Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye

Here are a few events concerning Jews and/or Israel that you might like.

For further information and to book see https://www.hayfestival.com/

 

DAVID AARONOVITCH, RACHAEL JOLLEY, TOM HOLLAND AND GUESTS – THE INDEX PUNCH UPS

Event 114 • Sunday 24 May 2015, 8.30pm • Venue: Oxfam Moot

David Aaronovitch, Rachael Jolley, Tom Holland and guestsFive short arguments about flashpoints in the Freedom of Speech debates – porn, blasphemy, Israel, national security. Where do we draw the lines? And why?

Price: £7.00 

In association with Index on Censorship Magazine

Heather Dune Macadam RENA’S PROMISE

Event 125 • Monday 25 May 2015, 9am-9.45am • Venue: Starlight Stage

Heather Dune MacadamSent to Auschwitz on the first Jewish transport, Rena Kornreich survived the Nazi death camps for over three years. While there she was reunited with her sister Danka. Each day became a struggle to fulfill the promise Rena made to her mother when the family was forced to split apart – a promise to take care of her sister. New research informs this event, based on the original transport list that Macadam found in the archives of Yad Vashem with all 998 names of the first women in Auschwitz on it — 297 of whom were teenagers. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.

https://www.hayfestival.com/s-368-monday-25-may-2015.aspx?genrefilterid=0&categoryfilte“`rid=

Goran Rosenberg talks to Philippe Sands A BRIEF STOP ON THE ROAD FROM AUSCHWITZ

Event 130 • Monday 25 May 2015, 10am • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

Göran Rosenberg talks to Philippe SandsOn 2 August 1947 a young man gets off a train in a small Swedish town to begin his life anew. Having survived the ghetto of Lodz, the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and the harrowing slave camps and transports during the final months of Nazi Germany, his final challenge is to survive the survival. In his intelligent and deeply moving book, Rosenberg returns to his own childhood in order to tell the story of his father; walking at his side, holding his hand, trying to get close to him again. It is also the story of the chasm that soon opens between the world of the child, permeated by the optimism, progress and collective oblivion of postwar Sweden, and the world of the father, darkened by the long shadows of the past. 

Sandi Toksvig  THE HAY LIBRARY LECTURE

Event 147 • Monday 25 May 2015, 4pm • Venue: Tata Tent

Sandi Toksvig A celebration of reading and books from the comedian, broadcaster and writer whose books include the novels Hitler’s Canary, Flying Under Bridges and Valentine Grey, children’s stories The Littlest Viking and The Troublesome Tooth Fairy, non-fiction best-sellers Peas & Queues andGirls Are Best and the play Bully Boy. Introduced by Sue Wilkinson.

This event will be palentyped.

Price: £12.00 

In association with The Reading Agency

JASMINE DONAHAYE TALKS TO FRANCESCA RHYDDERCH FINDING HER PLACE

Event 167 • Monday 25 May 2015, 8.30pm • Venue: Elmley Foundation Cube

Jasmine Donahaye talks to Francesca RhydderchThe poet is publishing two books this spring: the first biography of Lily Tobias, a courageous, idealistic Welsh woman who wrote compellingly about Jewish life and experience in the twentieth century; and a memoir, Losing Israel. In 2007, in a chance conversation with her mother, a kibbutznik, Donahaye stumbled upon the collusion of her family in the displacement of Palestinians in 1948. When she set out to learn the story of what happened, what she discovered challenged everything she thought she knew about the country and her family, and transformed her understanding of the place, and of herself.

Price: £5.00 

SIMON SCHAMA NIGHT WILL FALL – SCREENING

Event 364 • Saturday 30 May 2015, 8.30pm-10pm • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

Simon SchamaThe historian and author of The Story of the Jews introduces a screening of André Singer’s documentary. When Allied forces liberated the Nazi concentration camps, their terrible discoveries were recorded by army cameramen, revealing for the first time the horror of what had happened. Using British, Soviet, and American footage, the Ministry of Information’s Sidney Bernstein collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock to make a film that would provide evidence of the Nazi’s unspeakable crimes. Yet, despite initial support from the British and US governments, the film was shelved. In this compelling documentary by André Singer (executive producer, The Act of Killing), the full story of the filming of the camps, and the fate of Bernstein’s project, can finally be told.

