New scroll mantle honours leading Essex Liberal Jew

17 September 2018

A new year has meant a new mantle for the Czech Torah Scroll at East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue (ELELS).

The new mantle was used for the first time on Erev Rosh Hashanah 5779, keeping with the tradition to dress the Torah in white on the High Holy Days.

The mantle was donated in honour of Jenny Sclaire – a leading member of ELELS who died just over a year ago – by her cousins Jacqueline and Gilbert Herzog. It was designed and embroidered by Kathy Sylvester of Nottingham Liberal Synagogue.

The service was led by Rabbis David Hulbert and Richard Jacobi of ELELS (pictured above with Jacqueline and Gilbert).

The ELELS Czech Scroll originated in the tiny Jewish community of Blatná, a Moravian village 50 miles south of Prague.

The 28 gold and silver stars on the new mantle represent 28 Jews from Blatná who were deported to Theresienstadt in 1942. Three of them perished in the Theresienstadt ghetto, while the remaining 25 were all murdered in Auschwitz.

Rabbi Richard Jacobi said: “Jenny Sclaire was a huge part of our synagogue and Liberal Judaism in our region. She is greatly missed and we had be looking for an appropriate way to honour her memory.

“Jenny donated a blue Torah mantle for our Czech Scroll a few years ago, because the act of remembering those who were murdered in the Holocaust was so important to her.

“This new white Torah mantle, for the High Holy Days, completes the pair – ensuring that throughout the year we remember both those Jews of Blatná and also Jenny and her contributions to our community.”

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