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This just in: A man is going to jail for a year for stealing Torahs. Twenty-four-year old Eric Giraldo was a janitor at The Jewish Center at Kew Gardens Hills, a synagogue in Queens, when he got the idea that he could make some money by stealing the congregation’s Torahs and selling them on the black market. He lifted the synagogues entire collection of eight Torahs last August, and stuffed them in his friend’s closet, where they were recovered by the authorities.
Kew Gardens Hills is a conservative synagogue with a large elderly population. Reached by phone on Friday, Pearl, the synagogue bookkeeper, said, “There are elderly people, some of them have survived the Holocaust, and when they came to pray on Saturday morning, they were horrified. They thought it was a joke! One man — he’s been coming every Friday for years – nearly had a heart attack when he opened the arc.” Pearl added, “The guy who stole them didn’t even know what he had taken.” Photo (cc) rubberpaw.