1 hour 30 mins

Price: £8.00

MICHAEL MORPURGO – THE MOZART QUESTION CONCERT

Event HF147 • Saturday 30 May 2015, 7pm–8.15pm • Venue: Tata Tent

Michael MorpurgoAuthor Michael Morpurgo is joined by actressAlison Reid, violinist Daniel Pioro and The Storyteller’s Ensemble (a quartet of strings). Together they interweave words and music, to tell his haunting tale of survival against the odds, set against the background of the Holocaust. Adapted and directed by Simon Reade.

It is difficult for us to imagine how dreadful was the suffering that went on in the Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War. The enormity of the crime that the Nazis committed is just too overwhelming for us to comprehend. In their attempt to wipe out an entire race they caused the death of six million people, most of them Jews. It is when you hear the stories of the individuals who lived through it – Anne Frank, Primo Levi – that you can begin to understand the horror just a little better, and to understand the evil that caused it.

For me, the most haunting image does not come from literature or film, but from music. I learned some time ago that in many of the camps the Nazis selected Jewish prisoners and forced them to play in orchestras; for the musicians it was simply a way to survive. In order to calm the new arrivals at the camps, they were made to serenade them as they were lined up and marched off, many to the gas chambers. Often they played Mozart.

I wondered how it must have been for a musician who played in such hellish circumstances, who adored Mozart as I do – what thoughts came when playing Mozart later in life? This was the genesis of my story, this and the sight of a small boy in a square by the Accademia Bridge in Venice, sitting one night, in his pyjamas on his tricycle, listening to a busker. He sat totally enthralled by the music that seemed to him, and to me, to be heavenly.’Michael Morpurgo.

8+ years

Duration 1 hour 15 minutes. No interval.

Price: £15.00 

SIMON SCHAMA – THE DEMON THAT WON’T DIE

Event 384 • Sunday 31 May 2015, 11.30am • Venue: Telegraph Stage

Simon SchamaThe historian examines the persistence of Anti-Semitism in the contemporary world. Schama’s latest project is the book and documentary series The Story of the Jews. Volume 2 – When Words Fail will be published in November. 

Price: £8.00 

HJC Newsletter April/May 2015 – Pesach Edition

Editorial

As I write this we are approaching Pesach, a Festival of Freedom. Our communal Seder is always a time when we remember those in other communities and other times in our history, who are not, or were not, as free as we are in Herefordshire Community. It’s a time both to celebrate our freedom and to do what we can to bring about the freedom of others. It’s also an opportunity for us to develop the freedom from the limitations we impose on ourselves. Taking that first step is sometimes the hardest, as was the case for that first Hebrew to enter the Red Sea when the waters parted in the Pesach story.

There are some important events to look forward to in our calendar, once Pesach has ended. They include: The Anne Frank Memorial Garden tree planting and service on 12 June, and a Baby naming ceremony for Alison and Marc Turner’s son, Isaac which will be held on 11 July. For both of these events we hope Rabbi Danny Rich will be present. However prior to that we have our AGM on Sunday10 May where we hope to have lunch together at a pub, which is a new venture for HJC, and should be an enjoyable event for our community as well as a practical one.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and enjoyable Pesach, and Chag Sameach,

Julian Brown

Chair chat

Purim service

We had a wonderful Purimspiel using Rabbi Anna’s “Megillah Musical” with tunes from well known shows. Although there was some initial reluctance to take on roles, we eventually had an all star cast with Cherry and Jonathan displaying hidden talents as Vashti and Haman respectively. It was great to see everyone enjoying themselves but Anna also reminded us of the less savoury aspects of the Purim story, which is why for many years it wasn’t celebrated by Liberal Judaism.

Future Events

Just to whet your appetite. Following our traditional communal Seder on Thursday April 9, we will be holding our AGM on Sunday May 10 at 12 noon at a local hostelry. The idea is that we hold our meeting between 11.30 and 1 p.m., followed by a hearty Sunday lunch. As I mentioned at the Purim service, there are some important proposed changes to our constitution that we would like to discuss with you. Venue to be decided upon but please keep the date free.

We will have another Shabbat morning service at Colwall with Rabbi Anna on Saturday May 16.

