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Rabbi Levene’s Rosh Hashanah Message Someone recently gave me a thoughtful gift, a book compiling newspaper articles covering 100 years of Liverpool Football Club. While I appreciate that, for most of you, this might be of little interest, I am intrigued to know who is interested in what else happened in history on any given date. For example, who else was born on the same date as you, or who got married on the same day as you.

that it is chosen as the piece of Torah that we read on Rosh Hashanah?

Many have tackled the distressing and seemingly distasteful nature of this story. How could Hashem expect such a thing of a person? Furthermore, Avraham had been a big adversary against human sacrifice. He would tell all those who would listen, that Hashem is not interested in such barbaric practices, yet now he was being told to do exactly that.

dark and murky months of the pandemic, we have all had to, in our own way, realise what we can do and how we can survive. Let us use our challenges and allow ourselves to grow so that we can turn to ourselves and say, ‘I didn’t know how great I can be, but I do now.’

When Hashem told Avraham to sacrifice his son, He knew what the end result would be. Hashem had already decided that Avraham would not have to fulfil the request. So, what was the point of the test? And what is so impressive with it

We wish you Shana Tova. A new year of happiness, health and growth.

The Ramban, Nachmanides, gives an important explanation. Of course Hashem knows what we can do and what we will do, but do we know what we can do? Do we know what we are truly capable of? Hashem tests us so that we can see how amazing and capable we really are. When Hashem asked Avraham to bring his son Yitzchak In the Talmud, the Rabbis tell us of many things that as an offering, there was never any intention to let this play happened on Rosh Hashanah throughout the generations. out to fruition. Up until this point Avraham had shown One incident that took place was the Akeidat Yitzchak, the complete dedication to Hashem, passing test after test, but binding of Isaac, which we did Avraham know how read on the second day of Many have tackled the distressing capable he actually was? Rosh Hashanah. Hashem For this, Hashem put the and seemingly distasteful nature appeared to Avraham and hardest test of all in front of this story. How could Hashem told him to sacrifice his son of him. ‘Take you son, your expect such a thing of a person? Yitzchak. Avraham, having only one, Yitzchak, whom complete trust in Hashem, you love, and bring him as set out on his mission, only to be stopped moments before a sacrifice.’ completing it. Rather, he was shown a ram stuck in a bush, How many of us know and appreciate our own greatness? which Avraham brought as a sacrifice in place of Yitzchak. This has been a challenging time for all, yet through the

May Hashem bless us all to live through our tests and become the best version of ourselves.

Rabbi Marc, Lisa and Family Levene

David Lerner suggests various themes and follows this up by locating members of the community who are in a position to write appropriate articles. Stuart Burns looks after the advertising, which raises the revenue to print the magazine. Viv and Eddie Waters find the glitches, typos and textual awkwardnesses with a final check by Barbara Mazliah and David Lerner. And David Simmons pulls it all together on his computer, ready for printing. We all thank Barbara Lerner for the cover artwork; Sharon in the office for extracting the data for Chronicle from the US database; our printers, Mixam; our generous advertisers; Norman Rubin and his team who stuff envelopes and deliver the magazine and, most important, those who contribute the articles, without which there would be no magazine. If you would like to join the team, email editor David Simmons at Belmonde is published by Belmont Synagogue, 101 Vernon Drive, Stanmore HA7 2BW. Print by Mixam. Belmont Synagogue is a member synagogue of the United Synagogue. Registered Charity Number 242552. All Articles are accepted subject to inclusion and editing at the editor’s discretion. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the Rabbi or Executive of Belmont Synagogue

Ch��� ’� Me�sa�� De�� F���nd�, It has been my privilege to serve as Chairman of our wonderful community for the past two and a half years, most of which has been through the pandemic and I truly appreciate the support which I have received from so many people. It means a lot. It has not been easy for anyone and has affected everyone whether through their health, finances or personal life. We have all seen terrible things but I have also seen so much kindness and goodwill throughout the Belmont community. Being a part of the Belmont ‘family’ means that we are cared about and cared for. One of the clearest messages from the recent US survey was how much members value the work of Rabbi Levene and Lisa and the support from Belmont Community Cares with its amazing volunteers and the Belmont Charitable Trust.

run online events over the past few months. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before some of them will take place in Shul again. Thank you to all those who have organised activities for our younger members both over Zoom and in person. A special thank you to David Lerner for his outstanding efforts and to Andrea Winthrop and Roberta Diamond for their commitment to Brownies and Guides. Thank you to the Shul Council for the work they do behind the scenes and to my fellow members of the Exec – Barbara Lerner, Tim Gellman, Stephen Grossman and Graham Morrison-Wood for all their support. As always, Belmonde looks amazing! A huge thank you to David Simmons, the dedicated Editor and to his team of helpers who have put this together.

Running a Shul requires a huge team effort both visible and behind the scenes.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the hard work and efficiency of our office staff, Sharon Laifer and Angela Petar and to thank John our caretaker.

Rabbi Levene and Lisa continue to take us on our spiritual journey through their inspirational words which have the power to teach, comfort and care for us and we thank them for always being there for the whole community.

Finally, Mazeltov wishes to our Chatanim, Norman Rubin and David Lerner both of whom have served the Belmont community over many years.

Services do not organise themselves. We truly appreciate the work of our Wardens Stephen Grossman and Graham Morrison-Wood, and Anthony Broza who ensure that our services run smoothly week after week. We are so fortunate at Belmont to have a group of men who are able to daven and lein for us.

I repeat my prayer from last Rosh Hashanah that the next 12 months should bring health and happiness to the whole community and that we should continue to go from strength to strength. We wish you a Shanah Tovah v’Metukah

B��b�r� M���i��

Thank you to all those groups which have continued to

Over the past year, our books have had an international flavour with stories set in Mexico, Atlanta, Philadelphia, North Carolina, Sydney and Nigeria – as well as one set in Somerset. Topics ranged from bigamy in Silver Spoon by Tayari Jones, a Mexican drug cartel in American Dirt and stalking in The Hypnotist’s Love Story. Rosamund Lupton’s Three Hours tells the events of a school under siege, including the murder of the headmaster, that takes place over a period of three hours. Where the Crawdad Sings is a regular item in bestseller lists whose fame has spread through book clubs – and combines a lyrical tale of nature with a courtroom drama. It might be a cliché, but books can be a great

way to learn about lives, a world apart from our own. An example of this is Abi Dare’s The Girl with the Louding Voice. The main character, Adunni, is a 14-year old girl, but is also a third wife. She is determined not to settle for her fate, so she journeys from her village to the big city of Lagos. It was both horrifying and inspirational. I hope this gives you a flavour of some of the books we have read recently. If you enjoy reading and discussing books, we would love you to join us. Please e-mail me, Michelle Minsky at and I’ll be only too glad to give you all the details. We usually read about 1 book every 4-6 weeks. The next two books we are reading are The Binding by BR Collins and Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers.

Welcome to our NEW MEMBERS Chloe Marks Alex Rudette Evie Taylor Gabriella Solomon

WEDDINGS Sophie Corper, daughter of Beverley and Marc Corper, and granddaughter of Gillian and Roy Davis to David Schogger Dr Joshua Gaon, son of Allen and Bernice Gaon to Nicola Levy

ACADEMIC and OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS Melanie Blake daughter of Carmela and Harvey Blake, BSc Hons in Nursing (Child) at Birmingham City University Leah Corper, daughter of Beverley and Marc Corper, BSc in Food & Nutrition from Birmingham City University



Natasha & Simon Abrahams on the birth of a son, Oscar Monty, a grandson for Louise & Jonathan Abrahams

Laura and Mel Berman on the bat mitzvah of their granddaughter Yehudis Ruth Berman,, daughter of Malka and Reuven Berman

Laura & Mel Berman on the birth of a grandson, Eliyahu Chaim Berman a son for Malka and Reuven

Linda & Philip Lyons on the bar mitzvah of their grandson, Nathan Spiegel

Rabbi Dov Lerner, son of Barbara and David Lerner – Ph.D on the exegetical pedagogy of the Malbim

Helen and David Carr on the birth of a granddaughter, Olivia Lily, a daughter for Anna and Jamie Harris

Lorna & Bernard Glass on the bar mitzvah of their grandson, Moshe

Adam Rose, son of Michelle & Steve Rose, double 1st BA in History & Politics at University of Sussex.

Julia & Simon, and Freda Hildebrand, on the birth of Max Albie, a grandson, and greatgrandson; a son for Abbie and Daniel Susan and Teddy Littner on the birth of a grandson, Leo Avi, son for Robbie and Sarah Brian & Jane Marks on the birth of a granddaughter Noa Lishia, a daughter to Matt & Sheerelle in Israel David Sarsby on the birth of a granddaughter, a daughter for Michelle and Asher, and niece to Richard Sarsby

Debbie, Simon, Evie & Tali Lightman on the bar mitzvah of their son Zac and to his grandparents, Linda & Barry Lightman Zachary Risidore, grandson of Linda & Lawrence Risidore and Shirley & Les Sackwild

Josh Lee, son of Karen and Mike Lee, BA Hons, University of Nottingham

Gabriella Solomon, daughter of David & Michelle Solomon, MChem in Medicinal Chemistry and , BSc University of Leeds Maxwell Nisner on his re-election as Treasurer to the United Synagogue

CONDOLENCES SPECIAL BIRTHDAYS Julian Kostick, 60th birthday Bernice Krantz, special birthday

Sheila Fiszzon on the passing of her husband, Michael Siphra & Gerald Ingram on the passing of their son, Marc Paul Magen on the passiing of his father, Martin


Salvador Mazliah on the passing of his sister, Beatriz


Linda & Lawrence Risidore on their golden wedding anniversary (50)

Jeanne Phillips on the passing of her mother, Rosalind Berwald

Clive Cohen, son of Tina Cohen to Helen Abrams

Estelle & Norman Rubin on their diamond wedding anniversary (60)

Vivienne Sage on the passing of her husband, Peter

Ashley Levy son of Simone & Raymond to Caroline Chilton

Barbara and David Lerner on their ruby wedding anniversary (40)

Philip Wise on the passing of his wife, Maisie Debra Wright on the passing of her mother, Fanny Horne

Linda & Lawrence Risidore Nathan Spiegel Noa Lishia Marks

Yehudis Ruth Berman

Rabbi Dr Dov Lerner Josh Lee BA (Hons)

Eliyahu Chaim Berman

Sophie Corper & David Schogger

Max Albie Hildebrand Gabriella Solomon M Chem, B Sc (Hpns)

Zachary Risidore

Olivia Lily Harris

� n � i � c e � � R N�� Ye��

New Year : New Hope

Nechama Spiegal Novak is a trailblazer. In 2017 she became the first ultra-orthodox female pilot to fly an El Al plane. Nechama first stepped into the cockpit aged 17. By 21 the future mother-of-six children had obtained her commercial flying licence.

