Krakow congregation gets first Torah scroll — a gift from Italian Reform community


(JTA) — Krakow’s Progressive Jewish community received its first Torah scroll, which was donated by a sister community in Milan, Italy.

The scroll arrived at the Beit Krakow community on Oct. 5 along with several members of Milan’s Beth Shalom Jewish Reform Congregation, according to Magda Koralewska of Beit Krakow.

Rabbi Leigh Lerner of Beth Shalom and the community’s president, David Ross, presented the scroll at the Galicia Jewish Museum, which has functioned as Beit Krakow’s building since the congregation was established in 2009.

The initial contact between the communities was made in March in Amsterdam, when delegates from both communities were speaking at the biannual conference of the European Union for Progressive Judaism.

“They had several scrolls,” Koralewska said of Beth Shalom, which was established in Milan in 2002.  “We in Krakow had none. It made sense.”

Also attending the event in Krakow was Miriam Kramer of London, the chair of the European Union for Progressive Judaism. It was her first visit to Poland.

“I felt it’s the best sort of wedding that I could ever here,” said Kramer, who took her post earlier this year.

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