Three years after its arrival in Terre Haute, the Czech Memorial Scroll identified as MST #845 helped bridge the generations during a confirmation ceremony in the UHC sanctuary.
As students Ellie Klein, Rachel Seidenberg, David Halpern and Dan Atkins stood by, Rabbi Joseph Klein held the historic scroll from Pardubice and described its significance. He said:
“The Torah scroll that tonight’s Torah portion from Exodus will be read from is a special scroll to our congregation, in the life of our congregation.
“This Torah was rescued from Czechoslovakia. Its fate in 1939 was to be in a Nazi museum of the extinct Jewish people.”
“This Torah was rescued from Czechoslovakia. Its fate in 1939 was to be in a Nazi museum of the extinct Jewish people.
“Twenty years later, this scroll found its way to London, England, to Westminster Synagogue and from Westminster to Terre Haute, Indiana.
“The scroll was destined to be in a museum in a world in which there were no more Jews. Tonight, we pass it to another generation of adults — another generation that will treasure it as we have.
“The symbolism of this scroll is important for this evening. It is important to these young adults. I ask the confirmation class to come up.”
And with that, Rabbi Klein passed the Torah to Dan Atkins and sang L’Choh Hashem Hagedula as the students began the Torah procession around the sanctuary.
Video screen captures from the Sept. 11, 1991, confirmation service at UHC depict the Temple’s Pardubice Scroll. To Rabbi Joseph Klein’s left, the students are (from left) Dan Atkins, David Halpern, Ellie Klein and Rachel Seidenberg.