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 Most Enjoyable Get-together
Our meeting at Café Also at Joseph’s Bookstore’s was most enjoyable. Eve spoke about Ian McEwan’s The Children Act, which dealt with the story of a judge and the cases she dealt with. At our next meeting, for lunch on Wednesday 12 August, we will be talking about Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Márquez and After Me Comes the Flood by Sarah Perry. Even if you haven’t read these, do come along for a most enjoyable get-together.

Birmingham (West Midlands)

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

A Wonderful Trip to Blenheim Palace
Our trip to Blenheim Palace was wonderful! We were impressed by the scale of the Vanbrugh building and admired Capability Brown's gardens. On an excellent tour, we learned about the Dukes of Marlborough and the Churchill family. After admiring the splendid Meissen china, paintings, furniture and tapestries, we enjoyed a convivial lunch on the terrace and took the train to the Pleasure Gardens.

Brighton and Hove (Sarid)

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

From Pogrom to Palestine
Jenny Manson read extracts from her Aunt Esther’s diary, written in around 1918-20, which was found by the family and published. She also gave us handouts of her family tree and photos of her parents. Having experienced a pogrom in her home town in Ukraine, Jenny went to Palestine and was taught by Einstein. She later came to live in England.

Bristol and Bath

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

Musical Selection
Members enjoyed a deli lunch at Bannerman Road synagogue with a chance to chat before listening to pieces of music we had selected and describing the reasons we had selected them.

Bromley Continental Friends

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

An Afternoon of Companionship and Lively Discussion
First and Second Generation members enjoyed an afternoon of companionship and lively discussion, encompassing a broad range of topics - from the merits of Ocado deliveries to cultural and leisure events. Exhibitions, film music and books were recalled and reviewed. Hazel told us about future visits and provided a delicious lunch at Liane’s home.

Cambridge

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

Life as an Officer in the Royal Marines
Simon Granham, Deputy Head at Dovercourt/Harwich High School, has been very involved in relating the events of the Kindertransport to his pupils. On this occasion, he gave us a most interesting talk about his time as an officer in the Royal Marines, including many amusing anecdotes, and stimulated a wide discussion of life in the Services.

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

Health Matters
Drawing on his long experience as a senior health professional and as an MP with a particular interest in health matters, Dr Eric Moonman gave us insight into the strengths and problems of the Health Service. He also gave us some quite unexpected advice on how to keep healthy. There ensued a lively discussion covering the service provided by GPs, the ambulance service, and the treatment of the elderly in hospitals.

Edgware

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

The Policies of Herbert Morrison MP
Lesley Urbach spoke to us most interestingly about Labour MP Herbert Morrison, whose policies had a fairly large influence on the Jewish community.

Essex

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

Recollections of a Kindertransport Journey
Our 87-year-old chairman Otto Deutsch gave a very moving account of his Kindertransport journey to England. He arrived in Harwich having said goodbye to his mother and sister Delia at the train station in Vienna, never to see them, or his father, again! He and his cousin Alex eventually boarded with a Christian family in Morpeth near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Before he left Vienna Otto saw Hitler drive past – ironically, Hitler went to school in Linz, not far from Otto’s school.

Hampstead Garden Suburb

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

Jewish Heritage in the Arab World
Lyn Julius gave a very thought-provoking explanation as to why there are so few Jewish families left in places like Tunisia, Egypt and especially Iran, where only five families now live. The Muslim Brotherhood was founded on Nazi ideology and the Mufti visited Hitler in Berlin during the Second World War, she said. Lyn spoke with eloquence and with excellent footage. She runs a website called ‘Harif’ - well worth a look!

Ilford

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

Cool Subjects
On the hottest day of the year, only a few hardy members joined us for a friendly social. There was plenty of cake and fruit and it was a pleasant morning with conversations on many cool subjects to divert us from the unusual heat prevailing outside.

Imperial Cafe War Veterans

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

A Lunch Washed Down with Many Memories
We met for a celebratory lunch to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day. Union Jacks bought by Peter Wayne in 1945 were waved enthusiastically. A delicious lunch washed down with many, many memories. Thank you, Peter Eden, for suggesting we meet.

