The bind that ties Notts to Czech scroll

April 7, 2011
Jeff Cohen and Kathy Sylvester display the Czech scroll’s binder

Jeff Cohen and Kathy Sylvester display the Czech scroll’s binder

A special Torah binder was dedicated at Nottingham Progressive Synagogue in memory of the children of a Czech Jewish community who perished in the Holocaust.

The congregation has a scroll that was used by the small community of Austerlitz, now Slavkov, before the war. Over the past 20 years the shul's Nottingham Friends of Austerlitz Group have ensured that the scroll is not forgotten. In their latest initiative, members were challenged to come up with an original work, either written or in artform, in memory of Austerlitz's Jews.

Retired teacher Kathy Sylvester came up with the idea of embroidering the names of the children of Austerlitz on a binder for the scroll.

"I am delighted with the results. The binder will last for many years and cause those using it to ask questions about the names," she said.

At the dedication ceremony, shul minister Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich said that it was "a moving and highly significant way of honouring the children".

Jeff Cohen, chair of the Austerlitz group said : "Each time the scroll is used people will see the names and ages of the children and remember them."

Of the handful of Austerlitz Jews who survived the Shoah, only one is believed to be still alive. Ruth Matiovska, 80, who has been an honorary member of Nottingham Progressive for the past 15 years, still lives in the house that her family occupied before the war.

Last updated: 12:58pm, April 7 2011