The FRS Czech Scroll

Scroll No 286 from Uhrineves
by David Rose

Since 1999, I have been on a voyage of discovery into the treasure trove that is our Czech Memorial Scroll. Our scroll number 286 comes from the small market town of Uhrineves, 10 miles east of Prague and is one of 1564 Czech scrolls which were brought from Prague to London in 1964.

In the late 1960s when FRS was a relatively new congregation Rabbi Henry Goldstein requested a Czech scroll. The scroll served us well but when the community grew, newer scrolls were acquired and the scroll was retired to the Geniza (archive) below the ark. There it remained for the next 30 years, emerging occasionally for High Holyday use.

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 Interior of Uhrineves Synagogue

The scroll is approximately 200 years old and was probably written in Germany. It is distinguished in having unusually wide columns.

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Picture of the scroll from Uhrineves 

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Rabbi Henry Goldstein 

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Neil Pike

In 1998 the synagogue was invited to attend a seminar at Northwood and Pinner Synagogue called “Sharing the Czech Experience”. David Rose, a warden at the time, was despatched as a representative. He can remember being inspired by a presentation made by Neil Pike from Nottingham Progressive community. The Nottingham Progressive community had forged links with Austerlitz, the town where their Czech scroll originated and through their efforts the derelict synagogue building was rebuilt and restored to it former splendour. David met Michael Heppner, an ebullient man with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Czech scrolls. He encouraged David to begin researching the Finchley Reform scroll.

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Michael Heppner 

Talk given by Michael Heppner on 10 Sept 2011 at FRS

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Scroll in case