Our June service will be very different. We will be commemorating Ann Frank’s birthday on Friday June 12 by the planting of a tree at an inter faith service led by Rabbis Danny Rich and Anna Gerrard at the Saxon Hall in Hereford, this will be followed by a Friday evening service at the same venue. There will be other events at Saxon Hall on the day in connection with the opening of a garden to commemorate the former SAS chapel which was on the site. We will keep you fully informed of the timetable for the afternoon, once final details have been agreed.

Last, but by no means least, there is Isaac Turner’s baby naming ceremony and Shabbat service on Saturday July 11 in Hereford.

Sir Martin Gilbert

I was very sorry to hear of the recent death of this great historian. His output was prodigious, writing an eight volume biography of Churchill and over 80 books on twentieth century history. All his works, including the many on various aspects of Judaism and Israel, are extremely well written, detailed and objective. My favourite volumes are “A Holocaust Journey”, in which he took a group of his postgraduate students around eastern Europe to visit sites connected with the Shoah, and “Letters to Auntie Fori” in which he told the history of Judaism in bite sized letter chunks originally written to an Indian lady he had adopted as an aunt.

Daniel Taub, Israel’s ambassador to Britain, summed up his contribution: “If modern Jewish history has a voice, it is the voice of Sir Martin Gilbert. It is hard to think of anyone who has done as much to document, to educate and to inspire, with passion and authenticity, the history of the Jews in modern times, the tragedy of the Shoah, the struggles of Jews in Arab lands and the Soviet Union, and the inspiring return of the Jewish people to statehood in the land of Israel. These were but a part of his extraordinary corpus of 80 works, which not only brought him recognition as a world class historian in many different fields, but enabled him to see and describe Jewish history against the canvass of world events.”

Jewish Identity

The old question – do we constitute a “people”, a civilisation/culture or are we “just” a religion? The best attempted answer for me to this came in an article by Brian Klug which Angela kindly sent to me:

“Why is “Jewish” the Houdini among identities: always escaping the boxes in which it is put?

Because the idea of “the people of God” is a conundrum and you cannot confine a conundrum to a box. The people (particular) of God (universal): it is a kind of surd: a quantity that does not add up or make sense, a formula that is always liable to split apart at the seams if Judaism forgets either element. When it forgets that it is a people it becomes a pale imitation of Christianity, turning itself into a kind of church. And when it forgets its

larger, universal aspect, it becomes just another nation or ethnos on the earth. But suppose the idea of “the people of God” remaining in tension with itself, holds: then what we get is a people defined by a surd: an absurd people: a particular people with a universal significance. That’s us, the Jewish people.”

Mark Walton

Community News

Alison & Marc Turner write:

Invitation to Baby Blessing

Alison and Marc Turner would like to invite everyone to the blessing and welcoming ceremony for their son Isaac George William Edward Turner. This will be on Saturday 11 July 2015 which is Shabbat Pinchas. The service will be at 11am and we are honoured to welcome Rabbi Danny Rich to take the service and baby blessing. Rabbi Danny Rich is the Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism where Alison works as a very part-time Archivist. The service will be in Hereford, contact Mark Walton for details. All are very welcome to meet baby Isaac and hear the story of why we chose the names we did and so many of them. There will be a special Kiddush and we hope to have visiting relatives and friends and good weather.

Hen Bradshaw writes:

It is with great sadness I have to say I am leaving you all and moving to Derbyshire. I have Young Onset Frontal Temporal Dementia, which gives me a life expectancy of approximately 8 years, and because my husband is much younger than me (his 40 to my 60) we thought that him being near his family for help was better than staying here with no-one but my friends. Don’t worry though, Nottingham has a Liberal Community and I aim to continue my studies.

Our new flat is in a lovely little village 4 miles from Chesterfield called Duckmanton. Our new home is warden assisted, 1 Markham Court, Duckmanton, Chesterfield S44 5HH. Please keep in touch, by post or, if you want to visit then email henbradshaw@gmail.com.

We wish Hen well in her new home, and would like to thank her and her children for their contributions to Learning Circle meetings, services and community events.

