NEW YORK (JTA) -- A Holocaust survivors group has asked Maryland to launch a fraud investigation into the sale of reclaimed Holocaust-era Torah scrolls.
The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants requested a probe into the work of Rabbi Menachem Youlus and Save A Torah Inc., a non-profit foundation that supports the rabbi's finding, purchasing and restoring of European Torahs, in a letter to state Attorney General Douglas Gansler.
So much happens in the course of the riveting if somewhat jarring new production of Sholom Asch's "God of Vengeance," newly translated from the Yiddish by Caraid O'Brien, that it's hard to take it all in during one sitting. The tale of a Jewish pimp and a former prostitute who run a shtetl whorehouse while raising a perfectly respectable girl in the house upstairs is extraordinarily rich, the variety and tragedy of the characters suggesting, both in theme and quality, the novels of Victor Hugo and Emile Zola.
Washington Post article questions the legitimacy
of a prominent rabbi who claims he’s rescued
Two years ago, philanthropist David Rubenstein offered to buy a Torah scroll for Manhattan’s Central Synagogue. The story of the scroll was as impressive as the object itself: Rabbi Menachem Youlus, a Maryland Torah scribe and Jewish bookstore owner, said he had discovered the sefer Torah in a cemetery in Oswiecim, the Polish town the occupying Germans called Auschwitz.
The scroll was dedicated in a gala ceremony at Central Synagogue on Yom HaShoah 2008. On Rosh HaShanah that year, Rabbi Peter Rubinstein repeated the Torah’s story of survival.