Kensington & Notting Hill

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

Cultural Melting Pot
Meeting for the second time, and my first, those present introduced themselves. It turned out that they were spread across the globe: from the Philippines and Africa to Prague, Vienna and Berlin and, finally, the beautiful city of Sarajevo. Everyone was connected in this cultural melting pot. Thanks to Walter and Kathy for their kind hospitality.

Kent

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

Dealing with Local Criminals
Police Community Support Officers Claire and Dave, based in Tunbridge Wells, reassured us there was not so much crime locally - they mainly deal with shoplifting - but gave us useful tips on dealing with bogus callers.

Kingston & Surrey

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

Another Very Entertaining Get-together

A delicious lunch at Edmee’s lovely home and garden, which was in full bloom, was enjoyed by members of both Surrey and Kingston Groups. Another very entertaining get-together.


Marlow Continental Friends

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

Many Topics of Interest Discussed
We are fortunate in having a fixed venue for our meetings: the beautiful home of Alan Kaye, whom we thank for his hospitality. During the delicious lunch Hazel had prepared for us, we discussed many topics of interest, including the general election, the recent Israeli election, and the ‘Mediterranean boat people’.

North London

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

World War I Battlefields
Kathryn Prevezer gave a most interesting and descriptive talk about her visit to WWI battlefields in France earlier this year. A morning enjoyed by all members.

North West London

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

Wonderful Outing to Rinkoff Bakery
Our July meeting was a wonderful lunch outing to Rinkoff Bakery in the East End organised by Esther. We were greeted by her husband Ray, a Master Baker, who is the third generation to run what is described as ‘Your Specialist Baker since 1911’. We were treated to a most delicious lunch of our choice before being given a tour by Ray and a demonstration by him of how to plait challah and make round challah.

Norwich (Norfolk)

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

The Tribe of the Israelites Meet for Lunch
Nine of the Tribe of the Israelites met for a splendid lunch at the Norwich synagogue. The theme chosen by Kathryn was music, each of us choosing a favourite piece. I was astounded by the ability of small electronic gadgets to coax a good sound from the ether, apart from also being a camera, telephone, etc.

Nottingham (East Midlands)

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

A Great Success
Our annual lunch, at the beautiful home of Susie Bates in Abingdon, was a great success. Her garden was in full bloom and we enjoyed refreshments outside before a delicious meal.

Pinner

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

Eat Better – Feel Better
Never have we had such spirited audience participation as when Sarah Walford spoke to us about the principles of healthy eating. Sarah would avoid the trans fats in margerine, using butter or olive oil, but preferably coconut oil due to its stability, especially to heating. She spoke about cholesterol, carbohydrates, vitamin D and sunshine, advised a low meat high natural vegetable and fruit diet, and warned against the increasingly high sugar content of processed food.

Radlett

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

Herbert Morrison MP
Herbert Morrison was a Labour politician who achieved high office in the coalition government of WWII. Lesley Urbach has made a study of his attitude to Jews, in Europe and the UK alike. In general, she found him sympathetic, particularly in his earlier years in office, but there was some doubt about his later approach. Unfortunately, she didn’t have time to speak about the later years on this occasion.

St John's Wood

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

First Lady of Anglo-Jewry
David Barnett spoke about Judith Montefiore. Born in 1784, Judith had a superb education with a wide knowledge of literature, music and art and was fluent in several languages. She wrote the first Jewish cookery/housekeeping book, was a philanthropist, and a full partner in all her husband’s activities.

Welwyn Garden City

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

Great Jewish Lyricists
Mike Levy gave an excellent talk on Jewish lyricists. We heard snippets from songs by, among others, Irving Berlin, Ira and George Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein, Frank Lessor and, the most recent, Lionel Bart. All were geniuses who gave us immense pleasure by turning pen and paper into musical notes.

Wembley

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

A ‘Clever Flower’
Nick Dobson spoke about one of his favourite flowers – the dahlia. He showed us some beautiful slides - many of the blooms he had grown himself - and told us the history of this ‘clever’ flower, which apparently has more genes than any other.

Wessex (Bournemouth)

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

Outing to Water Gardens
We were joined by members of the Bournemouth Reform Congregation for an outing to Bennett’s Water Gardens at Weymouth. This houses the national collection of water lilies in a group of large ponds connected by broad grass walkways. At the centre is a charming replica of the Japanese bridge in Monet’s garden at Givenchy. We admired the many water lilies of various colours and enjoyed a fine cream tea.