Nicaraguan Jews have a Torah for the first time in nearly 30 years.
A new Torah scroll was sent to the country in August, replacing the one that left the country for Costa Rica after a fire ravaged the country’s only synagogue in 1978 and the leftist Sandinista Revolution the following year forced the country’s Jewish community into exile.
The damaged synagogue was expropriated in the 1980s and now is a funeral home. Since the Sandinistas lost the 1990 elections, Jews have been trickling back to the country. Nicaragua’s Jewish community today numbers about 60 people.
Chana Sorhegan of New Jersey donated the scroll, which will be kept in the home of a Sabbath-observant community member, since the community has no permanent meeting place or synagogue. The Torah is to be welcomed in a celebratory ceremony following the High Holy Days, community president Eduardo Translateur said.
Translateur said the Torah’s arrival is a major step toward rebuilding Nicaraguan Jewry.
“The Torah was brought here last week and it is very beautiful,” he told JTA. “Slowly, slowly we are moving forward.”