Hevruta: a project that facilitates conversations between secular and ultra-orthodox women to ensure that neither remains a stranger to each other. Krembo Wings: a network of youth groups for children and young adults with and without disabilities which develops tolerance and inclusion for all. The late Nechama Rivlin, wife of the former President, was a keen supporter. My Wave: a surf school (wave, not digital surfing) which has thousands of young graduates of all backgrounds who become ambassadors for social equality and tolerance. Texts for Tolerance: in the Hinam Center in the Arab village of Abu Ghosh just outside Jerusalem, Arabs and Jews, men and women, secular and religious Israelis study the Torah, Koran and other religious texts together. Politics, like coats, are left at the door.

Nechama Spiegal Novak

Nechama’s inspiring story is one of many featured in the Hamsa Aleinu exhibition which Judy and I encountered when returning from Israel at the end of June while walking down the familiar concourse between security and the departure lounge inside Ben Gurion Airport’s Terminal 3. Given the amount of pre-departure hanging around due to Covid checks, we had plenty of time to take in all the exhibits. Hamsa Aleinu takes its name from the hand symbol popular among Jews (religious and secular), Muslims, Christians and Druze comprising five fingers that are distinct from each other but part of the same whole. The landmark artistic digital project was inspired by former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s flagship programme Israeli Hope which he outlined in his ‘Four Tribes’ speech in 2018. Hamsa Aleinu’s 34 photographs shine a light on the strength of collaborative partnerships between different groups in Israeli society, from Charedi Jews to Israeli Arabs and all points in between. Here he talks with Nechama at the opening of the exhibition earlier this year. Israel’s diversity is now an integral part of its story, but we had not appreciated the extraordinary breadth and extent of initiatives, events and of course people who together are breaking new ground in the New Israel. Among the featured groups are: Connection: an initiative for boys and girls aged 12 – 14 from the Jewish settlement of Misgav and the nearby Arab village of Salame who share a love for robotics and work together presenting technological solutions to local challenges.

At the heart of these and many other initiatives featured in Hamsa Aleinu are the twin aims of building bridges between cultures and people and raising the selfconfidence of those, mostly younger, people who might otherwise be marginalised in mainstream Israeli society. It has been a summer of Rockets and Covid; of Bennett and Lapid; one moment totally open, the next ‘Masks On’ again. And yet, despite everything that Israel together with communities across the world has endured these past eighteen months, you cannot escape the feelings of new optimism and hope, of new challenges certainly but also new possibilities and the fulfilment of new dreams in our ancient homeland. Rabbi Sacks z”l wrote, “Optimism is the belief that things are going to get better. Hope is the belief that we can make things better. Optimism is a passive virtue; hope is an active one. It takes no courage to be an optimist, but it does need courage to hope.” Rosh Hashanah is about renewal of hope. This coming year, 5752 with the help of Hashem, we can hope and pray for a new level of tolerance, understanding and peace both at home and in Israel, exemplified by the peoples and communities featured in Hamsa Aleinu. We were pleased to have had the opportunity to reflect and take inspiration from the stories of Nechama Spiegal Novak and others. If you want to know more about the Hamsa Aleinu exhibition, you do not need to undergo all the paperwork, the tests and the hassle of getting on a plane. Just navigate your way to this link:

David Levenson



‫שנה טובה ומתוקה‬

Best wishes fora healthy, happy and peaceful NewYear to Rabbi Levene & Lisa, the Council and Executive and everyonein the Belmont Community from… Cynthia & Ronnie Arden together with Leigh, Naftali, Eliora, Zevi and David, Nikki, Shoshana, Miri & Sholom

Helen & Paul Greek and family

Lyn Bass and family

Hilary & Tony Hammell and family

Laura and Mel Berman with Michael and Carly, Reuven and Malka and family

Carol and Nigel Hart together with Emma and Sam, Michelle and Josh and their children

Linda and Danny Boxer and family

Julia and Simon Hildebrand and family

Carol & Ivor Brookstone with Matthew, Joshua, Francesca, Mia and Zac

Robert & Greer Jaffe & family wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year

Sue & Anthony Broza together with Michelle, Dan, Ellie, Meital, Eitan and Yishai Sacker; Abi, Dan, Rafi, Liora and Amitai Keene; Zach, Rivka and Sammy; Josh, Avital and Jacob

Janice and Anthony Kaiser and all the Kaisettes

Karen and Philip Bunt and family Linda and Stuart Burns, Daniella, Brian, Aeden, Oren, Evan and Thea Green, Lisa, Aviad and Yarden, together with David and Nicola Burns Michael and Jane Caplan, Judith, Kate, Daniel, Evie, Isabelle and Teddy Edna Cohen and family Gill and Ian Davis, together with Tanya, Oliver, Cara and Theo Karen & Jonnie Dorman together with Sara & Gideon, Mia, Meirav and Liora, Emma & Adam and Ayala , Daniel & Amy

Frances & Stephen; Sorah, Ben, Jake & Yoni; Katie, David, Oliver & Minnie Grossman

Jack and Maureen Katz together with Lisa, David and Joanna and grandchildren Noah, Isaac, Sophie, Freddie, Arran and Calvin Melinda and Russell Kett and family Karen & Selwyn Korklyn and family Judy & David Levenson and family. Barry and Linda Lightman together with Simon, Debbie, Zac, Evie and Natalia and Amanda, Matt, Aaron and Rafi Neil, Max and Ava Livingstone and family Barbara and Salvador Mazliah together with Daniel, Mandy, Ruben, Rosa, Saul, Jonathan and Michael Howard and Marlene Napper and families

Carole Fletcher together with Rachel, Stuart and Aaron Reeves

Anthony and Liz Reindorp and family

Tina & David Freedman and family

Judith & David, Michael and Neil Simmons with Claire & Benjy, Tamara, Megan and Evie Godley

Janice & Michael, Elliott, Darren, Claire, Phoebe & Milo Gale

Norman and Estelle Rubin and family

Kerry and Allen Sternstein and family

Ruth and Tony Garson

Doreen & Michael Swan and family

Carole & David Gerstler together with Naomi, Adrian, Matan, Tamara, Ilan, Joshua, Stephanie, Levi, Jadon, Daniel, Caleb, Rebecca, Adam, Elisha, Ashira, Rafi and Tsofia

The Belmonde Editorial Team wishes all members and their families Shanna Tovah, health and happiness for the New Year.

Carolyn and Barry Gilbert and family Debbie and Richard Goldstein and family

‫שנה טובה ומתוקה‬

The Belmont Gardens Unlike most synagogues, Belmont has several areas in which plants can grow within our boundaries. Until two years ago they had received little attention. All has now changed, thanks to the endeavours of Jacquelyn Segal and Jeff Goldberg with supporting roles from Viv Waters, Warren Ross and David Lerner. As one enters the shul from the car park, there is a wooded area, with stepping stones, to the left. It is

a lavender border, we have mosaic style features. Perhaps one could mistake the first for a snowman or an over-excited dog on its back legs but it is intended to represent the windmill in Yemin Moshe, built at the direction of Sir Moses and Lady Judith Montefiore, with the intention of providing work and food for the poor of 19th century Jerusalem. Two paces on, there is a Magen David in the style of the synagogue at Capernaum (Kfar Nahum) – which dates back to the first century CE. That has vines and pomegranates in bas relief on its stone work, both of which grow in our gardens. They are also a source of the decoration in our Beit Midrash. Moving on another two paces – we have the Menorah as it is depicted on the Arch of Titus in Rome. We’ve gone full circle and are back at the pedestrian entrance. Against the background of a stone representation of the Israeli flag, five of the seven biblical species of the Land of Israel, are embedded - a vine, a pomegranate, a fig, an olive tree and a palm

The Belmont copse

now graced with a variety of fruit trees, as well as roses and low growing shrubs. Donations of plants were made to celebrate golden and diamond wedding anniversaries.

Now we are down to maintaining the gardens with regular weeding. If you can give an occasional hour for valuable exercise, helping to keep our shul beautiful, please email me at

David Lerner

Opposite the wood, there are currently some round stepping stones where two tree sculptures will be placed – see article, page 26. The first is to honour Belmont members and their relatives who have served in the Armed Forces; the second honours ‘Righteous Gentiles’ in WW2 who risked their lives to save Jewish lives, Turn left and go down the ‘dark side’ of the shul, past the garage, now a kitchen store space. In the summer the children of our community laid the basis for a children’s garden. It has flowers and vegetables. At the end of summer, as a welcome to the Rosh Hashanah fair, to be held on 29 August, members of the community will have planted horseradish and parsley – with the aspiration that we can meet community needs for Pesach for these Seder-plate ingredients. Continue on round and we come to the first of the two biblically and Israel inspired features. Set within location for our ‘Trees of Honour

Israel flag

Side garden

Magen David


Plum tree


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The Davis and Corper families wish the Belmont community a happy and healthy New Year from our new home in Elstree



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Graham Morrison-Wood

Our Dad, the Make-Up Man Walter Schneiderman, known as Wally, was a member of Belmont Shul. He was born in Marylebone, in 1922. His parents, Chaim Baruch, a Jewish immigrant from Poland, and Boobie Rose, were tailors and he grew up in Notting Hill speaking Yiddish. The poverty of the times was made worse when his father died when he was ten, and at 14 his mother apprenticed him to a hairdresser. “It was only half a crown a week but it started me off,” he said. He served in the RAF as a gunner during the Second World War, was part of the D-Day landings and when his squadron was posted to Germany at the end of the war he attended the Nuremberg trials. Until his nineties he marched every year with the Jewish Military Association in the ceremony of Remembrance at the Cenotaph. His daughter, Karen Benattar, tells his story. Ever since I can remember, our dad worked with his hands - in hairdressing, as a make-up artist and, in his many outof-work periods, carpentry. He designed and built our bedroom wardrobes and a marvellous dressing table, with Louis IV style gilding, which, 60 years later, are still in perfect condition. He was always a perfectionist, and would spend hours in our garage, a converted make-up wonderland, mixing and moulding colours and materials, to achieve just the right combination for a scar, or a wound, or dark patches of skin. Then, he would test out his designs on his own skin, and on moulded face casts, which provided a good base for his numerous beards and moustaches. During Dad’s long career, my sister Beryl and l often visited the studios where he was working, and even got to some of the locations and met the stars during school holidays. This was all very exciting. Once, when he was working on the Robin Hood TV series, we watched a scene being filmed of Little John picking up a big stone boulder ready to throw - but it was only papier mâché! For my 5th and Beryl’s 8th joint birthday party Dad was able to borrow the beautiful costumes of Maid Marian and Robin Hood. Beryl wore the larger Maid Marian outfit but

