Kiev Synagogue Gets To Keep Torah Scrolls

October 30, 2013
BY JTA Wire Service

A Kiev rabbi has won a protracted legal battle against a Ukrainian government agency for his synagogue’s ownership of 18 Torah scrolls.

The Kiev Economic Court of Appeals ruled last week that Rabbi Moshe Azman’s Central Synagogue in Kiev may keep the scrolls as its possession.

Ukraine’s State Archive Service had transferred the scrolls to the synagogue in 1995, Azman said, after taking possession of them
following their confiscation in the 1920s by communist authorities.

“They gave them to us to use but then wanted them back, which we refused to do,” he said. “We fixed all the Torah scrolls and made them usable again. They belong to the Jewish community, and that is still their place.”

Azman, a chief rabbi of Ukraine, also said the scrolls never left the country.

According to Azman, the archive service first requested the scrolls be returned after the 2006 appointment of historian Olga Ginzburg to head the archive. Azman said he believes the archive service is in possession of 800 to 1,000 additional Torah scrolls.

Over the years, the archive service also gave the Jewish community fragments of other Torah scrolls, which were buried in keeping with Jewish tradition.


COMMENTS
  1. Pingback: Growing Vulnerability | Baltimore Jewish Times

ADD COMMENTS

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

33,755 Spam Comments Blocked so far by Spam Free Wordpress