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Holocaust Memorial Scroll

Synagogue Emanu-El is the custodian for a sefer Torah (Torah scroll) that survived the Holocaust.  We received this scroll in 1993. Our scroll is on permanent loan from the Memorials Scrolls Trust in London, and its transfer to our synagogue was made possible by the generosity of the Engel Family in memory of the members of their family and the six million other Jews who died in the Holocaust. 

The mantle, in the simple style of a tallit, or Jewish prayer shawl, was given by Joe Engel in memory of his family members who perished in the Holocaust.  Mr. Engel is a survivor of the Holocaust and is a longtime and beloved member of the Charleston community, Holocaust educator, and member of Synagogue Emanu-El.

The scroll is used by our congregation every year when we remove it from its case on Erev Yom Kippur, when we assemble all of the Torah scrolls for the Kol Nidre prayer.  It is kept in a glass display case prominently displayed directly adjacent to the doors of our sanctuary, reminding us when we assemble that our present is formed by our past and that the people of Israel endure through prayer and perseverance.


Pinkas Synagogue, Prague

Our scroll is one of several located after Word War II at Pinkas Synagogue in Prague.  Almost 100 scrolls were removed from synagogues in Bohemia and Moravia, an area in the present-day Czech Republic that was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1939.  These scrolls were held in safekeeping in the Pinkas Synagogue and survived the war.  Many have been identified with a original congregation; others, like ours, are currently considered "orphans."

Pinkas Synagogue is a memorial to the more than 78,000 Czech Jews who died in the Holocaust and is administered by the Jewish Museum in Prague.

Ours is Scroll MST #371 from the Memorials Scrolls Trust.  You can read more about the history of Jews in Bohemia and Moravia before and after the Holocaust on the Trust's page.

Other South Carolina synagogues that have sifrei Torah from the Memorial Scrolls Trust are:

Temple B'nai Israel, Anderson SC

Tree of Life Congregation, Columbia SC

Beth Shalom Synagogue, Columbia SC

Congregation Beth Yam, Hilton Head Island SC

Congregation B'nai Israel, Spartanburg SC

Congregation Sinai, Sumter SC

Sat, June 15 2024 9 Sivan 5784