Romania SIG #Romania Romanian Torah from Klowz recovered & refurbished #romania


Prof. G. L. Esterson <jerry@...>
 

Dear ROMSiggers,

My cousins Lonna and Marvin of Kansas recently obtained a Romanian Torah
that survived the Holocaust, and they have presented it to their new
shul. They are now trying to find the history of this Torah and to link it
to Jews who lived in Klowz(?). Can you help them to locate this place in
Romania, and to help with information about Klowz and its Jews? Here's the
story.

"Marvin and I are members of a small Reconstructionist Congregation, Or
Hadash, formed in Overland Park, KS three-and-a-half years ago. The
congregation does not have a permanent building nor do we have a full-time
rabbi. We are lay-led most of the time but bring in a rabbi for the High
Holydays. Marvin taught himself Torah trope (using Trope Trainer) and is
our main Torah reader, but our congregation was forced to borrow a Torah
from other groups having a spare."
"In the summer of 2004, our President Debby Simon and her husband were
visiting in Pompano Beach, Florida. While visiting Traditions, Judaica
Gifts, there, they learned that the owner rescued Holocaust Toratot and
found homes for them. When they came home, they told the story to
us. After negotiations were complete, a Torah was made available for us,
inspected by a Florida rabbi and its condition verified, and we joyfully
purchased our first (and only) Torah. The Torah was shipped to us with new
wooden spindles and a new cover, and with a silver yad as a gift >from the
seller. One of our members donated a white cover for the High Holydays, in
honor of his mother's 90th birthday."

"We brought in the rabbi who officiated at our High Holyday services and
held a special welcoming service on Shabbat Chanukah, 2004, with members of
our congregation reading the parshah >from our very own Torah."

"What we know about our Holocaust Torah: It is >from the Romanian city of
Klowz, and the Jews who were fleeing >from the Nazis gave it to a local
gentile family. They asked the family to hold onto the Torah for when they
returned. They never returned. The gentile family held onto the Torah for
many years before it was sold and taken to Israel where it was restored and
then made its way, via Florida, to its new home in Overland Park, KS. We
have been unable to locate a town or village named Klocz or Klowz or any
variation thereof anywhere in Romania and assume it vanished during the
World War II era."

Can anyone help us to locate this place, to find information about the
Jewish community, and even perhaps to attach the names of Jews >from Klowz
to this rescued Romanian Torah? Thanks in advance for any help.

Professor G. L. Esterson, Ra'anana, Israel

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