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Home Events Current & Upcoming Details - After the Holocaust: What Was Lost, What Remains


After the Holocaust: What Was Lost, What Remains
12.03.2017 - 12.03.2017 20.40 h - 21.30 h
Congregation Beth El - Bethesda



The Rabbi Samuel Scolnic Adult Institute Presents

After the Holocaust: What Was Lost, What Remains

Moderators: Howard Stein and Steve Frank, Wednesday evenings from 8:40-9:30 pm


On December 3, Beth El will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the final deportation of the community that owned its Holocaust Torah. To preview the event, this course will discuss the Beth El Holocaust Torah's beginnings in the Jewish community of Hermanuv Mestec, a town in the Pardubice Region of the Czech Republic, which can be traced to the 15th Century. The course will also   examine the Torah’s rescue through the renowned Westminster Project that saved almost 1600 Holocaust Torahs, as well as the importance of this Torah to Beth El. Additonally,the course will include, for a wider context, the role of the Holocaust in this background. The course will also examine the influence of the music that survived the Czech concentration camp of Terezin (Theresienstadt), and the Czech Jewish community after the Holocaust under Communism and today. The course will include discussions of the importance of historic Torah scrolls to Judaism today. 


Registration required. Register online at:

October 18: Context of Beth El’s Holocaust Torah Scroll – Rabbi Greg Harris
October 25: History of the Jewish Community of Hermanuv Mestec – Ted SmithNovember 1: Background to the Westminster Project – Mark Talisman
November 8: Torah: transmi er of values – Rabbi Greg Harris
November 15: The De ant Music in Terezin – Hazzan Abraham Lubin
November 29: Jewish Czech Life A er the Holocaust, Under Communism and Today – Petr Papoucek

Location: Congregation Beth El
8215 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814-1451 




RABBI GREGORY HARRIS, Head Rabbi of Beth El, joined the Beth El community in 2002. He was ordained at JTS, where he also received a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education. Rabbi Harris received his B.A. in Politcal Science from the American University. He is a Past President of the Washington Board of Rabbis and teaches throughout the community. Rabbi Harris is the Chair of the Pastoral Care Commitee at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Life Communities and a past recipient of the Matthew Simon Rabbinic Award given by the Jewish Federation for leadership in the broader Jewish community. He has taught in the Adult Institute since joining Beth El. 


HAZZAN ABRAHAM LUBIN, the Hazzan Emeritus of Beth El, continues to be active in the wider Jewish community. He has officiated at High Holiday and other services for the past several years in Cincinnati , Annapolis, and Washington, DC. He is Secretary of the Cantors Assembly Foundation and a past president of the Cantors Assembly. Hazzan Lubin was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree by JTS. He holds a “hazzan” degree from Jews’ College, London, and a Master of Music degree from DePaul University. He lectures on Jewish music, and has performed in the U.S., Canada, Israel, Spain, Argentina, and the former Soviet Union. Hazzan Lubin served as editor of The Journal of Synagogue Music for ten years. He has taught in Beth El's Adult Institute for many years. 

MARK TALISMAN is Founder and President of the Project Judaica Foundation, which has created and traveled 18 major Jewish-themed exhibitions world-wide since 1983. He was Chief of Staff to the late Congressman Charles Vanik who drafted and helped enact the Jackson-Vanik amendment which helped to free Soviet Jews. Mr. Talisman was founding Vice Chair of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. He was responsible for the renowned exhibition “The Precious Legacy: Judaic Treasures From the Czechoslovak State Collections.” 


PETR PAPOUSEK is the World Jewish Council Vice-President for Czechia and President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic. He has studied at the Rothberg International School under Hebrew University and Paideia – European Institute for Jewish Studies. Mr. Papousek teaches at the Jewish Community of Olomuc, the historical capital city of Moravia in the eastern Czech Republic. 


TED SMITH has undergraduate and graduate degrees with specialties in Russian and Eastern European history and served in Europe and Washington for the Federal government. He has traveled throughout Eastern Europe, including Hermanuv Mestec, because his synagogue, the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation, also has a torah from that community. Mr. Smith is a volunteer at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. 


Congregation Beth El
8215 Old Georgetown Road
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