August 2017 -- Av-Elul 5777,  Volume 23, Issue 8

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The New York City Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America honored Calvary Hospital with two 2017 Big Apple Awards for their Torah Restoration project, “From Darkness to Light: Restoring Life to a 135-year-old Torah Scroll.”

A close up of a person writing a ceremonial letter during Calvary’s year-long effort to restore a 135-year-old historic Torah Scroll.

Award Given to Calvary Hospital for Restoring 135 Year Old Torah Scroll

On June 12th, the Public Relations Society of America’s Big Apple chapter in New York City honored Calvary Hospital with two Big Apple Awards for “From Darkness to Light: Restoring Life to a 135-year-old Torah Scroll.” The Hospital topped the categories for: 1) Community Relations: Campaigns of $150,000 and less and 2) Events & Observances (more than 7 days). Calvary’s campaign raised more than $111,000. (Once all restoration expenses were covered, remaining funds have benefitted all patients and families under the Hospital’s care).

 

It took more than a year to restore the historic 135-year-old Torah Scroll. Once all restoration expenses were covered, remaining funds have benefitted all patients and families under the Hospital’s care.  This scroll is now kosher for use in services and Jewish rituals.  This Torah scroll – No. 515 and dating from 1880 – is originally from the town of Taus-Domazlice, in what is now known as The Czech Republic. It has been on permanent loan from the Memorial Scrolls Trust in London since 1988.

 

In 1964, the Westminster Synagogue in London, England, agreed to receive 1,564 Torah scrolls from Prague. They established the Memorial Scrolls Trust to restore the scrolls and distribute them to communities throughout the world. MST Scrolls currently on permanent loan to more than 1,400 congregations throughout the world. There are an estimated 1,000 in the U.S. alone. The vast majority have been loaned to recipients firmly planted in the Jewish community such as synagogues, camps, yeshivas, day schools and community centers. Calvary’s scroll is one of only 20 in the greater New York area today and one of just a handful that have gone to non-Jewish recipients. {To learn more about the Trust, visit www.memorialscrollstrust.org}.

 

For nearly 120 years, Calvary has always welcomed patients from diverse faiths and religions. Three rabbis at Calvary care for hundreds of Jewish inpatients and home hospice patients each year. In addition to kosher food upon request, they offer a daily visit from a rabbi, food from an expanded Kosher Hospitality Room, dedicated Shabbos Lounge, Kabbalat Shabbat service, and celebrations of all major holidays.