NEW YORK (Oct. 9)
For years, travelers to Eastern Europe have returned with tales of Torah scrolls and other Jewish holy objects decaying in improper storage.
But an accounting of these religious and cultural treasures has yet to be done.
“It is high time we take an inventory of this spiritual legacy,” said Rabbi Alexander Schindler, president of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. “This is holy work.”
The New York-based foundation recently launched a project to create a comprehensive inventory of Jewish cultural assets — artifacts, ritual objects and libraries — in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Locating these items will cost an estimated $700,000, which the foundation is currently seeking to raise, Schindler said.
After the inventory is completed, the foundation will determine how to make the information available to scholars. Documents may be duplicated on microfilm or posted on the Internet.
Artifacts that have decayed beyond repair will be buried according to Jewish custom.