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

Unputdownable
We enjoyed a successful meeting and a delicious lunch. The book we discussed was The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes. Everyone thought it was a good read. I personally couldn’t put it down.

AJR Film Club

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

Nowhere in Africa
Meeting in Whetstone, 25 Film Club members enjoyed Nowhere in Africa, expertly introduced by Martin Aaron. The film is based on Stefanie Zweig’s autobiography, in which she recounts her family’s flight from Nazi Breslau to Kenya, where hankerings after the lost German life and marital tensions are set in beautiful landscapes.

Birmingham

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

A Special Garden Party
Sir Bernard Zissman, our guest at his first bench unveiling in the gardens of Andrew Cohen House, told us of other distinguished benches, including ones marking the Magna Carta and the Queen’s Jubilee. Our bench was given by Birmingham AJR members in memory of all the members and their families past and present who had suffered Nazi persecution. A truly special garden party.

Brighton and Hove

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

Recalling WWII
Joined by Ben, a student eager to learn from our members about WWII, we had a discussion on, among many other subjects, the circumstances leading up to the war, Kristallnacht, the camps, and the Exodus journey to Palestine. This being our last meeting prior to Rosh Hashanah, Esther brought not only cake but also apple and honey.

Bristol and Bath

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

‘Forced Walks: Honouring Esther’
We met for a convivial lunch. Artists Lorna Brunstein and Richard White showed slides on ‘Forced Walks: Honouring Esther’. The walks commemorate the death march to Belsen, which Lorna’s mother survived, but the memory is still very powerful.

Bromley Continental Friends

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

As Time Flows By
A lively gathering on the hottest September day in Lianne’s lovely home. Conversation flowed: Israel, Ireland and Australia to name but a few countries visited and discussed. Time flew by. Welcome to new member Gerda Alum and good to catch up with the regulars. We can’t wait to meet again.

Cambridge

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

Fostering Better Understanding
UJIA’s Harvey Bratt explained the philanthropic work the organisation is doing to foster better understanding in and around Israel, for instance in education by creating mixed universities, schools, etc. UJIA also provides free writing of wills to encourage donations and legacy-giving.

Card and Games Club

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

The More the Merrier!
We all enjoyed a deli lunch and games of Bridge, Scrabble, Kalooki and Rummikub followed. The number attending the AJR Games Afternoons is steadily increasing. The more the merrier! We hope this event will become a regular feature in the AJR calendar.

Cardiff

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

AJR Update
Michael Newman described the excellent work of the AJR, now celebrating its 75th anniversary. He gave such an interesting survey of the work done by the AJR that there was a rapid response from members and a lively discussion ensued. A most successful visit.

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

Forerunner of the Modern Department Store
David Barnett gave us a fascinating account of E. Moses & Son, one of the most famous businesses in London in the 19th Century. The firm was a pioneer in the sale of ready-made clothing and expanded to cover all household goods. It can be regarded as the forerunner of the modern department store.

Edgware

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

UJIA Support for Israel
Harvey Bratt spoke about UJIA (United Jewish Israel Appeal), which provides support, education and training for the development of deprived areas in the Galilee. UJIA believes young people are crucial to the future of Israel and organises annual youth visits to Israel.

Essex

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

‘How To Be Happy’
The ‘other’ Peter Jones was our guest speaker on ‘How To Be Happy’. He kept us entertained even though his first wife died shortly after they married. Everyone knows the expression ‘As happy as Larry’ and this Peter Jones epitomises the saying.

Ilford

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

Historic Work
Peter Hedderley gave us a resume of his involvement in the various ‘Winton Train’ anniversaries. Peter is not Jewish so his enthusiastic support in recalling the Winton evacuation is quite remarkable. We thank him for his historic work over many years.

Imperial Cafe War Veterans

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

Please Can We Meet Again?
Lord Eden kindly hosted us in the comfort of his officers’ mess with, among other things, delicious rugelach made by his wife Joy. Much was discussed, including the locations of our soldiers on D-Day and VE Day and, with regard to Brexit, children requesting their parents’ original nationality. A lovely morning – please can we meet again?

Kensington & Notting Hill

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

A Leisurely Afternoon
Conversation flowed freely among those who came to enjoy a leisurely afternoon at Peter Wayne’s lovely flat. Topics of conversation ranged from Brexit, to travels to and within South Africa, to a talk at Alyth Gardens about the raid on Entebbe 40 years ago, to how to look after pianos. Eva told us of forthcoming events, especially the forthcoming AJR Groups Chanukah Party.

