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Czech Scroll Dedication Ceremony

On Shabbat, June 29 we officially dedicated our Czech Memorial Scroll. On this day we also honoured the 60th wedding anniversary of John and Nora Freund, who have generously helped to bring this treasured survivor into our congregation.  Three generations of the Freund family were present to participate in the dedication as the scroll was symbolically handed to each family member. The scroll was then carried with honour, respect and love throughout the congregation and placed into the Ark.

John Freund offered the following words.

“Shabbat Shalom. Yes, I am pleased with the dedication of the Czech Torah to the Holy Blossom Temple.

My wife Nora and I have been members with our three daughters for most of our wedded life: 60 years ago.  Both Nora and I were born in Czechoslovakia, but her parents were smarter than mine as they left Europe before the Nazi invasion in 1939.

The Torah that we are dedicating at the time of our 60 wedding anniversary has a special meaning for my family.  As most of the Jews of the town Chotebor (100km east of Prague) were killed in the Holocaust, the Torah became an orphan. A High School in Chotebor in 2005 researched the fates of their Jewish neighbours and prepared a brochure. One family was named Bondy.  The oldest person on a rescued photograph is Veronica Bondy, nee Pick.  She had a son and a daughter. The daughter was named Hermine, and Hermine Bondy married my grandfather Alexander Freund. My father Gustav was one of their children.  As a child, I was visiting my grandparents in Prague and I remember the old lady Veronica Bondy.  She dies at the age of 102 in 1939, thus avoiding the fate of the others.

Nora and I are happy that the Torah has a new home.”

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    The Czech Torah Scroll, the Aliyah of our new rabbi and Katie, and the new ner tamid contributed to one of the most meaningful and memorable Shabbat services in the Mishkan.

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