For years, Raleigh Rabbi Raachel Jurovics cared for a Torah scroll looted by the Nazis from a Czech town she thought had been destroyed. As it turns out, the town is still there, and the residents have restored the synagogue that was the scroll's original home.
Jurovics traveled with an interfaith group from North Carolina to the town of Hermanuv-Mestec, whose Jewish community was destroyed in World War II. She says through the restoration of the synagogue, the current residents are not only reckoning with that loss, but also exploring what it means to be Christian after decades of Communist rule.
"We found a tremendous openness to Jewish learning," Jurovics told The State of Things' Frank Stasio. "We were able to...organize interfaith healing services that allowed people to get a feel for the depth of their own Christian sentiment, but also have a close personal encounter with Torah as a source of healing revelation."
Jurovics is spiritual leader of Yavneh: A Jewish Renewal Community. She encourages Jews and Christians to study together, and to study each others' faiths, in order to better understand and practice their own traditions.
"The Jewish roots of Christianity simply must be...understood more deeply so that the resonances between the faiths are clearer," said Jurovics. "I do think that we could evolve to a place where we are...partners in bringing redemption to the world."