Wally on set with Gregory Peck

I had to be Robin Hood - big let-down! Once I managed to get on the set of the film Isadora Duncan (1968) starring Vanessa Redgrave in the grounds of Rothschild Manor. Most of the day was spent shooting a croquet game. They repeated the same shot over and over again until it was perfect. Dad needed a lot of patience in his work. He was always first on the set and one of the last to leave, sometimes leaving home at 4 am, and returning late at night. Another memorable visit was to set of The Inspector [1962]. I was kissed on the forehead by Steven Boyd, and I didn’t wash for a week! In 1963 Dad was on location in India for nearly three months working on Nine Hours to Rama, about the assassination of Gandhi. He was shocked and greatly saddened by the terrible poverty there. These long periods away from home were very difficult for my mum but Dad more than made up for his time away by returning with many gifts for us all. After three months in Australia on The Sundowners (1960), he had one large suitcase full of presents unique to Australia: boomerangs, rulers made from all their different timbers and a beautiful cuddly koala bear. We would each get a doll from every country Dad visited – making a very large collection which we still treasure. Dad needed a lot of patience and stamina for his job. Some of the locations were in very remote places, with primitive working conditions. Extreme changes in the weather also contributed to longer working hours and days of hanging around, waiting for the weather to change. Sometimes Dad had to be out on a rocky boat, in stormy weather, as when he worked on The Guns of Navarone in Rhodes in 1960. When making this film, all the artists and crew had to ride up a mountain on donkeys! My dad’s donkey decided to move backwards, much to his alarm. A

Wally with Bette Davis

more pleasurable experience during the filming of this movie, was meeting the King and Queen of Greece, before it became a democracy. When we were older, our mother was able to join Dad on some of the ‘city’ locations, sharing some precious time together, and meeting some of the stars. One such time Wally with his one-day old great grandson

was during the making of Fiddler on the Roof, starring Topol as Tevye, the milkman [1971]. It was shot in Yugoslavia, long before the civil war. A whole shtetl was re-created just outside Zagreb. It was so realistic we were all transported back in time. My mother, sister and I joined Dad for two weeks. It was very exciting to, watch the filming and meet Topol and the other stars. 1964 holds a very special place in my memory. Dad was working in Israel on Judith, starring Sophia Loren. We joined him during our school vacation and spent a glorious six weeks, mainly in Nahariya on our very first visit to Israel. It planted the seeds for my future Aliya.

In 1981, Dad was in Israel as make-up artist for Ingrid Bergman, playing Golda Meir in Golda. My husband and I had made Aliya in 1977. Apart from the joy of being able to see both my parents for a lengthy period, we got the chance, to meet this amazing star. Despite having worked with so many famous people, and travelled to so many wonderful places, Dad’s heart was in the home, and he loved relaxing with his family when he could. After our dear mother passed away in 2001, Dad took up painting and sculpture, and created some memorable works. He took pleasure in spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren, here and in Israel, and never missed an opportunity to visit. He was an inspiration to many; an only child, brought up by his widowed mother, [our dear Boobie Rose] from the age of 10, and having to go out to work at 14 to help support the two of them. He created a very happy home and family unit, and was an example to us all. An exceptional make-up artist; an amazing and loving dad, a wonderful grandfather and great grandfather. We all miss him so much. May his memory be a blessing.

Karen Benattar (née Schneiderman)

Simon Kaye Sound Recordist Extraordinaire Born in 1935, Belmont shul member Simon Kaye was the youngest child of Dora and Isaac Kotlerevsky (later changed to Kaye). He had six older brothers and their sister was the oldest. Simon was evacuated for the entirety of the Second World War – five of his brothers served in the armed forces (including my father, Sydney). He returned after the War to find the family had been bombed out of their home in Walm Lane, Willesden. The family then moved to Neasden before settling in Rutland Park Gardens, when Heathfield Park was the family’s shul – now given a new lease of life as Brondesbury United Synagogue.

Simon was content to work his way up the sound recording hierarchy but was persuaded to take on total responsibility for the sound of The Human Jungle, the early sixties’ TV series which starred Herbert Lom. He felt he wasn’t yet ready for the senior position but was eventually encouraged to accept, having met the producer; and so began his illustrious career as the head sound guy, gaining an enviable reputation as the sound mixer of choice for many directors and resulting in his involvement in some hugely impressive movies.

Not being academically inclined, Simon left school at 15 with no qualifications and found a position with Dormeuil Frères as a trainee salesman, aiming for a career in the wholesale wool merchant business. However, a close family friend of one of his brothers, Malcolm Stewart, who often used to stay in the Kayes’ open house at weekends, whetted Simon’s appetite with tales of his experiences as a sound recordist with CBS, NBC and various freelance film companies. Simon clearly showed his enthusiasm to know more and, some weeks later, Malcolm encouraged Simon to apply for a traineeship with the ACTT (film makers union) in the sound department at Pinewood studios. He duly applied, got the job and stayed there for eight years, learning all aspects of the sound side of the film business and only leaving to work with Malcolm Stewart on Swallows & Amazons, the 1963 TV series.

Looking through his filmography are some memorable productions. In the mid-1960s he recorded 40 episodes of the iconic Avengers TV series followed by films such as The Charge of the Light Brigade in 1968, directed by Tony Richardson, which contained a virtual Who’s Who Peter O’,provides the champagne to accompany Simon’s birthday of British and international cake during the filming of actors. The same year saw the Brotherly Love release of A Lion in Winter, which starred Peter O’Toole and Katherine Hepburn, who Simon describes as “the most pleasant actress” he ever worked with. (For those readers seeking a sense of balance, Oliver Reed was the most intimidating actor he ever worked with. Simon dubbed him ‘the Whispering Giant’ whilst filming The Three Musketeers!)

Becoming a freelancer at this time meant giving up the security of being an employee, but it started Simon on a path towards becoming a well-renowned sound mixer – initially quite ‘lumpy’, as he was little known at first and most jobs tended to come from personal recommendations, as he subsequently found out. There were times in the early days when the phone didn’t ring at all.

The following year saw the release of Oh! What a Lovely War and the start of Simon’s long-standing and hugely enjoyable relationship with director Richard ‘Dickie’ Attenborough, who clearly became Simon’s favourite film director. They made seven films together: Oh! What a Lovely War (released in 1969), then Young Winston (1972), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Gandhi (1982), Cry Freedom (1987), Shadowlands (1993), and In Love and War (1996).

The sound mixer in action

Richard Attenborough pitching ‘Gandhi’ to Simon, which they made 12 years later

Simon and his wife Sylvia became close friends with Dickie and his wife Sheila, and Simon’s memories of their longstanding working and social relationship are hugely significant and left an indelible mark on his career and his life generally. These films included some of the biggest blockbusters of their day and each took many months of painstaking work to complete. Simon’s perhaps only disappointment was not winning an Oscar for Gandhi – losing out to ET (he was also nominated for Reds in 1981), but he is nevertheless very proud to have won the Academy Award for Best Sound for Platoon, directed by Oliver Stone and starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe (1986), and Last of the Mohicans, directed by Michael Mann and starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe (1992). He also won three BAFTA best sound awards for Oh! What a Lovely War (1969), A Bridge Too Far) (1977) and Cry Freedom (1987), having been In the ‘contraption’ additionally nominated on six occasions (for Last of the Mohicans, Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom, Charge of the Light Brigade, Gandhi, A Lion in Winter, and Sunday Bloody Sunday). He was also nominated for two Emmy awards – The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004) and Gulliver’s Travels (1996), the TV mini-series starring Ted Danson and his wife Mary Steenburgen, who Simon describe as a delight to work with. So it’s fair to say that Simon was well regarded and respected by the movie industry for his lifetime of achievement. “I was particularly proud to have received the Cinema Audio Society’ Award for the sound for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, released in 2004, as it was voted on by my immediate peers,” he commented. There is no doubt in my mind that Simon is a perfectionist in wanting every word of dialogue to be clear and distinct to the viewer, often going to great lengths to ensure that the original dialogue could be heard whenever feasible and, where possible, without the need to re-record anything in soundproofed studio conditions. This often meant that some locations were rejected so that the ‘pure’ original sound could be recorded – thereby avoiding the extra costs of re-recording these scenes – and often devising some ingenious contraptions to record the sound ‘live’, such as him being strapped to the side of a moving car to record the dialogue between Laurence Olivier and Michael Redgrave (in the days before radio microphones were of sufficient quality). This to me is one

of the reasons why he was sought out by the leading film directors of the day (and even sometimes brought in to replace one of his peers when their work was deemed to be unsatisfactory). Directors such as John Schlesinger (Yanks, Sunday Bloody Sunday and Madame Sousatzka, which starred Shirley MacLaine); Douglas Hickox (Brannigan, which starred John Wayne); Oliver Stone (Platoon); Roman Polanski (Macbeth); Warren Beatty (Reds); Richard Lester (Three Musketeers, Four Musketeers, Royal Flash, Juggernaut); and Steven Spielberg (Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom). Simon worked with other movie ‘giants’ such as Sean Connery (The Offence – directed by Sidney Lumet, A Bridge Too Far and his ‘out of retirement’ James Bond film, Never Say Never Again). Simon remembers an occasion with Harrison Ford when filming Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom who couldn’t quite believe Simon’s insistence on recording his dialogue ‘live’ rather than doing so afterwards in a studio, which seemed to be what happened in most of his other films. Not Simon. His reputation for striving for perfection became something of a legend in the movie business. Robert Downey Jr got similar short shrift from Simon when filming Air America, as did Sidney Poitier in Shoot To Kill. From a Jewish perspective, apart from having produced the sound for Jesus of Nazareth (when he declined director Franco Zeffirelli’s invitation to play the part of a Rabbi in the production), Simon insisted that his wife Sylvia was able to travel with him whilst on location, especially in later years once their three children had left home. Resourceful as always, Sylvia always sought out kosher supplies wherever in the world they were and ensured that her culinary skills were put to the test – many leading actors, actresses and production staff were treated to a homecooked Friday night dinner with Sylvia and Simon. His loving relationship with Sylvia was the foundation he needed to be able to achieve the success he did throughout his career. He commented on her incredible and With Sylvia (and their new friend, unquestioning support in the Oscar) at the Academy Awards after-party fondest terms. “The extraordinary thing about my dear departed wife was that, not once in all that time did she ever say, ‘Do you really have to do this film?’. The support was totally unbelievable. Sometimes you're at home, and sometimes you're away,” he recalled. In conclusion, I asked Simon what advice he might have for someone who is considering a career in the production side of the film business, perhaps following in his footsteps as a sound recordist and mixer? His response, which seems to sum up his own career, was – perhaps understandably – “Get lucky!”

