On Friday, July 31, Calvary Hospital announced that it is embarking on a yearlong restoration of a Torah scroll currently housed at their Bronx campus. The goal is to bring this Torah – dating from 1880 – back to kosher status, so that it may once again be used in Jewish rituals and religious services. Scroll No. 515, from the town of Taus-Domazlice, is on permanent loan to Calvary from the Westminster Memorial Scrolls Trust in London.
“From the Hospital’s earliest years, Calvary has always welcomed patients from all religions. We are dedicated to providing the best end-of-life care that a person can find. At Calvary, we also honor and celebrate the spiritual and faith traditions that are so important to our patients, families and staff,” said Frank A. Calamari, President & CEO, Calvary Hospital.
“We are honored that the Westminster Memorial Scrolls Trust has loaned us this sacred Torah. We know that it is our responsibility to safeguard and repair it. We have no doubt that we will be able to enlist support for this worthy project from people of all faiths.”
The Hospital is planning to raise funds for this restoration. Once completed, any remaining funds will be used to benefit all patients and families at Calvary’s inpatient facilities in the Bronx and Brooklyn, Home Hospice patients throughout the greater New York area and at The Dawn Greene Hospice in Manhattan located at Mary Manning Walsh Home. Calvary is grateful to the Charles R. and Winifred R. Weber Foundation for their early, generous support of the Torah Restoration project. To support this important initiative, please visit: www.calvaryhospital.org/torahrestoration
The Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust
During World War II, the Nazis confiscated all the Jewish ritual items and sacred Torah Scrolls from Jewish communities of Bohemia and Moravia, then known as Czechoslovakia. It was believed that Hitler’s plan was to use these objects of Judaica to create a museum of an extinct race — the Jews. This collection of Jewish cultural and religious artifacts bears witness to the horrors of the Holocaust.
In 1964, the Westminster Synagogue in London, England, agreed to receive 1,564 Torah Scrolls from Prague. They established the Memorial Trust to restore the scrolls and distribute them to communities throughout the world. Torahs are currently on permanent loan to more than 1,400 congregations throughout the world; an estimated 1,000 in the U.S. alone. To learn more about the Trust, please visit: www.czechmemorialscrollstrust.org
Jewish Patients & Families
Three Rabbis care for hundreds of Jewish inpatients and home hospice patients at Calvary each year. In addition to kosher food upon request, Jewish inpatients and their families can expect 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.
Yeshiva University Collaboration
Since 2012, Calvary has partnered with Yeshiva University to educate people in the Orthodox Jewish community about how to access excellent end-of-life in accordance with Jewish law (halakha). The goal of this partnership is to provide observant Jews with the information they need, to make the right end-of-life care decisions for their families. To learn more about the YU program or to submit questions, go to http://yu.edu/riets/end-of-life-care and click on the button called “Rabbinic Consultation Form.” To learn more about Calvary, go to: www.calvaryhospital.org and click on the firstbullet listed under the “What’s New” section.