Symbolic of the growth is the donation of a Torah scroll with an interesting history:
Hand-written by Jewish scribes in the Polish countryside in 1919, the parchment was left to burn in a fire when German troops invaded in 1939. But a Catholic priest, whose name is not known, defied the Germans and ran into the burning synagogue to rescue the scroll.Twenty-one years later, Richmond, a Roxbury native working at the United States' Warsaw consulate, received a visitor in his office. It was the now-elderly priest, who had come to pass the Torah he had held in safe-keeping to an American Jew. ''I was flabbergasted, but I accepted it,'' Richmond recalled.