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Eight Torahs stolen

Police continue to investigate last week’s theft of eight precious Torah scrolls and silver religious items from the Jewish Center of Kew Gardens Hills.
The theft was discovered by rabbis on Saturday, August 16, in front of packed congregation of faithful, just prior to services at the temple, located at 71-25 Main Street.
Members of the congregation have expressed suspicion of an “inside job” because there were no signs of forced entry, and a total of five locks, including one for the alarm system, needed to be opened with keys.
According to cops the thief or thieves gained access to the necessary keys and were able to disarm the alarm.
The revelation came dramatically. The gates of the Aron Kodesh, or Holy Ark, were opened and a curtain pulled back. The enclosure for the scrolls and the silver crowns and pointers used in their services – built into the wall closest to Jerusalem- was bare.
The Sifrei Torah, hand-inscribed parchments containing the first five books of the Old Testament, are extremely valuable. The loss to the community has been estimated at $500,000.
According to published reports, some of the Torahs were dedicated to the perished families of Holocaust survivors at the Synagogue.
“Just return the items, that’s all we want,” Gerard reportedly said. “Just return the items – I don’t care who you are or where you go – just return the items.”

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