Rockland County Holocaust Museum Holds Tisha b'Av Event Featuring Sacred Scrolls Exhibit
By M. C. Millman
Rockland County's Holocaust Museum and Center for Tolerance and Education hosted a Tisha B'Av event on Sunday, August 7. The event featured a new exhibit titled “The Sacred Scrolls of the Holocaust.”
The new exhibit includes Holocaust artifacts, including a pair of tefillin, two Megillas Esthers, a scrap of a Torah scroll from a Sefer Torah destroyed during the Holocaust, and various other fascinating artifacts.
The crown jewel of the scroll collection is a megillah that had been hidden away in Brod in Ukraine during the Holocaust. It was later rediscovered by one of the two Jakubowicz brothers who survived Auschwitz out of five brothers. The Jacobs family donated the scroll to Rockland's Holocaust Museum. The son of the survivor who donated was in attendance on Sunday.
Dr. Jacob Ari Labendz addressed attendees speaking about the scrolls in the Jewish Museum of Prague. He also talked about how the Nazis painstakingly gathered and collected 1800 Torah scrolls. Their purpose was to create a museum documenting artifacts that had once belonged to the extinct Jewish race. Their plans were foiled by the survival of the Jews against all odds.
Julie Golding, the museum’s curator, included a behind-the-scenes background of what was involved in writing the exhibit. She talked about the massive destruction and desecration of scrolls during the Holocaust, as well as those who sacrificed to hide or save them. Holocaust responsa from Rabbis during the Holocaust gives insight into the tremendous risk Jews took to continue observing these mitzvos and Jewish life.
"The intriguing part about the Sacred Scrolls exhibit," Golding shares with Rockland Daily, "is that scrolls were a part of everyday prewar Jewish life and the essence of Jewish life. Their hiding and destruction during the Holocaust parallel that of their owners."
The museum provides comprehensive and valuable educational tools for patrons – who can visit in person or virtually. The custom education programs offered at the museum have made it a leader in the fields of Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education. The museum is located at the Rockland Community College campus on 145 College Road in Suffern.
The Sacred Scrolls for the Holocaust exhibit will be on display throughout the school year, allowing students the opportunity to visit the museum and take a curated tour of the artifacts.
For more information on visiting the Holocaust Museum, call 845-574-4099 or email [email protected]