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Ancient Torah scroll returned to British Jews

(JTA) — A 250-year-old Torah scroll that has spent half its existence in a museum was returned to a British Jewish community.

In a ceremony on Wednesday, the restored and repaired scroll was given to Kehillat Kernow, the Jewish community of Cornwall. It was returned by the Duke of Gloucester on behalf of the Royal Cornwall Museum, which had kept the Torah since the closing of the Falmouth Synagogue in 1892, according to the BBC.

The returned scroll, one of four Torahs that had been kept in the museum since the synagogue’s closing, is believed to be the first kosher Torah scroll in the country to be given back by a museum.

In March 2013, the trustees of The Royal Institution of Cornwall, the charity that runs the museum, approved the return of one of the scrolls following a formal request by the heads of Kehillat Kernow and advice from the Museums Association ethics committee. Then-Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks had supported the community’s request.

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