Russell Kett

Wishing all in the Belmont community a happy &prosperous New Year and well over the fast...

For all your building survey and Party Wall Agreement needs.

Simon Abrahams wishes the whole Belmont Community Shana Tova & well over the Fast

Nigel Bender has something EXTRA special! Approaching the end of a 50-year career, Nigel thought that all his Christmases had come. He was running a silver concession at Harrods when he sat down for tea with Santa Claus – actually, several Santas, one per floor! He asked how they got the job. It turned out they were all film extras so Nigel applied, and, with his good looks and charm, was soon in work. This opportunity picked up an early thread from his life. he had been sent to the Quaker school in Letchworth during the war years where he had done music and drama. Nigel came out an enthusiastic thespian but somewhat lacking in the three Rs. Once he got his ‘extra’ card, Nigel was on an agency’s books. In a seven year career, he appeared in 37 films including four Harry Potter films, The King’s Speech, The Young Victoria, War Horse and Dorian Grays. On TV Partisan in‘Defiance’ he appeared in The Hustle and New Tricks. A keen Spurs supporter, he doubled for fellow Hotspur fan, Leslie Phillips for a Shreddies advert. His first part was in Elizabeth 1st the Golden Age. He got to boo and cat call as poor Mary Queen of Scots got beheaded. Conveniently, the next movie was at the Warner Brothers studio in Leavesden for the start of his magical career with Harry Potter. In ‘The Golden Compass’ he was dressed as an Oxford Don in a very elegant and expensive costume. He was asked by an American tourist for his autograph and responded ‘not yet’ when asked whether he was famous or not. In a BBC TV production about Churchill, he was the only person on the set who spoke some Russian. He had to coach one of the actors on how to speak his line to Stalin (Carefully, would have probably been best with Stalin).

In contrast, he played in a distressing scene for an X-Man film as a Jewish prisoner of war in Auschwitz. The extras were constantly showered as they walked towards the gas chambers. They were all upset and refused to return for the second day. The scene was eventually cut. Nigel had to sign a confidentiality clause before each film. Every day the extras had to sign in out any props they were asked to handle. No photography was allowed on set and total decorum was required. One had to be up at 5.00 to be at the set by 7:00. Extreme patience was required as one might wait all day in a holding area and, indeed, never be used – but they got paid whether their services were called upon or not. The job could be dangerous, though Nigel was never a stunt man. In War Horse he was in a crowd of French farmers, attending an auction. Nigel had to be pushed aside vigorously by an elderly man, forcing his way to the front to make his high bid. With take after take, he ended the day rather sore. Amongst the actors and actresses lucky enough to appear alongside Nigel were Kieran Knightley, Colin Firth and Clint Eastwood. Daniel Day Lewis once gave up his seat to Nigel, whilst Clint used to come over to talk with the extras between takes. Nigel concludes “During the 7 years of my film career I have been rained on, covered in smoke, been surrounded by fire, had to lie on the ground as horses galloped by within inches of my head, stung by a bee and pushed around. One could not rely on the pay for a living, but it helped to pay for little treats.” Nigel will be on our Belmont Autumn zoom interview series. If you have done anything unusual then please let the editor know and we can have a chat about a ‘Belmont Brief life’ series to be run during the year.

Oxford don

The Biggest Privilege of my Life During the filming of Shindler’s List Steven Spielberg was approached by many survivors who wanted to tell him their story so he could make other films. Steven struggled with the content of the film and every morning the crew started the day by saying Kaddish. He knew that this would be his only Holocaust Film. Steven had decided that if Shindler’s List made any money he personally couldn’t make money from the Holocaust. And that is how the Shoah Foundation was born in 1994. Steven’s vision was to launch Survivors of the Shoah History Foundation. In July 1995 I was in LA as our daughter Sharon (your very own administrator) was doing work experience at the Foundation and she organised a tour for me; she said I would love it. I didn’t understand that comment until I got there and it was amazing. When one thinks of Hollywood one Bernice with Steven Spielberg thinks lavish but the foundation was a series of caravans on a were conducted, including some in sign language. parking lot in Universal Studios. No money was wasted. I offered to run an office here as I had 11 survivors in my family, and nothing was happening in the UK. But first I had to become an interviewer and be trained. The training took place in Chicago. It was three very intense, long days looking at every aspect of interviewing with sessions in history and psychology plus many other subjects. The work was so important that the 300 people at the training were so passionate that the atmosphere was electric. It ended with us in a long line with a survivor seated and we had to ask them a couple of questions; and we were being filmed. Quite scary with an audience.

Taking testimony was an enormous privilege. I had to book the survivor, the camera man and an assistant. Once the pre-interview was arranged the filming was organised for no more than four days later. The interviews were filmed on TV cameras for the best quality. These were archive interviews, so the picture was fixed and there was no editing. No family member could sit in on the filming, but family were invited to come for the end of the filming, and this was always a great part of the interview, just wonderful to see children and grandchildren surrounding the survivor. That part was very emotional.

The UK office opened in September 1995 with 80 people on the list. These were survivors who had volunteered to give testimony; there was no cold calling. When the office opened there was just me and one other interviewer. We were to ask when doing an interview if the survivor knew of any other survivors who might want to give testimony. The numbers of survivors grew rapidly and there were two training sessions in the UK for more interviewers the second one was in Manchester and I led that one.

The survivor was also invited to show any photographs that they had, and they were filmed for the Foundation to place in the testimony around the frame of the survivor. The survivor was shown the whole testimony; nothing was cut into the footage.

In the UK we conducted almost 900 testimonies but around the world a huge 55,000, in 65 countries and 43 languages

As I said earlier, it was the biggest privilege of my life, listening to the stories of those who had been to hell and back. During the years of taking testimony, I worked six long days a week as LA is eight hours behind us. My family were very supportive, and my kids were involved too with packing 100s of video tapes. UPS donated 3,000,000 dollars

of shipping. It was also wonderful to meet Steven Spielberg three times. He was so gracious and modest. The Foundation moved from Universal Studios to the University of Southern California. It became an institute in 2005 and does remarkable work in education promoting tolerance and trying to deal with hate.

The testimonies were catalogued and recently digitised and returned to every country where they are housed in universities. For more information go to

Bernice Krantz

� n � i � c e � � R N�� Ye��

Belmont Experiences over the Years

Over the many years before Belmont Synagogue was built, several different buildings have been used for services. In the beginning the shul used members’ houses - every Friday a different venue. Then there was the Sancroft Hall, a wonderful Nissan hut. The roof always let water in when raining and the gas heater, in the so-called kitchen, always gave off an odour that encompassed the whole building. We only used this venue on a Shabbat morning and thank goodness no one smoked while we were there. Setting up – bringing siddurim / chumashim and a sefer every Thursday was an exercise in itself. Another venue was the St Michael and all Angels church in Bishop Ken Road. We had an arrangement with the ‘powers that be’ to use their adjoining hall – ‘The Wykeham - for both Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur for many years. They often called the secretary to remind us to book the hall venue. The robing room was our storage area between Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur and many times we were asked about the services. The hall was a typical one room, high ceiling, high windows, bare walled area with a stage at one end that, of course, creaked when anyone walked on it. It was always interesting when our festivals clashed with a wedding or services on a Sunday. Who finished first, who was the loudest etc. Shofar blowing did not count! The Cannons Community Centre was used for Shabbat services due to the expected large congregation when we had a bar or bat mitzvah to celebrate. The Community Centre management arranged that we could use a shed to store everything - religious and kiddush requisites. This hall was an exceptionally large light and bright space, and the kiddush was held at the back. The Belmont Community Centre at Belmont Circle was used in an emergency for only a few times before the shul

was built. In those days it was a ‘tired’ place and not very welcoming. I do remember a Simchat Torah we had to use this premises as no other were available. A strange sight that day and one that was linked to the day – what would a Martian think of the goings on in a place like this! Many congregants built their first Succah in their gardens for the community to use. There are a few memorable events which took place at these premises, and I apologise if I do not include your favourite. My first of two is a warden, unnamed to save face, who while standing on the stage at ‘The Wykeham’ during Nelia suddenly disappeared. We found out he was feeling unwell and just walked behind the curtains and left. He came back after about 20 or so minutes saying he did not go for a ’cuppa’. Although I was not there, my second memory, one of our ministers lost his voice over Rosh Hashana and – shame – could not give a sermon or appeal on Yom Kippur - the one day a year a minister has a full audience! Fortunately, a ‘learned gentleman’ was on hand and stood in. Our building was built and in the early used days we kept ‘The Wykeham’ as an alternative site for those members near The Duck and the Pond. This two-centre service had its own problems – who would go where – do we miss the Rabbi’s sermon and change venue places – or the regular slow Haftorah rendition on Yom Kippur. Problems, problems - all surmountable, all too numerous to go into here. Then the shul was finished off and the Board took the decision of having a marquee. This in turn brought its own concerns security etc but the Belmont community were so inclusive and wanted to help.

Ellis Temerlies

� n � i � c e � � R N�� Ye�� Yomim Noraim Memories

Cricklewood and Willesden

Especially for all you ex-pats in the Belmont community, a trip down memory lane! Stephen was born and bred in Willesden, living there until we married, but his family were always members of Cricklewood shul (Walm Lane). In 1960, my family returned to London after having spent three years in Leeds, and we joined Willesden Shul (the entrance being in Heathfield Park), on the site which is now known as Brondesbury Park Shul (not to be confused with Brondesbury Shul, which closed in 1974, and was in Chevening Road!). Even when my family moved to Cricklewood, we remained members of Willesden shul, so Stephen and I literally went past one shul to get to another.