Kingston & Surrey

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

Delightful Hospitality
Members were delighted to see each other again and enjoy another dose of Edmee’s delightful hospitality on a grey Sunday morning.

Marlow Continental Friends

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

Painful Memories
Meeting at the home of Alan Kaye, we exchanged reminiscences about our families’ backgrounds. Many of us regretted not asking our parents/grandparents about their history - and most of them didn’t want to disclose the painful memories of their refugee experiences anyway. It was also interesting to find out how we all ended up in deepest Berkshire/Buckinghamshire!

North London

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

Jews of Jamaica
Henry Cohn gave a truly fascinating talk on a subject of which we had no prior knowledge. We learned that Jews first arrived in Jamaica in the 16th Century to escape persecution in Portugal and Spain. Later there were immigrations from other European countries and in the 20th Century from Lebanon, Syria and Israel. Now, the population has dwindled due to emigration to the USA and Canada. There is only one synagogue, no rabbi and the future of the community of about 200 is looking decidedly uncertain.

North West London

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

Food for Thought
We were all asked in advance to select our favourite piece of music, which was played while we consumed a lovely lunch. Later we had a very lively discussion about an article in that day’s Guardian, ‘Descendants of Jewish refugees seek German citizenship after Brexit vote’. AJR member Harry Heber, who was born in Austria, was quoted in the article as saying he was appalled at the suggestion that he might apply for restoration of his Austrian passport. Much food for thought here.

Norwich (Norfolk)

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

‘The Music Survives’
Peter Beschorner said his father Hans was brought up by a German couple and was a gifted classical pianist, but was taken to Dachau. After leaving Germany for England, Hans was taken in by the Quakers, opened his own school in Wiltshire, and fell victim to post-traumatic stress induced by his Dachau experience. He eventually recovered but had many ups and downs.

Nottingham

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

Meeting in the ‘Wilds’ of Leicestershire
Our last social meeting of 2016 took place in the ‘wilds’ of Leicestershire in the home of Jurgen and Ruth Schwiening, who laid on a splendid and much appreciated lunch. We caught up on the latest news from London, including planned trips and activities, brought to us by the much welcomed Esther Rinkoff.

Oxford

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

A Meeting with Local Author Marcus Ferrar
Local author Marcus Ferrar discussed two of his books. A Foot in Both Camps: A German Past for Better and for Worse is the story of his own upbringing: he has a German mother and a British father. The Budapest House: A Life Re-Discovered is the story of a Hungarian-Jewish woman who now lives in London. Both books resonated with the audience.

Pinner

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

A Very Worthwhile Afternoon
We had an interesting session with the AJR’s Head of Social Services, Sue Kurlander. She told us about the many services provided to members – not only first generation but also second and sometimes third generation. Many members were taking notes during her talk and a number had one-to-one chats with her after the meeting. Altogether a useful and very worthwhile afternoon.

Radlett

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

Literary Figures and the Tube
Nick Dobson described an imaginary journey on the London Underground with a number of stops at locations related to London literary figures. At each stop, Nick’s associate Alison Dabias gave an expert reading of a relevant piece of writing. Thus we came into contact with authors from Chaucer to Dylan Thomas and were presented with a vivid mosaic of London’s past literary life. A most entertaining and instructive talk.

Welwyn Garden City

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

Screening of The Sturgeon Queen
A small but select group was treated to the 2014 film The Sturgeon Queens, covering the 100-year history of the four generations of the Russ family, who specialised in the smoked fish trade serving the Jewish community of New York’s Lower East Side. After the film we were treated to a superb lunch of bagels and rolls filled with a variety of smoked fish.

Wembley

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

‘Winton Children’
Peter Hedderly, who works in the travel industry and has special expertise in trains, showed a fascinating film about Sir Nicholas Winton and the children he rescued from Czechoslovakia. Peter, who has met many of the ‘Winton children’, feels it is very important that these things should not be forgotten.

Wessex (Bournemouth)

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

COLIN DAVEY V WESSEX AJR
A semi-retired top London solicitor regaled us John Mortimer-style with a Cook’s tour of English law, criminal and civil alike. Seemingly the average citizen is remarkably non-litigious. Generously he heard out our personal dilemmas, so we left feeling inspired in future to stand our ground should injustice ever make an appearance in our lives.