After Thirty Years, Nicaragua's Jews Have a Torah


September 6, 2007

A new Torah scroll was sent to the country in August, after a fire ravaged the
country's only synagogue in 1978 and the leftist Sandinista Revolution
the following year forced the country's Jewish community into exile.

The damaged synagogue was expropriated in the 1980s and now is a
funeral home. Since the Sandinistas lost the 1990 elections, Jews have
been trickling back to the country. Nicaragua's Jewish community today
numbers about 60 people.

Chana Sorhegan of New Jersey donated the scroll, which will be kept in
the home of a Sabbath-observant community member, since the community
has no permanent meeting place or synagogue. The Torah is to be
welcomed in a celebratory ceremony following the High Holy Days,
community president Eduardo Translateur said.

Translateur said the Torah's arrival is a major step toward rebuilding
Nicaraguan Jewry.

"The Torah was brought here last week and it is very beautiful," he
told JTA. "Slowly, slowly we are moving forward."

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