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

Bringing Back Memories
Meeting at Joseph’s Bookstore, we discussed One Night in Winter by Simon Sebag Montefiore. There was a great turnout and much discussion on the content of the book – which had at its centre children being imprisoned and having to spy on their siblings and parents. This brought back memories for many of our members!

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

Offering Assistance to the Needy
World Jewish Relief (WJR) volunteer Pam Amdurer, assisted by her husband Michael, told us the charity helped to bring out children from Nazi Germany to the UK. Since 1933 it has been involved in projects in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Arab countries, even Argentina, offering assistance to the needy. At the present time, the WJR is focused on Ukraine.

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

Art and Politics in the Weimar Republic
Mary-Ann Middelkoop, from the University of Cambridge, gave us fascinating insight into German visual art in the inter-war period. She included examples of Max Liebermann’s Impressionism, anti-war photo-montages by John Heartfield (Helmut Herzfeld) and satirical drawings of Berlin life by Georg (Ehrenfried) Grosz, the latter both members of Berlin Dada.

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 Variety of Honeys
Camilla Goddard’s talk about bee-keeping was followed by tasting a variety of honeys, which had distinctive flavours in accordance with the flowers the bees had visited. Interesting!

Essex

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

Pensioners’ Pressure Group
A most interesting talk by Jean Howes, from the Southend and District Pensioners’ Campaign, who described her campaign as a pressure group to protect the interests of pensioners in the area. She also talked about her own experiences with the care system for the elderly.

Hampstead Garden Suburb

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

Story of the Savoy
Our speaker, Rob Lowe, gave a fascinating talk on the Savoy Hotel – its opening in 1889 by Richard D’Oyly Carte, its Gilbert and Sullivan connections, and its development into today’s 5-star status.

Ilford

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

Life at the English Criminal Bar
Raymond Sturgess gave us an insight into his life at the English criminal bar with numerous amusing anecdotes and mentioned some of the well-known people he had met during his years as a barrister. A very interesting meeting indeed.

Imperial Cafe War Veterans

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

English As It Should Be Spoken
Group members discussed their various regiments. Childhood memories seem more vivid now and only one person could remember actually learning English. Given the use of the English language by some speakers in this country, we came to the conclusion that no one speaks it better than a German refugee!

Kent

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

A Gifted but Eccentric Soldier
Godfrey Gould gave the most fascinating talk on Orde Wingate. He described the gifted but eccentric soldier who did so much to help the Jewish cause in Palestine, enjoying a meteoric career after an unpromising start.

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

What Constitutes an Ideal World?
We discussed what constitutes an ideal world. One member felt the only way this could be achieved was if all people had equal opportunities in everything – most unlikely! Boring this meeting certainly was not. Once again, our thanks to Alan Kaye for putting his home at our disposal.

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

Champion of All England
David Barnett’s account of the self-styled ‘Mendoza the Jew’ was quite fascinating. Here was a man who excelled in illegal bare knuckle boxing, made a considerable fortune, then lost it (through gambling?), and even spent time in a debtor’s prison.

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

The Science behind Tea and Coffee
Not only did Professor Michael Spiro tell us about the origins of tea and coffee but we also learned many interesting scientific facts. A very enjoyable morning.

Pinner

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

Jewish Music from Ancient to Modern Times
With her guitar at the ready and a with wealth of fascinating recordings, Rabbi Rachel Benjamin provided us with a spellbinding afternoon of Jewish music from the shofar, lute and harp of ancient and Temple times to the recent 100 ‘Golden Years’ of secular and religious music.

Radlett

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

Who Killed the Rabbi?
Happily, assassination is not a common method for settling religious disputes among rabbis. Nevertheless, it happened in Lemberg in 1848 and Rabbi Pete Tobias gave a vivid account of the event. He also gave us insight into the tensions that existed in Jewish communities arising from the development of liberal trends in a strictly orthodox environment.

St John's Wood

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

History of Chocolate
Professor Michael Spiro enlightened us on the history of chocolate right up to the present day, ending on chocolate sampling - a great way to spend a morning.

Surrey

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

Special Treat
It was a special treat to meet the Surrey group in Edmee’s lovely home in Epsom. Eating delicious food and drinking good strong coffee while looking out at Edmee’s beautiful garden from her glass conservatory, Hazel and I chatted to members and gathered new ideas and suggestions for future meetings.

Welwyn Garden City

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

‘We Must Save the Children’
We welcomed to the AJR circuit Mike Levy, a former journalist and history teacher who is devoting his time to Keystage Arts and Heritage. His current project, ‘We Must Save the Children’, is a must for AJR members. His research into the help Greta Burkill gave to German-Jewish children in Cambridge has given rise to an exhibition.

Wembley

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

Women in Aviation
Paul Lang from British Aviation Tours and Experiences spoke on ‘Women in Aviation’. We all learned a great deal in the ensuing Q&A session. A nice strawberry tea to follow made it an especially pleasant afternoon.

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.