Dying British Synagogue Gives Away Torah Scrolls as Closing Nears

Bradford Hebrew Congregation Faced Dwindling Numbers

By JTA

Published April 20, 2013.
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A synagogue in the northern English city of Bradford has given away its Torah scrolls as it prepares to shutter due to dwindling numbers.

One of the five scrolls that used to belong to the Orthodox synagogue on Springhurst Road was given to the Jewish Community Centre in Krakow, Poland, according to a report Friday on The Tetelegraph & Argus, a local daily and news site.

The last of the scrolls was removed this month during the final service of the Bradford Hebrew Congregation.

The city used to have many Jewish families but many younger members moved away and older members have died. Former Bradford Hebrew Congregation president Albert Waxman, 88, told the paper that the small congregation no longer has the minimum of ten men necessary for some prayers in Orthodox Judaism.

Last month, the Bradford Council for Mosques said it would try to help the city’s Reform synagogue raise enough funds to avoid closing down as well.

Bradford, where one in every five residents has Pakistani origins, had a Jewish population of roughly 500 in 2008, according to the BBC.


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