Shoah. This Torah serves not just as a reminder of our past, but also as testament to our survival as a people, a community, and our dedication to tradition. This vestige sits at the center our commitment to our religion, our commitment to one another, and to the community of Petaluma in which we live, play, flourish, grow, and contribute.

This 270-year-old scroll, in all of its rich history, reminds us of where we have been, and who we are.

Please join us to welcome the Czech Holocaust Torah in our Jewish Center, followed by the lighting of our outdoor Hanukkah Menorah. Our doors are open to persons of all faiths and walks of life. Masking is required when entering the building and while inside. All persons are requested to bring proof of Covid vaccination.

For more information, contact Rabbi Ted Feldman.

To read more about BIJC's Czech Torah Scroll from the Memorial Scrolls Trust, click here.

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Mon, October 2 2023 17 Tishrei 5784