PRAGUE, Czech Republic — The Jewish community of Brno, in the Czech Republic, has inaugurated a new Torah scroll in the city’s only surviving synagogue.
The dedication ceremony on Sunday marked the completion of a more than year-long renovation of the synagogue in the country’s second largest city.
Several hundred people attended its inauguration, including Petr Papousek, the head of the Czech Republic’s federation of Jewish communities; Gary Koren, Israeli ambassador to the Czech Republic; Brno Mayor Petr Vokral; and the bishop of the Brno diocese, Vojtech Cikrle.
The Torah scroll was fashioned by Israeli scribe Rabbi Moshe Fluemenbaum of Jerusalem.
The costs of the renovation, which amounted to about $480,000, were covered by the EU, as well as grants from the European Economic area and Norway. The cost of the new Torah scroll alone was over $32,000, according to the manager of the project, Petr Špunar of the Brno Jewish community.
The Jewish community of Brno has about 300 members. The functionalist-style Agudas Achim synagogue was erected in the 1930s. It was re-dedicated in 1945 and has since been in active use as the only synagogue in the eastern region of the country.