Both shuls had a choir and a chazan, but Cricklewood definitely won out there with the superb voice of Rev Faigenblum so it’s no surprise that the Rosh Hashanah service was very long, not ending until about 2.00 or 2.30 pm at Willesden! Kol Nidrei at Willesden shul was definitely an occasion! It makes me think of the saying “if you’ve got it, flaunt it”, as mink coats and as much jewellery as one could wear was definitely the order of the evening for the ladies; Stephen recalls many men wearing dinner suits for Kol Nidrei at Cricklewood On Yom Kippur day, as now, there was a mass exodus at Yizkor and when I was a teenager that was when we started our shul crawl to see our friends at other synagogues. We usually ended up at someone’s house for “no-tea tea” as it were and then back for Neilah; on more than one occasion I remember our chazan Rev Landenberg still being on Avinu Malkeinu when Yom Kippur had gone out!

Jewish life was booming in the 1950s and early ‘60s in the Willesden and surrounding area, with four When we got married we used to go back to United shuls – Brondesbury, Cricklewood, Dollis Cricklewood for the Yomim Noraim in the mid Hill and Willesden – ‘70s, before the and two Federation children came Above all, I remember the grandeur shuls – Neasden along. The local of the Yomim Noraim, especially (Clifford Way) and shuls were much Kol Nidrei, with a packed shul, the Ohel Shem in emptier then, Chamberlayne Road – chandeliers glowing, the heavy though. plus the St Gabriels smell of many different perfumes Rabbi Landy was Road shtiebl, within mingling, chazan and choir in full still giving his about a two mile flow and my cherished Routledge sermons which radius. started quietly to At the time the get everyone’s Honorary Officers were very formally dressed in attention, then increased in volume. One of my grey striped trousers, black jackets and top hats. Men abiding memories is of the year Chief Rabbi and generally wore bowler hats (we both remember our Lady Jakobovits attended for Yom Kippur – she fathers doing so), or trilbys. The Rabbonim and was dressed all in white and stood for the entire day Chazanim were in full canonicals and the shammas Above all, I remember the grandeur of the Yomim at both shuls wore robes and top hats too Noraim, especially Kol Nidrei, with a packed shul, In our childhood the shuls were packed on Rosh Hashanah the chandeliers glowing, the heavy smell of many and Yom Kippur, even with an overflow service for different perfumes mingling, chazan and choir in full Willesden shul at the Grosvenor Rooms in Willesden flow and my cherished Routledge machzor to hand. Green, with the upstairs hall of Willesden shul opened up to Happy days! give extra seats for the ladies. Even so, there wasn’t room for Frances Grossman us children and we had to sit on the steps between the rows of pews.

Barbara Lerner’s hubby, David, was born in 1950 at the London Hospital in Whitechapel and so is a genuine Cockney. Grandma Norma, his mum, remembers that kosher food was not allowed to be brought in and she survived on bread and jam for a week. David has been hungry ever since. David’s early years were spent in Manchester, Liverpool, Tottenham and Wembley. The moves came without transfer fees but were a result of his dad moving from one branch of Currys to another. By 1958 they had settled in Kenton. He was an enthusiastic scout until he was 16. This and his involvement with Jewish Youth Voluntary Services (JYVS) introduced him to leadership training and engagement with the world of volunteering. He was the first member of his family to have completed a high school education. After university he went to Chicago to work with emotionally disturbed children. He is still in touch with some of ‘his boys’. On his return, he worked for four years as a special education teacher. He worked for Jewish schools, via variously named departments of the United Synagogue, before working in the Education Leadership department of the UJIA. He retired last November after 15 years as CEO of a charitable trust that gave away money to fantastic and diverse charities in the UK, Israel and Seattle. Less than a year after a blind date with Barbara, set up by her best friend at the time, he married her at Stanmore shul. They feel so lucky to have raised their three children, of whom they are so proud, Dov, Shoshy and Zippy in Belmont, not to forget their beautiful grandchildren. David still takes the children’s service – 30 + years now. At various times he has chaired the Soviet Jewry group (They still see some of their friends from Minsk.) and the Shul. The core of Barbara and David’s friendships is in Belmont – they couldn’t have made a better choice of where to live.

Norman was born in 1940 and was evacuated to Denham during the war and then lived in Golders Green from the age of eight. He attended Dunstan Road Synagogue where he had his bar mitzvah. He went to Hendon County Grammar school, left at 17 and went straight to work for a family firm selling lingerie. In the early 1960s he bought a deli in Wembley Park where he stayed for 10 years. After this, together with his, brother he managed a salt beef bar in Soho for two years, owned by the boxers George and Billy Walker. He ended up as an agent for Arnold Palmers Men’s Wear. He met Estelle, aged 15, at a Jewish Holiday camp and they married in 1961. He joined Belmont in 1972, joined the Board of Management in 1974 and was elected as an honorary officer in 1976. He claims to have served on every committee except the Ladies Guild. He organises the stuffing of envelopes with this magazine, Belmonde, for distribution to members. He was involved with the United Synagogue in the building of Belmont Shul in 1980/1. Before that we held our services in various venues in the area. Estelle and Norman belonged to the Soviet Jewry Committee and they went to Moscow and Leningrad in 1987 to visit refusniks. In 1990 they drove to Minsk, our twin town, to open up a nursery school. Norman started the Belmont Senior group and has organised 28 outings, coffee mornings and senior lunches. They have two wonderful sons and five fantastic grandchildren.

This year’s Appeals We are delighted to introduce the charities that will benefit from our Yom Kippur Appeal

Our Chosen Charities are Jewish Care, we feature their invaluable work on out doorstep and two hand-picked causes, Maslan & Kick Start, using the My Israel ‘umbrella’.

Jewish Care and our services

Memory Way Cafe

Jewish Care provides a wide range of specialist support services for older people, including Holocaust survivors and refugees, people living with physical disabili�es and ongoing mental health needs, in London and the South-east. Our services include residen�al care homes, re�rement living schemes, centres for people living with demen�a and community centres, JC Presents online community programme, befriending and meals on wheels. We also provide a range of support groups for families and carers.

The cafe offers support for the person with demen�a in the form of a warm environment with mental s�mula�on, and their family carer. They are provided with the opportunity to meet other people in the same situa�on and talk to social workers to discuss any concerns. As importantly, the cafes and groups can be a ‘so� entry’ to Jewish Care and enable us to monitor our clients should their needs increase. During the pandemic the Memory Way Café coordinators have been successfully running the groups online but with your help, we look forward to launching a face-toface café again at the newly established Sandringham site.

How to support Jewish Care Whilst the effects of the pandemic are thankfully diminishing, we are beginning to see the longlas�ng effects of Covid-19 and how the restric�ons have impacted the wellbeing of our residents and members of our community. Over 80% of Jewish Care residents are living with demen�a. The forced isola�on throughout the pandemic has been a real challenge for our frontline carers, the residents and their rela�ves but as restric�ons li�, families are able to reunite with loved ones, ac�vi�es designed to help those living with demen�a can increase and we are star�ng to see the benefit to our residents and community members. This Kol Nidrei, Belmont Synagogue is proud to support Jewish Care by helping to raise funds for Commuity Support Services which help create meaningful lives for those living with Demen�a and support the people who are caring for them. The money raised will go towards two care groups: Memory Way Cafes and Singing Together with Jewish Care at the new Sandringham site on the Her�ordshire/Stanmore border.

Singing together with Jewish Care Just like our Memory Way Cafes, our Singing together with Jewish Care is also en�rely funded by our community. It is a live, s�mula�ng, professionally led, friendly singing session for people living with demen�a and their carers. Singing helps to s�mulate mind and body, while building on the memory we all have for music and song. Group singing with people living with demen�a has proven to improve their wellbeing, communica�on, cogni�on and understanding and their physical ability too. Why support Jewish Care? Covid-19 has had a huge financial impact on Jewish Care, without the generous support of our community we cannot con�nue are vital work. With your help we can get our demen�a groups up and running again in our brand-new Sandringham care campus and together we can help hundreds of people access the support they need.

h�ps:// My israel works �relessly to fundraise and raise awareness in the UK for 18 under-the-radar causes in Israel. Each cause is hand-picked and ve�ed by the team in Israel and once chosen, are championed by Myisrael. We raise funds needed for these causes to carry out their incredible work but also mentor them to help them to operate as efficiently as possible. 100% of your dona�on to Myisrael goes directly to the cause you have chosen to support, as all our running costs are met by our generous patrons who give specifically for that reason. This way, every penny of every dona�on can be u�lised to help those in need. You will receive feedback on how your money has been spent and what impact it has had on the people who rely on that specific cause for regular assistance. Belmont has chosen to split dona�ons between two of our causes; Maslan & Kick Start.

MASLAN Maslan offers a lifeline to vic�ms of sexual abuse and domes�c violence. Maslan is the only organisa�on in Southern Israel offering such support. Their doors are open to every community and their services save vulnerable lives. For the women and children of Maslan, its services provide the only chance to escape and heal from abuse. Maslan’s emergency helpline is o�en the first brave step a vic�m takes to share their story and ask for help. The helpline is staffed by over 200 trained volunteers who con�nue to provide support throughout the en�re process, accompanying vic�ms to police sta�ons, hospitals and safe houses, and providing an understanding ear whenever needed. Maslan supports vic�ms throughout the repor�ng, medical and legal processes. Its Therapeu�c Unit offers counselling for vic�ms and their families, and their legal team offers access to free legal aid and counsel for anyone unable to afford it. Maslan offers services in 8 different languages and their pioneering Awareness Workshops in schools and community centres are educa�ng children, parents, and teachers from every community about recognising and preven�ng child abuse. Thanks to Maslan, no vic�m of abuse in the South of Israel needs ever feel hopeless or alone.

