We are overjoyed at the arrival of a Torah that has journeyed back to Europe to the community in Gdansk called Beit Trojmiasto (Tri-Cities). Beit Trojmiasto is part of a network of Progressive Polish synagogues under the auspices of World/European Union for Progressive Judaism.
The story of this marvelous set of coincidences begins with Rabbi Ruth Gais, a Reform rabbi (pictured) and Dr. Yochanan Schachmurove, a professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania who teaches in Poland and relates to the Progressive Jewish community, Beit Warszawa/Beit Polska.
Rabbi Howard Berman of Central Reform Temple in Boston played key role arranging people to help and volunteered his president Todd Katzman to actually carry the Torah.
Rabbi Gais and Dr. Yochanan contacted each other online discussing donations of prayer books. Soon there was a discussion of a possible Torah as described in the story below.
It is important to point out all the different affiliations of the wonderful people who helped this Torah arrive to its new home. Yochanan Schachmurove is an Israeli in origin. Some of the rabbis are reform, some are conservative. Some of the congregants are Renewal, Conservative and Reform congregations. How lovely to see such cooperation.