Leo Baeck 2

 

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

A Very French Romance
This month’s book was Antoine Laurain’s The Red Notebook, translated from French, a charming and easy read about the quest of a Parisian bookseller for a mystery woman whose lost handbag he finds in the street. We then moved on to talk about the more sombre topic of the Brussels attacks and the position of immigrants in Western societies, comparing our members’ own experiences of being immigrants.

AJR Film Club

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

Story of a Smoked Salmon and Herring Deli
We had a lovely sandwich lunch followed by a showing of The Sturgeon Queen, the story of a refugee family who made good in New York by founding a smoked salmon and herring deli. The family members told their stories with great humour. Many thanks to all the organisers – we look forward to the next meeting.

Birmingham

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

An Enjoyable Lunch
Our Chanukah celebration included an enjoyable lunch, prepared by catering staff of Andrew Cohen House. Entertainment was provided by Ali Ince (violin), Lydia Handy (viola) and Miriam Taylor (cello) - a programme of mainly classical music, which was greatly appreciated.

Brighton and Hove

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

Brexit: For and Against
We held a lively debate on ‘Brexit’. We also had a second discussion on personal experiences of ‘the most enjoyable decade’ and the meeting ended with comments on the forthcoming elections for the mayor of London.

Bristol and Bath

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

In Memory of Sir Nicholas
Barbara Winton gave a wonderful talk about her father. She was particularly proud to show everyone the Post Office stamps recently issued in his name. We had a particularly large attendance as details of the meeting had been circulated throughout the Bristol community.

Bromley Continental Friends

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

Grateful to Come to the UK
The Group met again in the comfort of Lianne’s home. Delicious cakes and cups of tea were served whilst the conversation flowed, with members contributing their stories of how they were fortunate enough to come to Great Britain. A lively and passionate afternoon with everyone participating.

Cambridge

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

Varied and Interesting Backgrounds
As the new southern groups co-ordinator I was delighted to meet local members, who talked about their varied and interesting backgrounds by way of introduction. We were joined by Tracy Elster, who is doing a Masters in drama therapy with a special interest in First and Second Generation Holocaust survivors; she explained how drama can be a helpful tool in dealing with difficult memories. After a delicious lunch, Kathryn Prevezer played musical pieces chosen by members.

Card and Games Club

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

New Card and Games Club
First meeting will be 22nd March- games on offer include Bridge, Scrabble, Rummikub, Backgammon.  Lunch served first.  To book please call Susan Harrod on 020 83853070 or emails susan@ajr.org.uk

Cardiff

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

Residents of Ostrawa
Members enjoyed a delicious deli lunch with rye bread, salmon and other goodies. David Lawson presented his fascinating talk about residents of Ostrawa. He had done detailed research and it was especially interesting to see how descendants of the original individuals had fared, and particularly gratifying to note how large the families had become and how much they had achieved.

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

Hungarian Childhood
Andrew Roth spoke about his childhood in the Hungarian village of Mezocsat at the end of the war. He gave us insight into the coming of the Communist era and the aftermath of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising, which led to his family moving to the UK, where, with great resolve, they re-established themselves.

Edgware

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

Meeting with New Co-ordinator
Our charming new AJR Co-ordinator Eva Stellman was very interested in learning about our backgrounds and we were also asked about our past holidays. Leaflets with details of planned events and outings and were handed out and members were asked about their particular interests.

Essex

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

‘Guided Tour’ to Austria
Otto Deutsch, a former official tour guide, described the coach trips from England to Vienna he used to accompany. He ‘took’ us through Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland until we arrived in Austria, where we enjoyed Mozart’s music in Salzburg, coffee and cake in a Vienna coffee house, and a trip on the Rhine. Otto’s descriptions and knowledge made it all live for us.

Hampstead Garden Suburb

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

Memories of the Yiddish Theatre
Singer, choirmaster and actress Adela Gottlieb-Lassman gave us a most interesting account of her childhood memories and involvement in the Yiddish Theatre. She interspersed her delightful presentation with songs and jokes. A most enjoyable couple of hours.

Ilford

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

A Good Laugh – Humour in Literature
Nick Dobson, ably assisted by Vincent, trawled through English literature to show us the humour lurking within. He also showed us photos of the writers mentioned, some never seen before, so that was an additional bonus. A very pleasant morning for us all.

Imperial Cafe War Veterans

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

A Flying Start
An extremely interesting and pleasant afternoon spent visiting the RAF Museum in Hendon. In among the aircraft we had our very own pilot in the shape of Kurt Taussig, the only Czech-Jewish commissioned officer to become a Spitfire pilot in the RAF. Kurt arrived in the UK as a ‘Winton child’ and it was an honour to be in his company on this day.

Kensington & Notting Hill

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

Making New Friends
We met at Ruth and Peter Kraus’s flat. The AJR’s Sue and Eva were in attendance and thank heavens for that! Many mugs of tea and coffee and piles of smoked salmon sandwiches, cookies and mini-cupcakes were consumed. We all made new friends and exchanged phone numbers and email addresses.

