Rich­mond wel­comes a scrolly good show

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS - BY BEN WEICH

Rabbi Shindler and Sam Freiman with the scroll FOR THE first time in liv­ing mem­ory, the small Rich­mond com­mu­nity has cel­e­brated the inau­gu­ra­tion of a new se­fer To­rah.

It was do­nated by con­gre­gant and Holo­caust sur­vivor Sam Freiman, 91, who made his home in nearby Kew and then moved to Rich­mond. He ded­i­cated it to the mem­ory of fam­ily mem­bers who died in the Shoah and his wife Sonja, who passed away in De­cem­ber.

More than 100 peo­ple from the 250-mem­ber con­gre­ga­tion at­tended the cel­e­bra­tion in the sy­n­a­gogue car park. In an apt ad­dress, Dayan Yona­son Abra­ham of the Lon­don Beth Din spoke of the “power of the Holo­caust sur­vivor to ig­nite and trans­mit the im­por­tance of the To­rah to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions”.

Born in in eastern Poland, Mr Freiman was in­car­cer­ated in the There­sien­stadt con­cen­tra­tion camp af­ter at­tempt­ing to es­cape the Warsaw ghetto.

Meir Shindler, the Rich­mond rabbi, said none of his con­gre­gants could re­mem­ber the last time a new scroll was do­nated.

“The whole project of get­ting it and de­sign­ing the cover took about a year-and-ahalf, so it’s been a while in the mak­ing.

“Usu­ally things like this hap­pen through a big com­mu­nity fundrais­ing project but we are cur­rently look­ing at ren­o­vat­ing parts of the shul.

“We have some very gen­er­ous bene­fac­tors but it would have been a very dif­fi­cult ask to raise the money our­selves.”

Mal­colm Levi, the shul’s chair­man, hailed the cer­e­mony for the new scroll as a “land­mark event” for Rich­mond.

It would have been dif­fi­cult to raise the money our­selves’

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