Learning Circle Corner

The Learning Circle group in Monmouth has decided not to continue with the Access to Liberal Judaism adult learning course. They will be meeting in future as a more informal group discussing various films and books of Jewish interest. If you would like to join them, please contact Mark Walton. The Learning Circle in Hereford will be continuing with the adult learning course after Pesach. We will begin with the Jewish Thought module, this comprises Jewish Identity, God, Prayer and Eternal life. Regular readers might note that we did this one last time, but due to illnesses and other factors like midwife and hospital appointments, we missed many of the sessions last year, so have decided to have another go at this module. Anyone who wishes to join is welcome, please contact Alison Turner.

HJC Website The website has been relaunched as a blog, it is still at http://www.herefordshirejc.org/ and now it has capacity for many more blog posts on anything of interest to us as a community. Please take a look at the new site and let me know if you would like to write something. I am still learning my way round it all, so there will be enhancements in due course.

Alison Turner

Maya Brown writes:

‘Oil Vey!’

A new organisation has sprung up, as a result of Jewish young people, interested in and passionate about environmental issues. Oil Vey, a name which was first suggested as a joke, is expanding. It is an organisation which will work on getting movements/organisations (or in this case synagogues) to divest-taking their investments away from and not investing in fossil fuels. This is similar to the student run fossil free campaign (run by People and Planet Groups), in which students campaign for their universities to divest from fossil fuels. This is all part of a larger movement of 350°. Org which started this idea off to get power away from the fossil fuel companies. It was figured out that the environment could not handle fossil fuels going beyond a certain amount, the temperature could not go beyond 2°, as our climate cannot handle the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere going beyond 350 parts per million. It is currently at 400. The fossil fuel companies are the ones that hold the power. If they do not stop hunting for fossil fuels, when the amount they have in their reserves is already too much, then the world we live in will soon become uninhabitable and dangerous, generations of humans will no longer be able to inhabit the earth. It is not the earth we are trying save, but the human race and all other inhabitants of the earth.

So, changing our lifestyles on its own will not achieve this goal and is difficult and blame giving. We must target fossil fuel companies. Oil vey came to Sheffield University J Soc (Jewish Society) and gave a workshop about the environment, and how Jews are meant to look after it, giving some quotes from the bible- the basic message being that we are stewards and are meant to care for the earth and not destroy it. We made a plan of action, as to how we can tackle work with Sheffield’s Jewish communities to divest from fossil fuels (if they in fact do invest) and leading on from that other faith organisations. This idea is not something you can do only through Hereford community (though not sure how this would work in practice) but through any other organisations you are part of. To find out more just got 350.0rg. Oil Vay are on facebook but I think do not have a website yet although they are setting up a blog.

Maya Brown

Letter from Mohamed Fahili, and Clare Lassman at Charles Clore Jewish Arab Community Centre, Acco – our Israeli Charity

Dear Friends

They say every cloud has a silver lining but for Fahili and me it has been hard to see one in the aftermath of the Israeli election. While we obviously accept the democratic process, it is hard to ignore or accept the racism directed at the more than 20% of Israeli citizens who are Arab. Surely most Israelis want to live in a society where every person is treated equally regardless of religion or background?

Imagine if Marine Le Pen had galvanised the French electorate to vote for her by warning that the Jews were voting in droves. Such language should galvanise people like us – who cherish justice, mutual respect and the dream that all its citizens should live in harmony – to action.

Fahili and I have worked together side by side for more than six years along with Jewish and Arab Israeli youth workers, teachers and trainers to serve the poor of Akko regardless of their faith. We endeavour to leave Politics and Religion at the door, enabling people to get to know one another through common interests and human concerns. We worked through the Akko riots in 2008, through terrorist acts in Israel and wars in Gaza. We have shared

hopes for change – no more so than in the last few weeks – and work tirelessly to promote the Centre’s vision of shared living.

Please help us make the Centre a silver lining at this time. Since last week we have had offers of help from Israeli businessmen who want to do something to ensure that Arab youth have the tools to economically play a full part of society. We have had two donations from supporters who are very upset by the divisiveness of the election. Please add your support. We do make a difference and now, more than ever, we need to extend our services and outreach.

