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Lost Czech Torah Scroll to be Rededicated in Theresienstadt Concentration Camp

(Washington, D.C., April 25, 2022)–B’nai B’rith International will co-host a program commemorating the Czech Jewish community and Czech Holocaust victims at the Theresienstadt concentration camp on May 15. Named “March of the Living Scroll: A Journey of Remembrance and Renewal,” the program will include the rededication of a Torah scroll once used by the Olomouc Jewish community—one of 1,564 Czech Torah scrolls rescued by a Jewish philanthropist in 1964 after surviving the vagaries of Nazism and Communism and placed under the auspices of the Memorial Scrolls Trust (MST). These scrolls have become symbols of Jewish continuity and have been loaned to Jewish communities, synagogues and institutions around the world.

The Olomouc scroll will go on loan to Beit Theresienstadt, Kibbutz Givat Haim Ihud, Israel, where it will become an inspirational source of a unique Bar/Bat Mitzvah Jewish Heritage educational program. By exploring the historical and cultural background of the Olomouc scroll, youth who participate in the Beit Theresienstadt program will gain a better appreciation and understanding of their Jewish heritage.

B’nai B’rith had a significant presence in pre-war Czechoslovakia, with over 16 lodges and 2,000 members across the country, including Olomouc. Its activity ceased with the German invasion on March 15, 1939. The Renaissance Lodge in Prague was established in 1991 as the legal successor of the organization’s pre-war activity.

Other partners in the March of the Living Scroll program include the International March of the Living, the Terezin Memorial and the Jewish Museum in Prague.

The March of the Living Scroll will begin at the Bohusovice Train Station near Terezin—the same train station where tens of thousands of Jews arrived from November 1941, when the camp was established, until May 1945, when the SS fled advancing Red Army troops. The march will commence with the sounding of the Shofar by Hannan Weiss, a member of Beit Theresienstadt, and proceed in silence to the Small Fortress. Participating in the march will be three survivors of Theresienstadt—Hana Sternlicht, Dita Kraus and Michaela Vidalkova—who will share their memories during the ceremonies. The rededication event will take place in the framework of the official Czech Republic national commemoration marking 77 years since the liberation of Theresienstadt.

The final event of this Journey of Remembrance and Renewal will take place on Friday, May 20, when the MST Olomouc Torah scroll will be installed at its new home in a festive ceremony at the Museum Beit Theresienstadt.

March of the Living Scroll Program (All times local)

Please click here for an updated program.

Subject to change

Thursday, May 12: Arrival in Prague

Friday, May 13:

  • (09:00) Welcome gathering in the Jewish Museum
  • Opening Remarks: Tami Kinberg, Director, Beit Theresienstadt
    • Daniel Shek, Chairman, Beit Theresienstadt
    • Jeffrey Ohrenstein, Chairman, Memorial Scrolls Trust
    • Alan Schneider, Director, B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem
  • Meeting with Dr. Leo Pavlát, Jewish Museum Director, prior to a comprehensive tour of the sites of the Jewish Quarter (until ~14:00)
  • Free time
  • (18:00) Kabbalat Shabbat service with Rabbi David Maxa at the Ec Chajim Synagogue and reception of an MST Torah scroll (Livestream)
  • (20:00) Festive Shabbat dinner at the Jewish Town Hall with the Jewish Community of Prague honoring the activities of B’nai B’rith in pre-war Czechoslovakia as recounted by Alan Schneider and Tomas Kraus, Executive Director, Federation of the Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic; President, B’nai B’rith Prague Lodge

Shabbat, May 14:

  • Morning hours free to join services, relax and tour
  • (12:30) Shabbat Kiddush and luncheon with Tomas Kraus
  • The story of the orphaned Torah scrolls redeemed by the Memorial Scrolls Trust, told by Jeffrey Ohrenstein, Chairman of MST
  • At dessert there will be a special “Lehayim” in commemoration of a birthday that took place in Theresienstadt on May 11, 1944: Second Generation Memories of Yaakov Ben-Ze’ev, member of Beit Theresienstadt
  • Afternoon tour: “In the footsteps of the Golem and Kafka”
  • (~19:00) Dinner (The Jewish Community of Prague), Havdalah
  • Optional evening program to be announced

Sunday, May 15:

  • (07:15) Departure from Prague
  • (08:30) March of the Living Scroll will begin at the Bohusovice Train Station and commence with the sounding of the Shofar by Hannan Weiss, member of Beit Theresienstadt, and proceed in silence to the Small Fortress.
    • Bus to Small Fortress will be available for those who prefer not to walk
  • (10:00) We will join the memorial ceremony commemorating the 77th anniversary of the liberation of Terezin held at the Small Fortress
  • (13:00) The Memorial Scrolls Trust & Beit Theresienstadt Olomouc Torah Ceremony
    • Remarks by Petr Papoušek, President, Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic
  • Tour of Theresienstadt (return to Prague ~18:30)

Suggested Hotels


  • Booking flights and hotels will be made by the participants
  • We recommend arriving the day before events begin (Thursday, May 12)
  • Costs: Approximate: $350/U.S. (The price includes guiding and entrance fees, Shabbat dinner and lunch, lunch box for Sunday and transportation)
  • To register, please fill in the registration form and pay the registration fee of $100/U.S.: רישום למסע עץ חיים March of the Living Scroll

This plan is subject to changes.

For further details contact or Tel: +972-(0)4-6369515.

For more information, click here.

B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit