Continental Friends

There follow reports from recent get-togethers.

For information about meetings email Susan Harrod - susan@ajr.org.uk

Southern Groups

AJR Book Club

for further information, contact esther@ajr.org.uk

Well Written but …
Ishmael’s Oranges, by Claire Hajaj, was the book reviewed. The consensus was that it was a well written, excellent book but difficult to get into. The next books chosen to be read are Natasha Solomon’s The Gallery of Vanished Husbands and Lawrence Osborne’s The Forgiven. We were joined by two curators from the Jewish Museum, who spoke to us about the Museum’s forthcoming exhibition on ‘Jewish Weddings’.

Birmingham (West Midlands)

for further information, contact esther@ajr.org.uk

Jewish Immigration to England
We turned out in force to hear Dr Anthony Joseph share with us his lifelong interest in genealogy and Jewish immigration to England from Russia and Poland in the 18th-19th centuries. A vote of thanks by our lovely Esther Rinkoff concluded a very interesting meeting.

Brighton and Hove (Sarid)

for further information, contact esther@ajr.org.uk

Sukkot, Festival of Joy and Cheer
Rabbi Pesach Efune gave a talk about Sukkot. He explained the meaning of the lulav and etrog and stressed the value of joy and happiness when facing the challenges of winter.

Bristol and Bath

for further information, contact kathryn@ajr.org.uk

All Very Beautiful
Jane Hewison, daughter of member Hilla Hewison, showed us many slides of her work as an embroiderer, giving examples of traditional religious items. Her work is all very beautiful.

Bromley Continental Friends

for further information, contact hazel@ajr.org.uk

Lots of Food Plus Excellent Banter
A lively gathering once again at the home of Liane Segal: lots of food and excellent banter. And thanks again to Liane for hosting these get-togethers.

Cambridge

for further information, contact hazel@ajr.org.uk

Economy Update
A most stimulating talk by Tim Pike from the Bank of England on ‘Economic Reality in a Diverse Society’ led to a very intense and interesting group discussion equally enjoyed by members.

Cardiff

for further information, contact kathryn@ajr.org.uk

Inside Story of Parliamentary Grandees
We had a delightful, humorous and informative talk by Chris Moncrieff, former political editor of the Press Association, who had known and observed many of the grandees passing through Parliament including Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Harold Wilson and many other prime ministers, ministers and MPs.

Child Survivors Association

for further information, contact susan@ajr.org.uk

'Why is Hebrew Written Backwards?'
Dr Martin Stern answered the question ‘Why do you write Hebrew backwards?’ and was assisted by members of the audience. Diversions led also to the roots of a number of English-language words - neither Latin nor Greek but Phoenician/Hebrew. Dorothy’s cakes were a delight for the palate.

Ealing

for further information, contact esther@ajr.org.uk

A Fully Participatory Afternoon
Led by Hazel, we had a most interesting discussion on a range of issues from refugee weddings during and immediately after the war to current Jewish thinking on such diverse matters as orthodoxy, assimilation, circumcision and funerals. An enjoyable and fully participatory afternoon.

Edgware

for further information, contact hazel@ajr.org.uk

Pictorial Trip to India
Stewart Morris treated us to a pictorial trip to India. To those of us who had visited India it brought back happy memories; to the rest of us Stewart explained most interestingly the photos on his computer. A very enjoyable afternoon meeting.

Essex

for further information, contact esther@ajr.org.uk

Reflections on a Childhood in Hungary
A larger than usual audience heard Westcliff AJR member Andrew Roth give an enthralling talk about his childhood in Hungary. His pride in his enterprising father shone through: his father had clearly made sure the family were provided for. Despite many shortages, Andrew said that overall those were happy days.

Hampstead Garden Suburb

for further information, contact hazel@ajr.org.uk

A Lovely Morning
We were joined in the new room at Hammerson House by visitors from Nightingale Clapham. Alan Bilgora played us a number of old recordings by Jewish opera singers. A lovely morning.

Ilford

for further information, contact kathryn@ajr.org.uk

A Fascinating Slice of History
David Barnett gave us a fascinating slice of history: the story of Daniel Mendoza, the famous Jewish boxer who became Champion of all England. Mendoza won many fights and became rich but lost his wealth through gambling.

Imperial Cafe War Veterans

for further information, contact esther@ajr.org.uk

A Sad Meeting
A sad meeting, in which we recalled Geoffrey Perry, who had recently passed away. He had been the commander of one of the crew present as well as one of the original band of merry men from Café Imperial. We also talked of the average wage back in 1948, when two and sixpence was a lot of money!

Kent

for further information, contact esther@ajr.org.uk

Operation Exodus
A most interesting talk by John Fleetcroft on Operation Exodus - making aliyah - prompted a very lively discussion. John had family links with one of our late members and his slides illustrated helping people in straightened circumstances in the former Soviet Union.

