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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

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

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

Pesach Subjects
With our eagerly awaited nonagenarian speaker caught up in heavy traffic, we enjoyed a discussion on diverse subjects. We discussed age, which was considered no bar to achievement, as well as Pesach and the seder plate, including recipes for charoset, matso breis and kneidlach. We concluded with a Passover quiz.

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

Lianne Better and Looking Forward to the Next Meeting
We met again in the lovely comfort of Lianne’s home but sadly Lianne was unable to be there due to illness. However, her daughter Laura was kind enough to host the afternoon, at which no less than four members of the second generation were present, allowing tea and conversation to flow. We wish Lianne better and look forward to the next meeting.

Cambridge

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

A Wonderful Jewish Lady
David Barnett spoke about Lady Judith Montefiore, a truly wonderful Jewish lady who was extremely well educated and multilingual. She and her financially successful husband had many benevolent achievements to their credit not only in the UK but also in other European countries and the Holy Land.

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

‘Don’t Write Me Off Just Yet - Jewish Nonagenarians’
Having interviewed a number of amazing Jewish individuals who had passed the age of 90, Lawrence Collin told us his interviews suggested a positive attitude: pursuing and supporting particular causes and having a good family life were often key factors in achieving a great age.

Edgware

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

Vintage Wedding Glamour
Vintage Wedding Glamour in London’s East End is a collection of wedding pictures with a Hollywood-style backdrop taken by Boris Bennett. Michael Greisman traced the history of Boris’s work from the time he immigrated from Poland to his achieving fame with his own ‘Boris’ studio in Whitechapel from 1927 to the mid-1950s. A most enjoyable afternoon!<

Essex

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

Extraordinary Story
Our newest recruit Naomi Angel spoke about her German-Jewish mother and how she came to be adopted a week after her birth. Fifty years later she discovered her two brothers in Israel. We were moved to tears by the extraordinary story and the photos and documents, including Naomi’s own painting of a sculpture of a mother and child made by her birth mother.

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 Sobering Morning
Before the war, Lesley Urbach told us, Herbert Morrison MP was friendly towards Jews. However, he later spoke out strongly against Jewish refugees entering Britain, declaring this would increase anti-Semitism. Nonetheless, 70 per cent still managed to arrive, thanks mainly to Winston Churchill. A sobering morning!

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

Visit to Israel Recounted in Glowing Terms
We met once again at Ruth and Peter Krauss’s lovely home. David De Haas told us about his and his wife Judy’s recent visit to Israel, describing the country and its achievements in glowing terms. Peter Wayne recommended the specially adapted easy-to-use computers supplied by SPF Connect.

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

Increasing Circle
We sadly missed Bronia and Tom Snow. Tom had recently passed away but they have always been an essential part of the Group and we send our sympathies to Bronia. But the ever-decreasing circle was increasing for a change and we were delighted to welcome new participants from the Kingston Group.

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

A Nice Social Afternoon Meeting
Some 17 members from three counties came along and we had a nice social afternoon meeting. We very much missed Esther Rinkoff but welcomed Kathryn, our AJR Social Worker. The venue and a very nice lunch were generously provided by the son and daughter-in-law of a member.

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

History of London Cinemas
Our Blue Badge Guide Rachel Kosky kept us entertained about the history of cinemas in London. We all remember the Picturehouses and it was a delight to be reminded of the days before multi-screen cinemas.

Radlett

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

A Remarkable Woman
Dr Barnett gave an account of the life of Lady Judith Montefiore, who was very active in supporting or starting many charitable organisations mainly for the benefit of the Jewish poor. She also left us the first Jewish cookery book! Dr Barnett spoke with great warmth about this remarkable woman and brought her vividly to life.

Welwyn Garden City

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

Varied Subjects of Discussion
Though a bit depleted in numbers on this occasion, we enjoyed discussing topics ranging from the EU referendum and the London mayoral candidates to family matters and other varied subjects.

Wembley

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

Tour of Literary London
Nick Dobson gave us a fascinating tour of literary London through visits to Underground stations. He was very ably assisted by Vincent, who read extracts from poems and books.

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.