Dr. Joyce Witt donated this Torah cover, which comes from the interwar period from Poland or Russia, in honor of the Bat Mitzvah of her granddaughter, Alexis Marcus. We thank Joyce for sharing the story of how she found the Torah cover and why Lexi’s Bat Mitzvah is the perfect occasion for her donation:
I rescued this Torah cover from Berlin when I was on a Goethe Educator’s Fellowship Tour. We had stopped at The Reichstag and across the street in the Tiergarten Park there was a huge flea market.
It was quite by accident, but I believe it was b’shert that I accidentally found this booth run by several Russian men where there were many historical items from the Stalin Era and World War II. But along with those, there were several Judaic items. I saw this Torah cover hanging above the table. I knew I had to rescue it! I could not leave it in Berlin, where the plan to exterminate all of the Jews and destroy Jewish holy items was initiated.
There was an old Jewish man standing next to me when I purchased the Torah cover. He asked if I knew what this piece was and if I could read Hebrew. I assured him I could. I believe he wanted to make sure it was going to a place that would honor it. Now I am assured that the time and place is right—giving this cover the perfect honor—for the Bat Mitzvah of my granddaughter, Alexis Hannah Marcus, to the perfect place, Beth Elohim.