We intend to make our Centre a more active grass-roots MEETING PLACE, further reaching out to people from Akko and the Galil, and also welcoming groups from abroad who share our vision of a more just society. In the last week we welcomed 55 Conservative and Reform student rabbis from the US as well as 16 journalists from Germany and Austria. They saw first-hand the value of the work that we do. By bringing people together at a personal, educational and social level we can perhaps create a society that will withstand existential threats from within and beyond our borders. Please take a look at our new English website – ajcenter.org.il, or go straight to our online donation page at http://ajcenter.org.il/donate/

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Mohammad Fahili and Clare Lassman

Pesach Recipe

Foolproof K’neidlach (matzo balls)

Perhaps you have the perfect recipe for k’neidlach, or on the other hand you may have had that experience of making perfectly shaped matzo balls, only for these to change shape or disintegrate completely when put into soup. This recipe comes from chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s book, Jerusalem, but surprisingly the recipe was perfected by his Palestinian partner Sami Tamimi.

K’neidlach Recipe (makes 12 – 15)

2 large eggs

40g margarine or chicken fat, melted and allowed to cool a bit.

2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

75g matzo meal

4 tbsp soda water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl until frothy. Whisk in the melted margarine, or fat, then ½ teaspoonful of salt, some black pepper and the parsley. Gradually stir in the matzo meal, followed by the soda water, and stir to a uniform paste. Cover the bowl and chill the batter until cold and firm, at least an hour or two and up to a day ahead.

Line a baking sheet with cling film. Using your wet hands and a spoon, shape the batter into balls the size of small walnuts, and place on the baking sheet. Drop the matzo balls into a large pot of gently boiling salted water. Cover partially n with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently until tender, about 30 minutes.

We’ve done this for the last two years with great success, so hope any others who try this enjoy the result.

Julian Brown & Cherry Wolfe

Book Review: My Promised Land by Ari Shavit

This is a deep, honest, and challenging book, but very well worth reading for anyone who wants to understand the psychology of modern Israel and the wider context in which Israel exists. Ari Shavit is a columnist for the newspaper Haaretz – the Israeli equivalent of the Guardian – and has both very personal experiences to relate, as well as having done extensive research, over many years, into different facets of Israel’s existence. The contents of the book ranges from Zionism at the end of the 19th century when Shavit’s great-grandfather, Herbert Bentwich, first visited Israel, through the development of the kibbutz movement and the harshness of life in Palestine in the early 20th century, to the social and economic growth of the newly established state, and modern day issues of settlers, Israeli Arabs, the Ashkenazi – Sephardi divide, and much, much more. There is no aspect of Israeli life, you feel, that he does not address. As a diaspora Jew, who never the less has visited Israel many times, I felt that this is an Israel I had really only skimmed the surface of in my own experience.

Shavit’s writing is fresh and absorbing: through a series of personal stories of those who’ve been at the forefront of each of these different aspects of life in Israel, he takes you to the core issues of what makes Israel tick. Whatever view you have of Israel and the Middle East, this book will surely change your thinking.

Julian Brown

Food Bank Contributions

It’s good if we can keep up our contributions to the food bank, especially as homelessness and food poverty continue to be in the news. Remember you can include toiletries and cleaning items, as well as tinned, dried and long life food items. Just add a couple of items when you do your next shop. Please bring to our next Shabbat service on 16th May.

Other Events of interest

Thames Valley Day Limmud to be held Monday May 4 (bank holiday) in Maidenhead.

It looks to be a very interesting programme featuring Clive Lawton, Rabbis Jonathan Romain and Norman Solomon and many others. See: http://limmud.org/day/thames-valley/

Liberal Judaism’s “Day of Celebration” at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London on Sunday June 7 will be on theme of our relationship with Israel. See: www.liberaljudaism.org/events-activities/lj-day-of-celebration.html

 

HJC Diary of Events

Date Event Time Place

Thursday 9th April Communal Seder 6.30 p.m. Parish Hall, Belmont, Hereford

Monday 4 May Thames Valley Day Limmud 9.30 – 6.15p.m. Maidenhead

Sunday 10th May HJC AGM +Communal Pub lunch 11.30 a.m. Hereford Pub t.b.c.

Saturday 16th May Shabbat Service led by Rabbi Anna Gerrard 11 a.m. Ale House, Colwall

Sunday 7 June Liberal Judaism ‘Day of Celebration’ 9.30 – 5 p.m. Liberal Jewish Synagogue St. John’s Wood Road, London, NW8 7HA,

Friday 12th June Tree Planting Ceremony and Erev Shabbat Service for Anne Frank Day, led by Rabbi Danny Rich t.b.c. Saxon Hall, Hoarwithy Road, Hereford

Saturday 11 July Shabbat Service and Baby Blessing for Isaac Turner led by Rabbi Danny Rich 11 a.m. Hereford.

