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.
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.