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 Good Holiday Read
There were mixed reactions to Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist though on the whole it was considered a good ‘holiday’ read. Our next choice, for 25 March, is Forever a Stranger by Linda Ferrer.

Birmingham (West Midlands)

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

Six Point Foundation
Susan Cohen from Six Point Foundation spoke to us about the grants to fund projects for AJR members. Ivan presented the SPF Connect project that will enable members to make use of touch screen computers in their homes with the addition of specialist training.

Brighton and Hove (Sarid)

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

How the Railways Changed Our Lives
Godfrey Gould explained to us how trains opened up the country, providing everyone with the opportunity to travel. Goods and cattle were transported around the country and abroad, giving rise to the industrial revolution.

Bristol and Bath

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

All Very Beautiful
Jane Hewison, daughter of member Hilla Hewison, showed us many slides of her work as an embroiderer, giving examples of traditional religious items. Her work is all very beautiful.

Bromley Continental Friends

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

The Perfect Antidote
We met at Liane’s home for a delicious lunch provided by Hazel, who also told us about future AJR events. Debate, reminiscence and the warmth of companionship made our meeting the perfect antidote to winter’s chill and gloom.

Cambridge

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

Suitcase’ Sisters
Jane Merkin gave a moving talk about ‘Suitcase’, produced by her and written and directed by her sister Ros. The play was devised to reflect the experiences of Kindertransport children when they arrived in this country. One of these children was Jane and Ros’s mother Jo Hacker, who arrived from Vienna with her sisters, Paula and Melanie, in December 1938.

Cardiff

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

Inside Story of Parliamentary Grandees
We had a delightful, humorous and informative talk by Chris Moncrieff, former political editor of the Press Association, who had known and observed many of the grandees passing through Parliament including Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Harold Wilson and many other prime ministers, ministers and MPs.

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

Families Reunited
Having given a report on the main Holocaust Memorial Day event at Central Hall, Esther related how a chance email had led to the discovery of relations in Israel, describing how the two families had subsequently become very close.

Edgware

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

Medical Services in WWI

Dr Susan Cohen spoke on medical services in the First World War, giving precise statistics about injured soldiers. Many soldiers were so badly injured that they suffered all their lives.


Essex

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

History of Southend Synagogue
Derek Silverstone, formerly Vice-President of Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation, gave us a talk on our synagogue’s history. It came into existence in 1906 in a tin hut near Westcliff Railway Station with just a few members. Today, we have 650 family memberships and former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks came down to celebrate our centenary!

Hampstead Garden Suburb

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

A History of Paintings and Trains
Blue Badge Guide Mark King gave us a most informative account of Kenwood’s paintings and their history. However, we veered off the subject and got a history of the train stations in Hampstead and Highgate and learned how Hampstead Garden Suburb came to be built!

Ilford

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

Morning of Nostalgia
Fred Rosner gave us a morning of nostalgia, sharing with us his favourite operatic areas. Fred recalled many famous voices and it was a pleasure to hear these singers from the past.

Imperial Cafe War Veterans

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

‘For the Good of the Führer’
A member brought along an original copy of a German newspaper from 1941 headlined ‘The Victorious Battle of Kiev’. Perhaps the most interesting part of the paper were the obituaries, in which mothers and wives spoke proudly of the soldiers who had ‘fallen for the good of the Führer and the cause’ - bringing home the similarity of their martyrdom to that of today’s terrorists.

Kensington & Notting Hill

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

Inaugural Meeting
Please join us for our inaugural meeting on 26th March 2015.  Please contact Head Office for details.

Kent

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

A High-End Lox and Herring Emporium
We loved the film The Sturgeon Queens, which tells the story of four generations of a Jewish immigrant family who create and run the New York-based Russ and Daughters, a high-end lox and herring emporium still very much thriving.

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

Visit to Warsaw
We met again at the home of Alan Kaye, to whom many thanks are due. Hazel had prepared a good Jewish lunch, enjoyed by all present. Among topics discussed was Hazel and Esther’s recent visit to the new, impressive Jewish museum in Warsaw.

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

Women in Aviation
Paul Lang’s subject proved most interesting. How many men realised that women’s involvement in aviation goes way back and is equally prevalent in modern sciences such as space travel? An absorbing morning.

North West London

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

A 45-Year Career with Jewish Care
Judith Hassan told us about her 45-year career with Jewish Care, which she joined when it was the Jewish Welfare Board. For many years Judith developed specialist services for Holocaust survivors and refugees and in 1990 founded Shalvata, followed by the Holocaust Survivors’ Centre in 1993.

Norwich (Norfolk)

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

All the Proper Ingredients
We had a social lunchtime meeting with all the proper ingredients: from schmaltz herring to rye bread and home-baked quiche. I presented the first instalment of my life – from 1928 Berlin to leaving Auschwitz in October 1944. I would like to express our appreciation to the members of the Norwich Hebrew Congregation who contribute so much to the success of our meetings.

Nottingham (East Midlands)

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

Catching Up on News
This was a very well attended social meeting with old friends catching up on news over a simple but excellent lunch prepared by our hostess with delicious desserts brought by members. The meeting was kept in order by Esther: we so much appreciate her coming. This time, she was ably assisted by Kathryn, our local AJR representative, whom we were delighted to welcome.

Oxford

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

Amusing Stories
Meeting at Richmond Road Synagogue, we enjoyed coffee and cake and then listened to Chris Moncrieff, former Political Editor of the Press Association, who regaled us with amusing stories from his interesting career.

Pinner

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

The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful
Water engineer and photographer Stephen Myers showed us not only the tourist highlights of this beautiful, richly endowed Buddhist country but also some of its more intriguing aspects, such as a Jewish family and a synagogue. The teak and oil trade benefited only the junta, Stephen said, not the people, who were among the poorest in the world.

Radlett

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

Bank of England Update
The Bank of England’s Tim Pike believes that the most favourable development would result from limiting the involvement of the private sector and encouraging the growth of private enterprise. But, as on previous occasions when he spoke to us, there was a good deal of scepticism among us, which led to a lively discussion.

St John's Wood

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

Concorde: A Brilliant Pioneering Achievement
My younger son Paul from British Aviation Tours gave us a most interesting talk on the history, development and legacy of Concorde. This was a brilliant pioneering achievement but completely uneconomical and it went out of service in 2003.

Surrey

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

Splendid Food and Convivial Company
We met at Susan Zisman’s lovely house to enjoy splendid food and convivial company. A most interesting account of Hazel and Esther’s trip to Warsaw kept us enraptured and memories of the past were invoked.

Welwyn Garden City

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

‘Holocaust Fatigue’?
AJR CEO Michael Newman was our ‘guest of honour’. After the numerous HMD events, it was asked whether too many such events might induce ‘Holocaust fatigue’. The conversation then turned to the tension that developed between the established Jewish community and new immigrants – a deplorable development – and the great debt of gratitude the immigrants owe to the Quaker community, a debt which even now has perhaps not been adequately acknowledged.

Wembley

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

‘In Search of Jewish Ancestry’
To our envy, Dr Anthony Joseph could trace his ancestry back to the late 19th century. We learned a lot and look forward to a follow-up talk. It was good to see all our friends again.

Wessex (Bournemouth)

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

The Beauty and Importance of Chanukah
We enjoyed a lovely Chanukah Party at the synagogue. Rabbi Barry Sklan gave a moving talk on Chanukah, emphasising its beauty and importance.