01 June 2010
Six Torah scrolls have been stolen from one of the main synagogues in Antwerp, Belgium. According to the Jewish magazine ‘Joods Actueel’, members of the Antwerp community were shocked to find on Saturday morning that the synagogue, located at the Osstenstraat, had been broken into.
The burglars apparently broke into the shul through a side building and proceeded to open the Holy Ark and steal the Torah scrolls. Pinkhas Kornfeld, secretary of Antwerp’s Jewish community, suggested that the burglars “perhaps had inside information.”
"These books are worth a lot of money, more than € 30,000 [US$ 36,000] each, and this is why they were apparently stolen. The investigation has just begun, and so far we don't know anything," Kornfeld said.
One of the Torah scrolls is more than 200 years old. During World War II, a woman who had been deported to a concentration camp brought the Torah with her and hid it all the time. The synagogue was about to be renovated in order to enhance security at the building.
Antwerp is home to 20,000 Jews, most of whom are Orthodox.
Read more about the Jewish community in Belgium here.
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