Monday, December 30, 2013

A Sacred Gift for the Auschwitz Jewish Center

This blog comes from Shiri, the U.S. Director of the Auschwitz Jewish Center, who was happy to share this beautiful story in time for the new year. 

Something wonderful happened at the Auschwitz Jewish Center recently. Rabbi Kevin Hale, who is also a Sofer (a Jewish scribe of sacred scrolls), helped breathe new Jewish life into our new building in an incredibly meaningful way. 

Backing up a few months, his connection to the AJC started  when he discovered our Kickstarter campaign last spring which raised more than $28,000. Some 250 supporters from around the world helped us raise much needed funds for renovating the last Jewish home in Oświęcim (Auschwitz) and turning it into Café Oshpitzin, a welcoming space for international visitors for education and dialogue.

Not only did Rabbi Hale donate to the campaign, but he reached out to us because he wanted to contribute more than money, he wanted to bestow a very special gift.  He was headed to Oświęcim on a retreat and told us that he had intended to write a kosher mezuzah scroll while there. He very kindly offered that scroll to us for the doorpost of Café Oshpitzin.

We believe that this mezuzah scroll, written in the AJC’s Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot Synagogue, is the first to be written in Oświęcim in more than 70 years.

Photos courtesy of the AJC.

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