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

Laughter and Chatter
We discussed Roman Halter’s book about his life journey, which we found very thought-provoking. A very lively afternoon, on which laughter and chatter filled the air.

Birmingham (West Midlands)

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

Annual Garden Party
At our Annual Garden Party at the Aubrey and Betty Lynes Centre, 26 of our members were greeted by Keith and Barry and nibbles and drinks were served. As always, it was a pleasure to greet the AJR’s Esther Rinkoff and Catherine Williams. Patrick, assisted by Jamie, had prepared a delicious buffet lunch. Our thanks to Barry, who so ably looked after us throughout.

Brighton and Hove (Sarid)

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

Brighton and the Hanoverians
Godfrey Gould gave an amusing and well-attended talk about the Hanoverians and their connection to Brighton. He introduced his talk with a brief history of the British monarchy and their foreign family ties.

Bristol and Bath

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

Amusing Stories about Political Life
We were generously entertained at the Progressive Synagogue by Chris Montcrieff, who told us about his long career as a journalist at the Parliamentary Press Association. Chris went around the world with Margaret Thatcher several times and had many amusing stories about political life.

Bromley Continental Friends

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

Members Give Personal Accounts of Their Backgrounds
We enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by Hazel and the warm hospitality of Liane’s home. Members, including four Second-Generation ones, were enlightened by the personal accounts by those present of their backgrounds and journeys to this country, where they made their new homes.

Cambridge

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

‘We Must Save the Children’
The wonderful work done by the Cambridge Refugee Committee between 1938 and 1947 in guiding the progress of the large number of children who had arrived on the Kindertransport and were living in the area was the subject of an admirable talk by Mike Levy of Keystone Arts & Heritage. One can only reflect with gratitude on the personal interest shown by Greta Burkill and her team in those difficult years.

Cardiff

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

Members Made Aware of AJR Services
A decision was made to run the group twice yearly, in May and September/October, with a speaker where possible. AJR Social Services Head Sue Kurlander made members aware of services provided by the organisation which they could make use of should they wish to do so.

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

Jewish Songs and Comedy Across the Ages
A larger-than-usual group was treated by Richard Bird to a delightful afternoon of recorded Jewish songs and comedy clips across the ages. The music ranged from Pesach tunes to Al Jolson, ‘Exodus’, ‘Schindler’s List’ and ‘My Yiddishe Momme’, with comedy including extracts from ‘You Don’t Have to Be Jewish’. Members of the group joined in with some of the songs.

Edgware

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

A Jewish Boxing Champion
David Barnett spoke most interestingly about Daniel Mendoza, a Jewish boxer from London’s East End. Few of us knew much about boxing but we all listened most carefully to David’s talk.

Essex

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

Visit to Porters
On a beautiful August morning, we visited Porters, a magnificent early Tudor building which is now the Civic House and Mayor’s Parlour for the Borough of Southend-on-Sea. In the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor and Mrs Walker, we were shown around the house by the official Mace Bearer.

Hampstead Garden Suburb

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

Helping Those in Need
Six Point Foundation’s Renata McDonnell enlightened us on the funds available from the selling of the Otto Schiff properties. There’s a limited amount of time left to distribute the money to survivors and refugees who are in need. This evoked a huge debate.

Ilford

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

Sentimental Return to Years Gone By
Alf Keiles gave us a well-researched history of jazz, highlighting the most popular song for almost every year since 1908. It was fascinating to hear so many of our well-loved melodies once again. A very sentimental return to years gone by.

Imperial Cafe War Veterans

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

Demob Time
Conversation was about the price of demob suits and when members were demobbed. With regard to giving up their guns, one member said he would like his gun back to shoot Theresa May!

Kent

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

‘Public Sector on the Brink’
Jenny Salaman focused on the changing role of the civil service, health service, education and police in the face of relentless government reform. Members really appreciated Jenny’s erudite overview of the pressures now encountered by official workers.

