Northern Hills Synagogue Presents Tale of two Torah scrolls in space

Henry Fenichel


Submitted by: Northern Hills Synagogue

A child survivor of the Holocaust, Henry Fenichel, will discuss the story of his little Torah Scroll that was taken into space on the Atlantis Space Shuttle in memory of Ilan Ramon, an Israeli astronaut, who took with him a similar, sister Torah scroll, on the Columbia Space Shuttle, at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at Northern Hills Synagogue.

Fenichel was born in The Netherlands in 1938. After the Nazis invaded Holland, Fenichel and his mother were sent to Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp in Germany. In June 1944, they were among 220 Dutch Jews who were exchange for German Christians (Templers) who resided in British Mandate Palestine, (pre-state Israel).

His Torah, which survived Bergen Belsen camp, perished with the astronauts when the Columbia Space Shuttle disintegrated upon reentry to Earth. 

Fenichel’s Torah Scroll is currently on exhibit at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The exhibit also includes several pages from Ilan Ramon’s personal diary which survived the crash. He will describe the contents of the exhibit, including the surviving fragments of Ilan’s diary which contain references to the Bible as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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