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Austerlitz Scroll Circle is Formed

by Beverly Karp
photos by Jeff Rosenberg

Multiple scrolls often survived from a single village, even small villages. For example, 10 Torahs from Austerlitz have been distributed by the Scrolls Trust to nine congregations, plus Leeds University in Britain. There also is one Haftorah that never left the Czech Republic and is in the collection of the Jewish Museum of Prague. In addition, there is one Torah scroll fragment (found in the town castle, where Napoleon stayed during Battle of Austerlitz). That fragment now is in the restored synagogue of the
village, which has been known as Slavkov since the end of WWII.

Members of three congregations made a trip in June 2005 back to the village, other Jewish Moravian sites and Prague. The travelers came from England's Nottingham Liberal Progressive Synagogue, Temple Shomer Emunim of Sylvania, Ohio and Temple Beth-El of Ormond Beach, Florida. Susan Boyer of the Czechtorah Network joined the trip.

Several months into the trip preparations, one of the Nottingham girls decided to have her bat mitzvah there, 69 years to the very weekend since the last bar mitzvah took place in Austerlitz synagogue. In Ohio, a girl had her bat mitzvah that same weekend with the smallest of the Austerlitz scrolls. And in the Florida congregation, Rabbi Altman made the Austerlitz scroll a special focus of the confirmation class celebration that weekend.

Before the Austerlitz synagogue restoration project
After the restoration

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