Kingston Continental Friends

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

Lively Chat, Delicious Tea
A lively chat and delicious tea at the home of Irene Gould. We all signed a card for Susan Zisman, who is recovering from a serious illness, sending her our love and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Marlow Continental Friends

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

World’s Problems to Wait Another Day
We met at Alan Kaye’s home and enjoyed an excellent lunch prepared by Hazel. Many topics of current interest were discussed but, as usual, because of time constraints we weren’t able to sort out the world’s problems.

Nightingale House

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

Small World
Two members of our group who had been living on the same floor at Nightingale hadn't previously realised that they both came to this country at the age of 15 and are both of the same age. Small world. Also, we talked about careers we have had.

North London

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

A Touch of Nostalgia
We celebrated our 13th birthday with a most pleasant lunch. This was followed by Valerie and Stanley Clingman’s presentation of ‘The Great American Song Book, 1920-1950’ to add a touch of nostalgia. A most wonderful afternoon. A big thanks to all who helped.

North West London

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

War, Antisemitism and Memories of the Kindertransport
First we discussed the situation in Gaza and how it is being reported by the mass media with a subsequent rise in anti-Semitism. Then we followed up with recollections of the Kindertransport and settling in Britain – all accompanied by a delicious summer lunch.

Norwich (Norfolk)

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

Anecdotes from the Corridors of Power
And then there were eight - who not only enjoyed a Continental-style lunch but also a talk by Chris Montcrieff, one-time Parliamentary Journalist for the Press Association. Chris entertained us with any number of anecdotes from the corridors of power.

Nottingham (East Midlands)

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

Lunch in a Lovely Leicestershire Village
The Schwienings, our hosts, served us an excellent lunch in their home in a lovely Leicestershire village. Our group is maintaining its numbers with new members. As usual, we welcomed Esther Rinkoff to keep us in order.

Oxford

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

Fantastic Hospitality
We had lunch at the home of Susie and John Bates. As ever, the food was delicious. We also had a wonderful tour of their garden, seeing all the ripening fruit and vegetables. Thank you to Susie and John for their fantastic hospitality.

Pinner

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

Enjoying English Social Life
The highlight of Pinner AJR’s year was, as usual, the annual tea party, held in the lovely home of Vera and Robert Gellman. Home-made scones and cakes and strawberries and cream showed that we Continentals have fully adopted an important aspect of English social life! Conversation flowed and many reminisced about the recent enjoyable AJR week in Eastbourne.

Radlett

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

A Rare Phenomenon
Daniel Mendoza, David Barnett told us, was a rare phenomenon - a Jewish boxing champion. Born in 1764 into a Sephardic family, he became famous in the highest circles of the land and even met King George III. He accumulated great wealth, which, unfortunately, he lost in later life.

St John's Wood

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

Looking Back with Enthusiasm
Leslie Sommer talked about his varied career at the Home Office: probation office, fire department, and passport and emigration departments. Lovely to hear someone look back on their working life with such enthusiasm!

Surrey

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

A Convivial Morning
The Surrey and Kingston groups joined forces once again in Edmee’s home to enjoy a convivial morning’s coffee and chat. As always, we were all made to feel welcome by our hostess.

Welwyn Garden City

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

Social and Slap-up Meal
We enjoyed a catered lunch at the Synagogue to celebrate nine years of our existence as an AJR group. Lively discussion, lots of food and a really pleasant change to have a social with a slap-up meal!

Wembley

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

All England Champion Daniel Mendoza
We met to hear David Barnett’s fascinating talk on the 18th-century Jewish boxing champion Daniel Mendoza, of whom members said they had never heard before.

Wessex (Bournemouth)

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

A Very Special Day
We were very lucky to have the most beautiful sunny day for our outing to Rheinfield Country House Hotel in the New Forest. The outing was meticulously organised by Herta and Walter Kammerlling. The driver took us along the scenic route to the hotel and we saw both the coast and the New Forest. We had a delicious tea with homemade scones and a walk around the house with its fabulous Alhambra Room and Great Hall. We strolled around the beautiful hotel grounds before returning to Bournemouth. A very special day.