KICK START Kick Start uses the power of football to transform the lives of homeless people, to get them off the streets and commi�ed to a brighter future. Many of the people who join Kick Start have suffered from alcohol or substance abuse, mental illness or other hardships which has le� them without a home to live in or a family to support them. Through the posi�ve benefits of football training at Kick Start – the commitment, the teamwork, the discipline, and the strength building – each player develops their self-confidence, self-mo�va�on, and self-worth. And off the field, the staff and volunteers are in constant communica�on with the players helping them in their job searches, legal issues, rehabilita�on processes, and general reintegra�on into society. With the support of Kick Start and the love of their teammates, it gives them the impetus to get off the streets and move towards employment and self-sufficiency. The money that the Belmont Kol Nidre appeal raises will make a direct impact to the lives of those who benefit the work these causes do. We will feedback on that impact as soon as we have news to share. Thank you all and Shana Tova

United Synagogue 305 Ballards Lane London N12 8GB T: 020 8343 8989 E:

September 2021 Tishrei 5782

Registered Charity No. 242552

Message from the President of the United Synagogue Rosh Hashanah is all about new beginnings. We say in shul: Hayom harat olam, “Today is the creation of the world”. Rosh Hashanah is considered the ‘birthday’ of the world as tradition holds that Rosh Hashanah was when Adam, the first human, was created. The word harat is a tricky one to translate. It comes from the Hebrew root ‘h-r-h’ which means gestation or pregnancy. Building on this, Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz z’l (1937-2020) suggests that Rosh Hashanah is considered to be a little like a pregnancy: although there is a child there, it is not born yet and nobody knows what it will be or how it will turn out. It is this sense of starting anew, of a fresh injection of new potential, of putting behind us any mistakes or false starts, that I find one of the most uplifting aspects of Rosh Hashanah. Which of us hasn’t committed ourselves to spending some time connecting more with our religion, only to find ourselves being beaten by work or family commitments? Now is the time. So Rosh Hashanah at its core is, in a sense, all of our birthdays – a day of renewal, of new beginnings. This time of year affords us all the opportunity to take stock and ask ourselves some difficult questions: am I being the best me I can be? Am I making every day count? How can I make the world a better place? For many of our members, this Rosh Hashanah will also mark the start of their return to shul. Although Coronavirus is still with us, as I write this, lockdown restrictions have been lifted and much of the population has been vaccinated. I know this will mean, as our recent membership survey suggested, that many members will be more comfortable returning to shul and we are so excited to welcome you back, whether for services, events, volunteering or even a fishball at kiddush. Our membership survey also highlighted some of the challenges the United Synagogue faces. Some members told us how they were not satisfied with the provision for young people in their community during Covid. We are committed to redressing this balance now that young people’s programmes can once again take place in person. Members were also clear that they want to engage through both online and in-person events and services. This ‘hybrid’ model of community means we need to explore how to make the most of new technologies that continue to allow participation from afar as well as enjoying the many benefits that human-to-human contact brings – while ensuring we keep our members safe. We know the journey to this Rosh Hashanah has had its challenges. I want to pay testament on behalf of my fellow Trustees to the extraordinary work of your Rabbinic and lay teams supported by your shul office team and colleagues at head office. Without them, and the thousands of volunteers across our organisation, there would be no United Synagogue. It has been an incredibly difficult year since my last Rosh Hashanah message. But with your participation in your community and the support of the Almighty, we will have, please God, a bright future. Shana tova, may we all have a happy and successful year ahead, and, above all, a healthy one.

Michael Goldstein President, United Synagogue Treasurer: Maxwell Nisner 18+only.Cancel at any time.See website for Rosenfelder, full T&C’s.E&OE. Trustees: Andrew Eder, Rachel Hartog, Claire Lemer, Fleurise Lewis, Nicola Barry Shaw, Saul Taylor, Jacqui Zinkin Chief Executive: Steven Wilson


The Chief Rabbi’s Rosh Hashanah Message 5782 In 1968, social psychologists Bibb Latané and John Darley conducted a remarkable study, known as the Smoky Room Experiment. Subjects were placed alone in a room and asked to complete a task. While they were doing so, smoke began to fill the room from a nearby air vent. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of subjects reported the smoke within a matter of minutes. However, when subjects were placed in the same room in groups, the results were dramatically different. Rather than reporting the smoke, the subjects looked to one another. If the others in the room seemed unmoved by the smoke, it was ignored. The authors of the study observed that, if people are alone when they notice an emergency, they consider themselves solely responsible for dealing with it. However, when others are also present, they feel less of a responsibility for taking action. As social beings, we often cannot help but use the actions of others as our frame of reference for the way in which we choose to behave. This poses a profound challenge to our society. Can we lead more environmentally sustainable lives or act cautiously to prevent the spread of Covid when those around us seem disinclined to do the same? Can we lead lives of responsibility and morality when those around us do not? The Jewish answer to this challenge is our High Holy Days. he Torah reading for Rosh Hashanah seems a surprising choice. On the anniversary of the creation of the world, we would surely expect to read about the creation from the Book of Genesis. Instead, we read the story of a person who was born into a world of idolatry and sacrilege. Yet, Abraham, the father of our people, repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to Hashem without hesitation. He became the first parent in our tradition to circumcise their son and was even prepared to countenance sacrificing him. While not hiding behind the standards and expectations of those around him, Abraham knew what Hashem required of him. No amount of social pressure could dissuade him from his life of truth and sanctity. On the Yamim Noraim, each one of us stands, accountable for our deeds, before Hashem. As we recite so powerfully in our Musaf prayers: Just as a shepherd appraises his flock; just as he passes every sheep beneath his staff; so too, every one of us is counted and evaluated by Hashem. There is nobody for us to hide behind, nor anyone for us to blame. As such, our High Holy Days are a moment of the purest and most honest dialogue with our Creator. He knows every challenge we fac as well as our capacity to rise to them. The last eighteen months have been a period of extraordinary adversity which has imposed challenges upon us all in ways that we may only be beginning to understand. As we enter 5782, the High Holydays provide a precious opportunity for each one of us to look deep within ourselves and reframe our attitude and our behaviour. Let us be guided by our eternal Torah values rather than the transient whims of others. In doing so, may we all be blessed with a future of spiritual fulfilment, joy and success. Shana Tovah,

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

Honouring Heroes


e are locating two sculpted trees in our grounds.The tree nearer the car park has engraved Magen Davids which recognise biblical personalities as well as members and their relatives who served in conflict for their country and for our people. We have parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles who served in both the 1st World War and the 2nd World War. Since 1970 members and their children have also served in the IDF. The second tree honours those of the nations who helped save the life of Jews as the Holocaust raged around them. Engraved medallions hang on this tree. Murray Freedman is putting together a booklet of memories and composing a list of all who served or who saved Jews. There is a donation of £25 requested to cover the cost of engraving and the booklet. Send your own stories to copying in Kindly make your donations via Below is the story of Stanislav and Anna Jaje who saved the life of Marcel Manson’s father. Marcel recalls the events on the Yad Vashem website. My mum, Zofia Ginter was born in Kazimierz in 1920. At the start of the war her parents decided it would be safer for them to move to the small village of Szczucin. Zofia did not "look too Jewish" and she spoke good Polish, so she removed her Star of David armband and took a boat to Szczucin with the family’s possessions. There she procured lodgings and stored their belongings. She met Shiyer Mutzenmacher who was born in 1912. He would later become her husband. Three months later, her entire family made their way to Szczucin. About a year after the Ginters’ move, random searches, confiscations and killings began in the village. Shiyer, who was courting Zofia, was sent to the Pustków camp. He was released on payment of a bribe that was enormous in proportion to his family’s very restricted means. After his return, Shiyer proposed, and Zofia moved in with his family. In 1943, the Germans decided to rid Szczucin of its Jewish population. They sent them en masse to Dumbrowa, a larger village nearby. There, most of Zofia and Shiyer’s families were shot or deported to death camps. Zofia and her sister returned to Kraków, where they ended up in the ghetto south of the river. Life in the ghetto was an insufferable daily struggle. When the Płaszów camp was established nearby, Zofia was one of the first to be sent there. Later, she was transported to Auschwitz, and from there to

Czechoslovakia to work at a cotton mill in the town of Liehtenwerden. Meanwhile, Shiyer Mutzenmacher had fled the Szczucin ghetto during its liquidation. He ran to the nearby farm of Anna and Stanisław Jaje, and begged them for shelter in Stanislav Jaie return for all the valuables he had. The Jajes acquiesced. At the time, they had one young son. Shiyer stayed with them for several years, until liberation. When German soldiers came to the farm, he hid in haystacks, and once even in the fireplace. Despite his constant hunger, he refused to consume non-kosher meat. Everyone in Anna Jaie the village knew that a young man of Jewish descent was hiding in the Jajes’ house, but nobody denounced him. After Shiyer’s initial funds ran out, the Jajes agreed to keep him on. He did tailoring jobs for the neighbours and other villagers, which contributed to the household expenses. After liberation, Shiyer found no surviving Jews in Szczucin, and decided to go to Kraków. There he was helped by the Jewish Committee, which gave him a room to live in next door to their headquarters. He worked as a tailor. Six months later, Zofia was liberated. She came to Kraków and benefitted from the Jewish Committee’s aid, frequenting its headquarters. She ran into Shiyer in the street and they married the same year. The couple moved to Paris and from there to London, where they became naturalized citizens and changed their names to Charles and Zofia Manson. They established a family, and restored contact with the Jajes, to whom they sent regular letters and gift parcels. In 1997, Leon and Marcel Manson visited their roots in Poland with their now-widowed mother. She travelled with them to Kraków, where they met someone who had known The memorial monument in Szczucin Shiyer and took them to see the farm where he had been hidden during the war. Stanisław and Anna Jaje were no longer alive, but their oldest son remembered Shiver. On September 12, 1939, in the building of a primary school in Szczucin, the Germans burned alive or shot at least 40 Polish prisoners of war and about 30

MY CHILDHOOD NEIGHBOURHOOD The neighbourhood where I was born

It's because of them, I am what I am,,

Meant everything to me,

So I thank my mum and dad.

I lived in Hampstead Garden Suburb,

A pleasant walk to the Market Place

Where the rich were meant to be.

Where one found the local shops,

But that wasn't so as both my parents

Many a time I did some shopping,

Were from London's East End,

Buying sherbert lemons and soda pops.

When they bought the house in 1941, It was a risk, I can't pretend.

Fifteen minutes away was Lyttelton Playing Fields,

The house across the road as a bombsite,

Where I played football and also tennis,

The flying bombs had put paid to that,

Norrice Lea Synagogue was also nearby,

So buying a house in the middle of the war,

Where I sat next to my friend Dennis.

Was a risk, and that's a fact.

The 102 bus I sometimes got

We actually lived on the less richer side,

That took me to Golders Green,

On the northern side of Lyttelton Road,

And East Finchley Station not too far away,

A four bedroom semi corner house,

Was always nice and clean.

Was where I had my abode.

It wasn't until 1977

My parents worked hard in the ladies' fashions,

That I bid the place 'farewell',

To have the life that they had,

To where I was to dwell.

