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NEWS BRIEFS

Make-over in store for Sofer mausoleum

After a November 30 meeting with Romi Cohn, head of the International Organization for Rescue of the Mausoleum, Culture Minister Milan Kňažko said restoration work on the Bratislava mausoleum of Rabbi Chatam Sofer would begin in a few weeks.

"During the Nazi regime the mausoleum was desecrated, and I am very glad that it will regain the honor it deserves," Cohn said. Costs are estimated at $1 million, with the international organization providing $400,000.

The mausoleum's namesake, Chatam Sofer, is among the most renowned rabbis worldwide. Born on September 24, 1762 in Frankfurt am Main, he was a rabbi in several towns throughout Germany and Moravia and served as the chief rabbi of Bratislava (known then as Pressburg) from 1796-1806. Under the leadership of the great teacher and commentator, Pressburg's yeshiva underwent great development. Following Sofer's death, his family published several books of his collected writings and speeches - books that are standard references in Jewish studies to this day.

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