Deadline for next newsletter will be 15 May

Please send in contributions in WORD or pdf format if possible, but articles sent in by post are also welcome. In general contributions should be no longer than 500 – 750 wds, but longer contributions may be included if appropriate. Pictures also welcome, but please try to keep image sizes down. All contributions are welcome but depending on format, the editor reserves the right to edit or hold over to a future edition if needed.

For further information please contact our Chair:

Mark Walton mark.walton@bridgescentre.org.uk Tel: 01594 530721

Communal Pesach Seder

The Herefordshire Jewish Community Passover Seder will be held at the Parish Room, Church of Our Lady, Belmont Road, Hereford on Thursday 9th April 2015, at 6.30pm.

Numbers are limited and will be allocated on a first come-first serve basis. The cost will be £22 each, children under 15 free.

The service will be led by Julian Brown and Mark Walton. Catering will be provided by Mary Springer – please choose your main course as shown below.

Please email mark.walton@bridgescentre.org.uk or phone Mark Walton on 01594 530721 after 6pm no later than Friday 27th March to get a booking form. 

Choice of main course: Salmon …………….Vegetarian …………..

DO IT NOW SO YOU DON’T FORGET!

 The festival of Passover begins on Friday 3 April 2015 at 7.22pm (London)

What’s on

What’s On …

Event

Date

Location

Contact

Purim and Shabbat service, led by Rabbi Anna Gerrard

Saturday 7th March

11:00am

Ale House, Colwall

Mark Walton

Communal seder

Thursday 9th April

11:00am

Parish Hall, Belmont, Hereford

Mark Walton

Mark Walton 01594 530721 / mark.walton@bridgescentre.org.uk 

Please note that we have agreed to collect food for the Hereford Food Bank at EVERY service. The Food Bank has requested tins of “hot” meat (stews etc), coffee, dried and UHT milk, sugar, jams, cornflakes, fruit juice, tins of fruit, rice pudding, custard, toothpaste, shampoo, loo rolls and pet food. Please ensure all items have a good “best before” date! A cash donation / collection enables them to put fresh fruit, potatoes, cheese and milk etc in the parcels.  For more information about food banks and a full list of items needed, contact Alison Russell on 01432 353347 or email herefordfoodbank@rocketmail.com

Other Events of Interest

Jewish Book Week

http://www.jewishbookweek.com/ Week

Website has podcasts and vimeos from many previous years as well as tickets for this year’s event. 

Saturday February 21st- Sunday March 1st

Kings Place, London 

 

 

 

Herefordshire Jewish Community Newsletter February/March 2015

Editorial

Although we have not met for a service from early December until this week, it feels as if there have been busy times both for HJC and the wider Jewish Community of recent weeks.

The two most significant events in the wider community have been of course the horrific events in Paris on 7/8 January and Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January (and associated events). As we have been remembering those who were involved in, and those who survived the Holocaust in WW2, we have been reminded both that all those who were put into camps and in most cases murdered in WW2 were not only Jews, but Sinti/Romany, homosexuals, the disabled, and other minorities. Equally we have been reminded that genocides have taken place since then in Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia and other more recent examples which are almost too much to for us to take on board. The Chief Rabbi in his Holocaust Day address asked all of us to turn our remembrance into action, to help prevent such happenings in the future.

The events in Paris, and elsewhere have made us realise that anti-Semitic acts are also part of the current climate in which we live, and we need to very conscious and watchful over this. At the same time, it is important that we do not focus only on these, as if we think attacks on other minorities (including Muslims) do not occur. As Liberal Jews we are particularly concerned about diversity within our own communities, for example through the inclusion and respect given to LGBT+ members of Liberal Communities. The more able we are to accept difference and diversity within our own communities, the more able we may be to accept it on a larger scale. As mentioned later in this newsletter, Interfaith work, and working within our wider communities to help educate those around us about what is means it be Jewish, is a good starting point.