I was married then and moved to Stanmore,

Barry Harris wishes all the Belmont community a Happy New Year Suite 4, Amba House 15 College Road Harrow HA1 1BA Tel: 020 3751 4040 Mob: 07836 581 812 Fax: 020 8427 7691 email: Web:

Wishing Belmont Shul a Healthy and Happy New Year

R.H. Rose Associates Chartered Surveyors, Valuers and Property Consultants Buckingham House East The Broadway, Stanmore HA7 4EB Tel: 020 8954 9288 E-mail:

Louise and Jonathan Abrahams and family wish the Belmont Community a Happy, Healthy and Sweet New Year

Forty Years On On September 20th 1981, Belmont Shul’s brand-new building was consecrated by the Chief Rabbi, marking the end of one chapter in the shul’s history and the start of another. I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with John Simmons (joined 1969) and Estelle and Norman Rubin (joined 1972) listening to their memories of those early days. Having a ‘proper’ shul rather than people’s houses or chilly halls was, as John said, “a pipedream until 1973 when David Freeman was appointed minister”. In February 1981, they had their first view of the building and couldn’t really believe “that it was going to be ours.” It had been a long struggle first to get a site from Harrow Council and then to get approval from the US to actually build a shul. Initially, the US refused permission for a two-storey building, resulting in a year’s delay and an additional £100,000 before granting permission for the same plans! In July 1981, the first Friday night service took place with a full Shul. Estelle remembers scrubbing the stairs until they shone! Like now, everyone mucked in and shlepping was the norm. Before the shul could open its doors every piece of furniture had to be sourced and ordered - from chairs to the bimah, mechitzahs and ark. Decisions had to be made on every detail and apparently, board meetings could get very heated! Most shuls had fixed furniture and a fixed bimah, not one that could be slid under the stage in order to change the shul into a multi -purpose hall. Norman recalls going to Woburn House to get the sefarim, yads and breast plates that we still use today. Fund raising was vital. ‘Be a brick, buy a brick’ was the slogan of one of the campaigns. There were dinner dances, jumble sales and bazaars and John introduced the Wimbledon draw! These events not only raised much needed funds but brought the community together. Young families formed friendships which have lasted until today. The Board met regularly to make many important decisions. John recalls noisy meetings in smoke filled rooms. Naturally, there were no women allowed! Belmont Shul owes so much to those first members. They set the tone, created traditions and made Belmont what it is today; a hands-on, warm, caring community. It was a real privilege to spend time with Estelle, Norman and John and I would love to hear stories about those days from other members.

Barbara Mazliah

A History of Stanmore Park Over the long period of covid restraints many Belmont members explored on foot local areas they had previously whizzed by in their cars. This includes Stanmore Park, an area of pleasant modern houses and flats, trees and Temple Pond, off the Uxbridge Road.

The Stanmore Park estate, which at its greatest extent covered land north and south of Uxbridge Road between Kenton Lane to the west and Old Church Lane to the east, was largely developed in the 18th century by the Drummond family. Part of the estate was land within the Canons estate owned from the 17th century by Sir Thomas Lake, Secretary of State to King James l.

the site of an earlier building. It was completed by William Chambers after Vardy’s death and later altered by Henry Holland. Facing north, it was situated south of what is now Uxbridge Road, at that time called Colliers Lane. In about 1800 the Drummonds bought extra land and had the road diverted into the current curving configuration.

In 1696 it became part of the dowry of Lake’s great granddaughter, Mary, on her marriage to James Brydges, later Duke of Chandos. He later developed the estate, undertaking numerous works. Among these works was the heightening of a preexisting mound to 105 metres in order to create a ‘point de vue’ from his mansion. Belmont or Bellmont was later part of the Stanmore Park estate. The estate only became to be called Stanmore Park in the 19th century, At one time it was known as Belmont. The hill is now within Stanmore golf course.

He continued to enlarge his estate until his death in 1769. Iin 1745 he bought 14 acres of meadow land and in 1749 land known as Buggs. This was one of the head tenements of the manor, whose lands had been divided earlier. In 1760 he acquired considerable holdings belonging to Joseph Taylor, when the latter died. In 1741 Drummond had been granted a licence by the Duke of Chandos to a strip of land to the east of an avenue of trees, one of a number planted by the duke on his estate. In 1763 Drummond had built a Palladian mansion on his estate designed by the architect John Vardy, probably on

The entrance piers to Stanmore Park are a reminder of the scale and grandeur of the house that once stood there and were recently restored following the redevelopment of Stanmore Park. The north piers are within the conservation area on Uxbridge Road. The south piers, which are matching, are on Gordon Avenue and both sets are Grade ll listed.

The 18th century parkland was reputedly laid out for Andrew Drummond by ‘Capability’ Brown and regarded by Humphrey Repton, who later worked here, as one of Brown’s finest works. The Drummond family continued to live at Stanmore Park into the 19th century, the last member being George Harley Drummond, who attended Harrow School but later went to Scotland. Later owners included Lady Aylesford (after whom one of the roads is named) and Lord Castlereagh. In 1840 the estate was bought by the Marquis of Abercorn, all of whose property was sold in 1848. At that time Stanmore Park had 1400 acres and the home 400 acres, being one of the largest estates in the county. It was purchased by George Carr Glyn who became the first Lord Wolverton in 1869, a banker, MP

With acknowledgements to the Stanmore Tourist Board

Andrew Drummond came from Scotland to London between 1707 and 1712. He founded Drummond’s Bank at Charing Cross. By 1729 he had bought a house Hodgkins in the parish of Stanmore, although the exact location is unknown. First recorded in 1670, this house had gardens, orchards and outbuildings. Drummond lived here with his family, members of whom were buried in the parish churchyard of St John the Evangelist, including his wife, who died in 1731 and himself.

� n � i � c e � � N�� Ye�� R

Yomim Tovim in Vienna and Edinburgh

In 1938 and 1939 Alice Hubbers celebrated the Yomim Tovim in two different capital cities, as she had come to the UK on the Kindertransport by the end of 1938. Her family, a large family of aunts and uncles and cousins, had lived in the centre of Vienna and its far suburbs. They had a ‘family’ shul on Storchengasse which all attended for the Yomim Tovim. This was located between two apartment blocks so was not a grand European shul. Alice’s parents attended throughout the year.

and chairman of the London and North-Western Railway. He was succeeded by his son, George Grenfell Glyn, also a banker and MP, and a friend of William Ewart Gladstone. In the late 1880’sHerbert Kemball Cook’s preparatory school transferred from Brighton to Stanmore Park, which was described as a “large mansion with extensive grounds off Uxbridge Road, Stanmore.” The headmaster from 1901-1929 was the former Lancashire and England cricketer Rev. Vernon Royle. The school stayed here until 1937 when it moved to Hertford following which Stanmore Park was again on the market. In 1938 the Air Ministry bought the grounds, demolished the house and aggressively destroyed many ancient and rare trees to make way for a balloon barrage unit. RAF Stanmore Park transferred from Uxbridge and later moved to Bentley Priory. After the RAF station closed in 1938, housing was built on much of the site. One building was retained for the use of 2236 Air Training Corps The building currently in use is the converted NAAFI building in William Drive.

Many of the streets were named after former occupiers of Stanmore house

Howard Napper

‘Why did the chicken cross the road?’ Well, in Alice’s household it was for kapporah – the spinning of a chicken around the head – which always heralded the New Year preparations for the household. There was no custom of dressing up in super smart clothes – possibly because people didn’t have that much money. Indeed on Yom Kippur the opposite was the tradition. Everyone dressed in rather poor clothes – you don’t repent by putting on fancy clothes., Alice remarks. Her abiding memory of Yom Kippur, which she treasures and misses to this day, is looking down from the ladies’ gallery to see all the men dressed in their white kittels, creating a special atmosphere. One other holiday memory that comes strongly to mind was Chanukah at her home in Vienna. She would wake to a plate of nuts and sweets – no presents. Alice is somewhat aghast at what children receive nowadays. She does remember one year she did get a present – a German/ English dictionary which stood her in good stead and which she has to this day. By the late Spring of 1938, when Hitler had annexed Austria, her father was sent to a concentration camp - from which he was later liberated. Before he got back, Alice was sent on the Kindertransport to London. She ended up in a boarding school on the estate of Lord Balfour, just outside Edinburgh. Here she trained to go to Palestine. Many students went to live on Kibbutz Lavi. Throughout, the war she was fortunate enough to be in touch by letter with her parents, who had made it to Shanghai. She recalls that they had no idea of what her life was really like. At the school, students were organised to a degree into the frum and non-frum for eating. There was a room, Beit Sheket (room of silence), which was used as the shul. Some of the Orthodox boys ran the services and so it was here that Alice celebrated many Yomim Tovim in a completely different atmosphere from Austria.

Alice Hubbers

After four years of planning (mostly related to selling our house), we finally boarded our Alyah flight to Israel. Leaving Edgware after 34 years was a wrench but we had been building up to it for a while. We loved our friends, our house, our garden, our pool, some neighbours (yes, even the Lerners) etc. but, with all four of our children and seven grandchildren in Israel, it was time to leave. We arrived in Israel on 12 November 2020 and have now been here for eight months. Our first two weeks were spent in quarantine. With one of our daughters living just 15 minutes from us, our fridge and cupboards were stocked to capacity. We arrived very late, were very tired so we went straight to bed and slept until about 10 am the next morning. Within about 15 minutes of waking, we were alerted to noise and excitement at the base of our flat. From our balcony we looked down on our entire family singing, dancing and making merry – adorned with the Israeli flag. They certainly made a noise which brought out the neighbours. Nobody complained as it was a joyous occasion and they understood that the group on the ground were feting our arrival. After quarantine, the first things to deal with were administrative. Things like sorting out digital ID cards, medical cover, registering with a GP and regularising our bank account. We are fortunate in that Sara is fluent in Ivrit so it made things easier but they were still not that easy. Nothing is done without an appointment so one of the first things to do is to download the MYVISIT app. This clever app allows you to book appointments with a whole range of organisations. One has to master this early on! Speaking of apps – you can’t get far without PANGO (a parking app) and BIT (a bank payment system). Having booked an appointment with the immigration ministry, off we toddled for our meeting. Firstly, we queued to enter the building. We then entered our ID into a machine and obtained a ticket number. When our turn

The whole Seeff family showed up unexpectedly to serenade us below our balcony. 13 Nov 2020

came, we spent about an hour with someone who could only be described as a ‘jobsworth’. The guy was not unpleasant but simply anal and robotic. The killer question was as follows. “Your papers say that you have been married for over 44 years, but how can we be sure that you are still married?” I kid you not. The short answer to the question is that we cannot prove that we are still married. I however insisted that all the jobsworth needed to do was come to our flat and spend a couple of hours listening to Sara nagging me. He would then be in no doubt! He would have none of it. Anyway, you can choose to believe what happened next, but it is true. They made us each hand-write a letter declaring that we were still married. It’s enough to drive one to divorce, n’est ce pas? We are impressed with the medical system. Everyone in Israel has basic cover by ‘Bituach Leumi’ – the equivalent to the UK’s NHS service. Everyone also has to join one of four health funds – these are like NHS’s within the NHS. We are members of ‘Maccabi’ which is predominant in our region. Everything they need to know about your needs to get onto

their system. This means that wherever you are in the country, if you need to see a doctor, they have instant access to your records. Digital rules the world here. We have registered with a GP – a very nice exarmy doctor – who speaks English! It seems to us that there is much greater emphasis on preventative medicine than in the UK. Also, here we pay for prescriptions – albeit subsidised - but we can’t have it all!