Kingston Continental Friends

for further information, contact hazel@ajr.org.uk

Lively Chat, Delicious Tea
A lively chat and delicious tea at the home of Irene Gould. We all signed a card for Susan Zisman, who is recovering from a serious illness, sending her our love and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Marlow Continental Friends

for further information, contact hazel@ajr.org.uk

World’s Problems to Wait Another Day
We met at Alan Kaye’s home and enjoyed an excellent lunch prepared by Hazel. Many topics of current interest were discussed but, as usual, because of time constraints we weren’t able to sort out the world’s problems.

Nightingale House

for further information, contact hazel@ajr.org.uk

Small World
Two members of our group who had been living on the same floor at Nightingale hadn't previously realised that they both came to this country at the age of 15 and are both of the same age. Small world. Also, we talked about careers we have had.

North London

for further information, contact kathryn@ajr.org.uk

Food for Thought
Our guest speaker was Jenny Rossiter, her subject ‘Octavia Hill – Social Reformer and Founder of the National Trust’. The lady in question lived in the 19th century, which leaves the interesting thought that in those years her efforts must have raised considerable opposition. It certainly gave food for thought.

North West London

for further information, contact esther@ajr.org.uk

‘Awayday’ Lunch Social
As our usual synagogue meeting place was unavailable, Esther arranged an ‘Awayday’ Lunch Social for us at the Café Toulous in Hampstead Garden Suburb. This had been built on an old putting green which had two loos – hence the name of the café. A good time was had by one and all.

Norwich (Norfolk)

for further information, contact kathryn@ajr.org.uk

Anecdotes from the Corridors of Power
And then there were eight - who not only enjoyed a Continental-style lunch but also a talk by Chris Montcrieff, one-time Parliamentary Journalist for the Press Association. Chris entertained us with any number of anecdotes from the corridors of power.

Nottingham (East Midlands)

for further information, contact esther@ajr.org.uk

Catching Up on News
This was a very well attended social meeting with old friends catching up on news over a simple but excellent lunch prepared by our hostess with delicious desserts brought by members. The meeting was kept in order by Esther: we so much appreciate her coming. This time, she was ably assisted by Kathryn, our local AJR representative, whom we were delighted to welcome.

Oxford

for further information, contact kathryn@ajr.org.uk

Amusing Stories
Meeting at Richmond Road Synagogue, we enjoyed coffee and cake and then listened to Chris Moncrieff, former Political Editor of the Press Association, who regaled us with amusing stories from his interesting career.

Pinner

for further information, contact esther@ajr.org.uk

Number One Hits
We were delighted to welcome back our member Alf Keiles, who played us a charming selection of Number One hits from the early part of the 20th century. Almost all the tunes were familiar and, although tea was ready, Alf was persuaded to play a couple of extra tracks before he was allowed to stop.

Radlett

for further information, contact esther@ajr.org.uk

Much to See, Good Food, Good Conversation
We visited Shenley Park, once the site of a psychiatric hospital near St Albans but now an attractive recreational area comprising 45 acres of meadows and woodland, together with an unusual walled garden and an amphitheatre. There was much to see, good food and good conversation. Once again, our thanks to Esther for organising the visit.

St John's Wood

for further information, contact hazel@ajr.org.uk

A Rabbi’s Wife in India
Jackie, the late Hugo Gryn’s wife, gave us an enlightening talk on their lives in India. It was Hugo’s first posting as a rabbi and an extraordinary experience for a newly wed and a newly born. An absolute delight and a terrific turnout.

Surrey

for further information, contact kathryn@ajr.org.uk

A Convivial Morning
The Surrey and Kingston groups joined forces once again in Edmee’s home to enjoy a convivial morning’s coffee and chat. As always, we were all made to feel welcome by our hostess.

Welwyn Garden City

for further information, contact hazel@ajr.org.uk

Social and Slap-up Meal
We enjoyed a catered lunch at the Synagogue to celebrate nine years of our existence as an AJR group. Lively discussion, lots of food and a really pleasant change to have a social with a slap-up meal!

Wembley

for further information, contact kathryn@ajr.org.uk

Jews and Jazz
A very interesting meeting, with Alf Keiles explaining to us the origins of jazz and the Jewish contribution to it. The cheerful melodies he played us were followed by a nice afternoon tea.

Wessex (Bournemouth)

for further information, contact kathryn@ajr.org.uk

Legend of a Jewish Boxing Champion
A delicious deli lunch was followed by an entertaining talk by David Barnett on the Jewish boxer Daniel Mendoza. We were amazed to hear the fascinating details of this man, who in the 18th century rose to become the Champion of all England and whose legend lives on in today’s boxing world.