Antwerp synagogue Torah theft

By Jennifer Lipman, June 1, 2010

A 200 year old Sefer Torah scroll is among several that have been stolen from Belgium’s largest synagogue.

Police are investigating after congregants arrived for Shabbat services to find at least four Torahs missing from Antwerp’s main synagogue.

The scrolls, said to be worth 30,000 euros (£25,000) each, had been kept inside the Ark at the Oostenstraat synagogue.

One is more than 200 years old and had been hidden during the Holocaust by a woman deported to a Nazi concentration camp.

Pinchas Kornfeld, head of the city's Jewish community, said he thought the thieves may have had inside information.

He said: "The last people to leave the synagogue closed the seminary, and the first ones to arrive in the morning noticed that the Holy Ark had been broken into with special tools.”

Last updated: 12:49pm, June 1 2010