Brno Jewish community unveils new Torah scroll

Marcy Oster

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (JTA) — The Jewish community of Brno, the Czech Republic, inaugurated a new Torah scroll in the city’s only surviving synagogue.

The dedication ceremony on Sunday marked the completion of an over one-year-long renovation of the synagogue in the country’s second largest city.

Several hundred people attended its inauguration, including the head of the Czech Republic’s federation of Jewish communities, Petr Papousek; Israeli ambassador to the Czech Republic, Gary Koren; the mayor of Brno, Petr Vokral; and the bishop of the Brno diocese, Vojtech Cikrle.

The Torah scroll was fashioned by Jewish scribe Rabbi Moshe Fluemenbaum of Jerusalem. The synagogue also was fitted with a new set of liturgical textiles, designed by U.S. artist Mark Podwal.

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The costs of the renovation, which amounted to about $480,000, were covered by the EU as well as the European Economic area and Norway grants. The cost of the new Torah scroll alone was over $32,000, according to the manager of the project, Petr Špunar of the Brno Jewish community.

The Jewish community of Brno has about 300 members. The functionalist-style Agudas Achim synagogue was erected in the 1930s. It was re-dedicated in1945 and has since been in active use as the only synagogue in the eastern region of the country.

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