NLJC has just one Torah scroll. It is on “permanent loan” from Liberal Judaism, which means that should the congregation cease to exist the scroll would be returned to LJ. Rosita Rosenberg, the then Chief Executive of the movement, was dealing at the time, which would have been in early 1990. In 1991 NLJC gave to LJ £1,000 as a sign of its appreciation.
Our scroll is not, as one might have been led to believe, one of the Czech scrolls which found their way to the Memorial Scrolls Trust (MST have no record of it, and there’s no brass ID plate which would confirm this). My colleague Meike Reintjes with whom I was sometime ago researching this, told me at the time that Rabbi Andrew Goldstein was fairly certain that NLJC’s scroll comes from his “collection” of five scrolls that he obtained from a dealer in Germany. The dealer had told Andrew that they had originated in Slovakia.
Meike and I thought at the time that a German antique dealer having made money from a Torah scroll belonging to a Slovakian Jewish community was more than a little disturbing, nevertheless we were glad to see that Andrew’s scrolls, thanks to his single-mindedness, had finally found their way to England, and one of them to our congregation!
Today there are some 3,000 Jews living in Slovakia and there may be an opportunity for NLJC to twin with a community there. Food for thought.
The Norwich Liberal Jewish Community
December 9, 2018