Julian Brown

Chair chat

Chanukah

Seems like a long time ago now as so much has happened in between. It’s a long time also between our services so I am very much looking forward to the next service with Rabbi Anna on February 7. We had a very nice Chanukah party at Andrea’s house, as usual. It was lovely to see Maya back from university and obviously enjoying the experience and we enjoyed her rendition of “See the Conquering Hero Comes” from Handel’s “Judas Maccabeus.” What could be more appropriate?

Jews in Britain and security

I was asked to talk about this on BBC Hereford and Worcester and took a brief straw poll amongst our Council members. None were thinking of packing up and fleeing the country. It’s easy for us to be fairly complacent in our largely rural community where we are not visible or distinctive and are very well integrated into many walks of life. However, it must be different in London, Manchester or Gateshead where there is a palpable sense of unease. I would still maintain that Jews are as safe in this country as anywhere (probably more so than in Israel at the current time). Security precautions in synagogues and schools are not a new thing but obviously heightened in the current circumstances. It is salutary to remember that the Jewish community in Germany and Austria in the early twentieth century were extremely well integrated and felt very safe. It is very important, therefore, to stand up against any forms of religious discrimination whether it is against Jews, Hindus, Moslems or Christians and, in particular, to do everything we can to safeguard our democracy. As Daniel Finkelstein wrote in “The Times”, “For the Nazis to kill the Jews it wasn’t enough for them to persuade the German people to hate us. They also had to persuade the German people to despise democratic politicians and the accompanying rule of law. In dark moments when I think, however fleetingly, that disaster could overtake us all again, my nightmare always begins with reflections on the casual disdain it has become fashionable to use when talking about politics.” At the end of the day to quote the oft used phrase, “Britain is good for Jews and Jews are good for Britain”. Let’s work to ensure that it stays that way.

Freddie Knoller’s Journey

This was an outstanding documentary, following his journey from Austria to Belgium to southern France back to Belgium then Paris, followed by a period in the Resistance before being betrayed and sent to Auschwitz. He survived the camp and the “death march”, weighing only 6 stone when liberated. He is now in his 90s and living in North London and still playing the cello which has meant so much to him. This was a truly life affirming film. I was also much moved by the Holocaust Memorial Day event televised on BBC2, particularly by the playing of Simon Wallfisch, grandson of Anita Lasker-Wallfisch who played in the camp orchestra at Auschwitz and was in the audience to hear him play. And to round it off, “Surviving Auschwitz” was a fascinating documentary about the different ways the experience affected survivors in Israel, London, Poland and America. All these programmes are still available on BBC I Player and well worth watching if you missed them. I must admit that I ducked out of the epic 3 hour + documentary, “Shoah”, based on the testimony of survivors.

Mark Walton

Editor’s Comment

Cherry and I watched the section of Shoah televised in 26 January week, having previously seen the full 11 hours when it was first released around 1987. It is a remarkable work which through painstaking testimony and intelligent filming shows you the attitudes amongst ordinary people who in a myriad of ways became parties to Hitler’s final solution.

Shabbat Service 7 Feb Colwall

Twenty two people attended a service lead by Rabbi Anna Gerrard in Colwall this week, so our community is alive and well. As usual Rabbi Anna had something interesting to say; she spoke about this week’s Parasha – Yitro (Jethro) covering the 10 commandments and their relevance to the present day, and including what they do an do not say regarding gender balance. She also told us of a new initiative taken by Rabbis of Liberal, Reform, Masorti and Orthodox synagogues to give a combined voice (to be called Tselem) on issues of social justice. While this is not Political (as there is such a wide range of views) it still relates to political responsibilities. This is the first time such a wide range of Rabbis has met and worked together in this way, and there is much work to be done, so watch this space.

Food Bank Contributions

We had some very generous contributions to the Food Bank for our last service, so it would be good if all members who are able to contribute, keep this in mind for our next service. Remember you can include toiletries and cleaning items, as well as tinned, dried and long life food items. Just add a couple of items when you do your next shop. As we continue to read, the demand for food banks is increasing, so if each of us could simply provide one meal for someone in need, that would be a great help.

Next Service

Our next service will be on 7 March at Colwall and will be a Purim Service, led by Rabbi Anna Gerrard. If you have a gragger (to make a loud noise when we read the Purim story) and are able to wear something different in keeping with Purim, that would be welcome. Also last year we had some lovely varieties of hamataschen (three cornered pastries) to eat , so bakers may like to have a try.