Kent

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

The Right Note
Mike Piper from Kent Fire and Rescue Service struck just the right note in his very informative illustrated talk on home safety. We all resolved to be more careful with appliances, check our smoke alarms, and not leave mobile phones charging all night

Kingston & Surrey

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

Old and New Friends
We met for coffee at the home of Edmee Barta. It was lovely as always to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Edmee’s hospitality was much appreciated by all.

Marlow Continental Friends

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

Refugees and Migrants
Meeting at the home of Alan Kaye, the main topic of conversation was the current refugee crisis. As Jews, we sympathise with the Syrian families and lone children who have fled the indescribable horror of the situation in their homeland. We feel less sympathetic, however, to the young men in their twenties and thirties, carrying mobile phones and relatively well dressed, among the refugees. We guess that these are mainly ‘economic’ migrants and that priority should be afforded the families with children and children travelling alone.

North London

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

An Indomitable Victorian Woman
Lady Judith Montefiore was a truly indomitable Victorian woman. Born into great wealth, she acquired even more after her marriage to Moses. She was exceptionally well educated and fluent in many languages. She and her husband travelled extensively, setting up and contributing to many charitable causes. We are truly indebted to David Barnett for his excellent account.

North West London

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

‘The MP for Refugees’
Dr Susan Cohen spoke to us about the life of the humanitarian activist Eleanor Rathbone (1872-1946). One of only 14 women MPs, she became known as ‘The MP for Refugees’, having set up the Parliamentary Committee for Refugees in 1938 and in 1939 travelling to Prague, where she met Sir Nicholas Winton. From 1918 onwards she argued for a system of family allowances to be paid directly to mothers. Her lasting legacy came in 1945 when she saw the Family Allowances Act passed into law.

Norwich (Norfolk)

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

Walking through Germany
Phyllida Scrivens, author of the recently published biography of our member Joe Stirling, told us about his walking through Germany and into Holland as a very young boy in the hope of ending up in England. Eventually he had to return home to start on his journey to these shores via the Kindertransport. Phyllida also told us about the people he met here who helped him towards a successful life.

Nottingham

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

Catching Up on News
We were hosted by Ruth and Jurgen Schweining in their new home. As usual, Ruth provided a lovely lunch, enjoyed by 14 members from around the area. We were delighted to welcome Esther, recovering from her recent illness. As usual, we had a lovely few hours catching up on news.

Oxford

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

WWI Battlefields
Meeting at the home of Suzie and John Bates, I talked about my April trip to the WWI battlefields in France and Belgium, showing photos of the cemeteries and monuments I had seen. We discussed the bizarre fact that many members had relatives who had fought for Germany in WWI and had been honoured for bravery, yet had faced the horrors of WWII 20 years later.

Pinner

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

From Brick Lane to Birmingham via Buckingham Palace
We were honoured to have Sir Bernard Zissman trace quite casually the various stages of his illustrious career in voluntary and public organisations that included the office of Mayor of Birmingham. Sir Bernard remained mindful of his humble beginnings in Brick Lane and his debt to his hardworking grandfather, a refugee from East European pogroms.

Radlett

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

Justice of the Peace – Not Jewish Princess
Susan Shaw JP has been a magistrate for 25 years but the rest of us knew little about this important branch of the British judiciary: it was salutary to learn something about the history, role and making of magistrates. Susan spiced her talk with a number of ‘case histories’, which led to a very lively discussion.

Welwyn Garden City

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

A Close-knit Group
This was my first acquaintance with this close-knit group, who have been meeting at Monica Rosenbaum’s beautiful home for many years. Not surprisingly, conversation flowed with ease over Viennese and other Continental biscuits and freshly brewed real coffee. Young nonagenarian Sam Ostro talked about how he had been brought to this country as part of a group of young Jewish men by the Quakers and Diane spoke about her mother’s work in the intelligence service translating the bugged conversations of German PoW officers. Our thanks to Monica for her generous hospitality.

Wembley

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

The Life of Lady Judith Montefiore
David Barnett told us that Judith Montefiore was a good Jewish wife as well as a great philanthropist. She also wrote the first Jewish cookery book and kept diaries detailing all her travels and social events. One of the Jewish community’s most notable women and an interesting early 20th Century personality.

Wessex (Bournemouth)

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

‘The First Lady of British Jewry’
Lady Judith Montefiore (1784-1862), David Barnett told us, has been described as ‘the first lady of British Jewry’. She was unusually well educated in languages, music and the domestic arts and wrote the first Jewish cookery book – a sort of Jewish Mrs Beeton. After her marriage to the wealthy and influential Sir Moses Montefiore, she threw herself into his many philanthropic enterprises and travelled extensively with him to countries including Russia and the Holy Land.