Aug 2001 Journal

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AJR ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2001

‘From Kind to the House of Lords’

Guest speaker Lord Dubs recalled his experiences as a Kind arriving in England in 1939 from his native Prague. Despite an underprivileged childhood, Alf Dubs regarded himself as being among the more fortunate.

Entering public life, he served as MP for Battersea from 1979 to 1987 with responsibility for the Government’s immigration policy. As Director of the Refugee Council from 1988 to 1995, he was able to help asylum seekers and refugees. Granted a peerage in 1994, he subsequently served as Minister in Northern Ireland for three years, helping to further the peace process, and earlier this year he was appointed Chairman of the Broadcasting Standards Commission.

Honorary Officers’ Reports

AJR Chairman, Andrew Kaufman, reported that 550 new members had joined the AJR, many from KT (Kindertransport). At the Day Centre everyone was known and treated individually, food, entertainment and atmosphere were second to none and there was a special monthly Kinder lunch. A twice-weekly frozen meals-on-wheels service maintained a close relationship with the recipients. .

To ensure that members remained in their own homes as long as possible AJR’s Social Services department offered support, and an expanding ‘Homecare Service’ organised and paid for cleaning, caring or gardening. 185 members finding it hard to make ends meet were granted a total of £229,000 from the Self-Aid fund. AJR spent over a million pounds a year on members’ services, leaving a shortfall of £400,000 which could only be bridged with donations and legacies.

AJR was establishing new groups throughout the UK and kept in touch with members through the restyled AJR Journal, which maintained its high standard. AJR’s new web site was accessible on: www.ajr.org.uk

Project unviable

A new site to re-house the Day Centre, together with sheltered accommodation, had been sought by AJR. Regretfully, it had been decided that the project was not viable in the face of competition from commercial property developers and the search had been abandoned. The Chairman stressed that AJR had not abandoned responsibility for members living at Eleanor Rathbone House and discussions with OSHA, Jewish Care and JBG would ensure residents’ well being. The home’s management was to be sub-contracted to B’nai Brith JBG Housing Association. The Chairman expressed his appreciation to Jewish Care, OSHA and JBG for their cooperation.

Working with five other charities involved in Jewish refugee welfare, a new claims and restitution advisory service now operating out of AJR’s offices, had experienced exceptional demand.

Hon Treasurer, W David Rothenberg, detailed financial aspects of the main items and revealed the intention to combine the AJR’s present separate entities into one which was more efficient and cost-saving.

Anniversary celebrations

The celebration of AJR’s 60th Anniversary year was to include an Anniversary Tea and Cabaret at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Sunday 9 September and an exhibition chronicling AJR’s history. The Chairman thanked AJR’s many volunteers, members of staff and the Management Committee for their support.

Mr Ludwig Spiro referred to the excellence of the recent Symposium on AJR Information, held in co-operation with the Universities of Sussex and London, to which Lord Moser and Dr Anthony Grenville had made outstanding contributions and where appreciation was expressed to Richard Grunberger for his 13 years editorship. Mr Herman Hirschberger asked for confirmation of the taking of minutes. Mrs Anne Marx invited members to participate in the monthly Luncheon Club.

Nominees for the Management Committee were re-elected and Sigi Faith and Eric Reich, both Kinder, were elected for the first time. Andrew Kaufman, W David Rothenberg and Eleanor Angel were re-elected as Honorary Officers.

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