Herefordshire Interfaith Committee

Bringing Hope in 2015

A new initiative for the New Year is bringing together representatives of Faith groups across Herefordshire with Herefordshire Police Force and Hereford Council, and with the support of the new Bishop of Hereford, Right Reverend Richard Frith has got underway.

An initial meeting in the spirit of ‘peace and good will’ took place in the run up to Christmas on December 10th at the Bishops Palace. Here it was agreed to establish the Herefordshire Interfaith Group, committed to promoting harmony, understanding and respect between people of faith and also embracing those of no faith. Importance was placed on education of both young and old about the power of Faith and the diversity of religious practise.

Meeting together for the first time were representatives from: the Church of England; the Christian Life Centre; Society of Friends (Quakers); First Church of Christ, Scientist, Hereford; the Jewish community; the Muslim community; Tibetan Buddhism; local SACRE alongside members of the Herefordshire Police Force and Herefordshire Council.

It is hoped that HJC will be able to support this initiative, and Cherry and Julian hope to attend future meetings where possible, but anyone else in HJC who is interested in this and can attend meetings should let them know.

Community News

Alison and Marc Turner are delighted to announce the birth of their son Isaac George William Edward Turner, born on 26 January 2015, weighing 7lb 15oz. He is named after the Biblical Isaac as a child of older parents, who never expected to be able to have a child of their own, and after Alison’s father, the accountant and Zionist George N aphtali Behr, z’l and Marc’s uncle, Percival William Baker, z’l and Alison’s uncle, journalist and author Edward Behr, z’l. This is a combination of quiet and modest but very skilled men and a war correspondent who wrote on Algeria and Hirohito among others and was very widely travelled. We hope Isaac will take on some of these qualities as he gets older, at the moment his interests are milk, sleep and cuddles. 

Other Events of interest

Borderlines Film Festival 2015

27 February – 15 March

The Herefordshire/Shropshire Borderlines Film Festival includes two films in particular, of Jewish/Israeli interest:

  • Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem – courtroom drama which deals with the difficulties of obtaining a ‘get’ (divorce certificate) in Israel, which is entirely up to the husband to grant or not. ‘Viviane struggles against her passive-aggressive husband and the rabbinical judges to legally end her marriage, but the process takes years thanks to a bias that keeps women shackled to their husbands.’ Showing 9 and 11 March in Hereford

  • Dancing in Jaffa is a heartwarming documentary about a dance teacher ‘who pairs Palestinian and Israeli children in an experimental peace process. Predictably, things don’t go entirely smoothly both off and on the dance floor. ‘In just 10 weeks one-man teachers 150 11-year-old Jewish and Palestinian Israelis to dance together.’ Showing: 6/7/10 March, Courtyard Theatre, Hereford

It also includes, for those interested, 3 films from Palestine, which of course, may make for difficult viewing : Omar, Open Bethlehem (including introduction and Q & A session with the director) and Villa Tourma (also includes introduction and Q & A session )

For full details of times and venues go to: http://www.borderlinesfilmfestival.co.uk/ or ring box office on (01432) 340555.

Deadline for next newsletter will be 15 March

Please send in contributions in WORD or pdf format if possible, but articles sent in by post are also welcome. In general contributions should be no longer than 500 – 750 wds, but longer contributions may be included if appropriate. Pictures also welcome, but please try to keep image sizes down. All contributions are welcome but depending on format, the editor reserves the right to edit or hold over to a future edition if needed.

HJC Diary Dates

Date

Event

Time

Location

Saturday 7 Feb

Shabbat Service led by Rabbi Anna Gerrard

11 a.m.

Ale House, Colwall

Saturday 7 March

Purim/Shabbat Service led by Rabbi Anna Gerrard

11 a.m.

Ale House, Colwall

Thursday 9th April

Communal Seder

6.30 p.m.

Parish Hall, Belmont, Hereford

Week of 20 April

AGM – date to be confirmed

Saturday 16th May

Shabbat Service led by Rabbi Anna Gerrard

11 a.m.

Ale House, Colwall

Friday 12th June

Interfaith and Erev Shabbat Service for Anne Frank Day

t.b.c.

Saxon Hall, Hoarwithy Road, Hereford