Ladies Discussion Group

ZOOMS ahead

Join the Belmont Ladies Discussion Group this Autumn!


This year, Sara and I both celebrated a milestone birthday. Our kids arranged surprise weekends away which were wonderful ways to spend our 70th birthdays – in Israel with our families. Tuesday mornings, 10am – 11am

You will have followed the recent elections here in Israel – those being the fourth in two years. We voted but with heavy hearts because the system stinks. There were about 30 parties (for 120 seats) and although most didn’t get past the threshold for getting any seats, some 13 parties did. This meant that, apart from the two largest parties with 30 and 17 seats respectively, the remaining 11 parties all had less than 10 seats each. It is a recipe for chaos but, as you will now know, out of that chaos has come a government. We can only hope that it lasts. No article written in the summer of 2021, from Israel, could avoid mention of the recent fighting between Israel and Gaza. Few of us are capable of explaining it all clearly. Aside from sirens on the first night, here in Netanya, we were spared the trauma. It was a little surreal – we might have been in Edgware. Anyway, let’s hope the ceasefire holds. As you can now see, we are slowly getting to grips with our new life. We have met some people and have also met up with some Brits who have made Aliyah before us. In short, we are well and doing OK. We wish the whole Belmont community Chag Sameach.

Laurence and Sara Seeff

12th October: What Was So Bad About Building a Tower? – A Closer Look at the Generation of Dispersion with Chava Wulwick, Educator & Bradfield Graduate

Zoom meeting ID: 889-4254-3400 23rd November: Service with a Smile with Rabbi Gavin Broder, London Region Jewish Chaplain

The Ladies Discussion Group has had another fantastic year. Even though we have only been able to meet up More details: Sue Broza, 020 8954 2772 / virtually, attendances have been higher than ever and the speakers who have graced us with their sessions have been interesting, engaging and inspirational. 26th October: Cheshvan – Empty of Chaggim but Full of Meaning – An In-depth Look at this Seemingly Quiet Month with Roisie Nevies, Bradfield Graduate & LLB Hons

7th December: Lessons in the Weekly Parsha with Rabbi Marc Levene, Rabbi of Belmont Shul

9th November: Pirkei Avot ctd with Karine Morris, Educator & Bradfield Graduate

Michelle Sint delighted us with a virtual tour of the British Museum, discussing five objects from different historical periods, which highlighted what was happening to the Jews in these times. There were sessions devoted to the various chagim, looking at them from different aspects and seeing what lessons could be drawn from them. For example, Chanukah and gratitude, Unmasking Purim, The Three Weeks, Trees in Tanach and Tu B’Shevat, Pesach and Why and what do we celebrate on Rosh Chodesh? Chava Wulwick treated us to a two-part programme on the Shema, one of our most basic prayers but something that has so much meaning for us to understand. Personalities were also covered, with a session on Elisha the Shunamite Woman and a fascinating look at The Seven Prophetesses. The philosophical and halachic angle of human responsibility was investigated as well. Our new programme for the Autumn starts on the 12th October after the Yamim Noraim are over. I’m delighted to report that we will be continuing our fascinating series on Pirkei Avot with Karine Morris. As the Covid situation at present is still an unknown quantity, the programme will continue over zoom, but as soon as we are allowed back into shul we will revert to meeting in person - watch this space and follow the announcements in shul and in the newsletter. Wishing you all a Shana Tovah and a happy and healthy year ahead. Looking forward to welcoming you to our group

Sue Broza

The area around Pinner is generally thought of as idyllic London suburbia. Famous for its fair, first authorized in 1336 and thought to be a regular event since the 18th century, it is situated 13 miles from Charing Cross. The Metropolitan Line came to Pinner in 1886 This two and a bit mile walk starts at Pinner Station. On Sundays park at the free car park in Chapel Lane near the park. Exit Pinner Station, turn left and walk down the hill. At the bottom, turn right onto the main road; then right into the High Street. Walking along the High Street, look out on the left for The Queen’s Head pub, which has been a public house since the days of Charles I. At the top of the street on the left, beyond the green, donated to the village in 1924, is Church Farm, one of the oldest buildings in Pinner. This was a farmhouse as late as 1906. Opposite was a butcher’s shop (now La Orient Cuisine restaurant) dating from the 1600s to the 1930s. Animals were slaughtered in the louvre roof building to the right, now a chiropodist’s. Between Church Farm and the restaurant is a house with an unusually large window, facing down the High Street. The plaque, tells you that this was a Victorian temperance tavern and tea garden called Ye Cocoa Tree. Opened in 1878 by a local lawyer, William Barber, it was popular with day trippers from London, once the railways arrived.

Loudnon memorial

Continue right into Church Lane. The church of St John The Baptist was dedicated in 1321. Look for the large and curious monument with a coffin sticking out either side - a memorial to the parents of John Claudius Loundon, known for his

eccentric imagination. Walk round the corner and you will see Pinner House, the grandest house in Pinner village; it once enjoyed beautiful views south looking out towards Harrow and is the only one of Pinner’s grand mansions to survive into this century. It is now an old people’s home. Round the next corner, you come to another group of old houses, The Grange is on the right; on the left is the cream painted Bay House, timber framed behind a Victorian façade. Now look on the right for a large property called Elmdene which faces Nower Hill Green. In the 19th century this was the home of Horatio Nelson Ward, the illegitimate daughter of Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton. She married Reverend Philip Ward and had nine children. She is buried in the cemetery in Paines Lane. Later residents of this property were the comedian Ronnie Barker and the actor David Suchet who played Poirot in the TV series. At the centre of Nower Hill Green is a memorial to the village benefactor, William Tooke, in the form of a drinking fountain. Walk past the memorial to the top of the Green and turn left then right into Wakehams Hill. At the top, where the road bends right, bear left down the track. From the gate you can sit on the seat and admire the splendid view north over Pinner Park and beyond. Up on the high ground are two of Pinner’s three surviving farms: Pinner Wood Farm and Oxhey Lane Farm. Retrace your steps down Wakehams Hill. Facing you across Moss Lane is the Fives Court, a notable Arts & Crafts house, designed at the beginning of the 20th century for Ambrose Heal of Heals furnishing store in Tottenham Court Road. Now turn right into Moss Lane and keep walking until you come to the outlying settlement of East End. There are three houses left out of the original half dozen. On the left, behind a wall, is Tudor Cottage, enhanced with an astonishing assortment of architectural antiques. Beyond is East End Farm. Here lived George III’s Poet Laureate, Henry Pye, whose poetic abilities were ridiculed, even in his own time. At the end of the farmyard is the 15th century East End farm cottage, the oldest house in Pinner, if not Middlesex. The old farmyard on the right survives virtually intact. Carry on down Moss Lane, around the corner and down the hill. At the bottom, you cross over the River Pinn. The path on the left by the letterbox leads through to Paines

Pinner House

Lane. No. 75 on the right has a blue plaque to William Heath Robinson, a resident of Pinner for some 13 years. I would recommend visiting the Heath Robinson museum in Pinner Memorial Park, dedicated to this eccentric illustrator and cartoonist. Continue walking straight until you reach the junction of Moss Lane and Paines Lane. (Moss Cottage is on your left.) Cross Paines Lane diagonally to the left into Barrow Point Lane. Where the Lane turns sharp left. Bear right through a gap in the hedge and then immediately left onto a footpath signposted Waxwell Lane. This path crosses Woodridings Brook, emerging into Waxwell Lane. Opposite is Waxwell Farm, no longer a farm, now used by the Holy Grail, a Roman Catholic organization.

East End Farm

If you wish to find the mediaeval spring, turn right. To continue the walk turn left along Waxwell Lane and look for an elegant crescent of artisan houses opposite Waxwell Close which dates from the 1920s. Turn right into The Dell, the man-made hollow in the centre, now filled with modern housing. It was created by locals digging for lime and flint. There are local mines in the area, not open to the public, which were excavated to a depth of 100ft. As you approach The Dell, keep on the left hand side, just beyond White Cottage turn left through a gate into Little Common. Follow the path through the park and turn left onto Park Road. Look for the view of the spire of Harrow Church on Harrow-on-the-Hill breaking through the trees. Carry on down the hill to the Oddfellows Arms pub at the junction with Waxwell Lane. Look for the old milestone giving the distance to London. Also worth a look are the two old cottages, Orchard Cottage and Bee Cottage, situated just around the corner.


Carry on down Bridge Street, crossing Chapel Lane to West End and West House, situated in Pinner Memorial Park. The Pinn flows to the right here and eventually joins the River Colne and then The Thames. Pinner Station, ends the walk, 100 yards ahead of you. Enjoy the walk. Hopefully, we can do this as a group at a later date.

Jeff & Evelyn Graham

Former temperance tea room

Belmonde Recipes - Vegan Variations We all have our own eating habits; I’m a committed Omnivore. But there’s increasing pressure to turn to vegetarian or vegan foods. It is useful to have a couple of suitable adaptable recipes to hand for those who follow such diets. Vegan Roast Serves eight as main course – lots of ingredients but easy to make. Freezes well. Ingredients • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, diced • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled (hate garlic; substitute a large, strongly flavoured onion) • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for greasing • 1 aubergine, diced into 1cm cubes • 8 small shallots, diced • 1 large red pepper, diced into 1cm pieces • 1 400g tin chickpeas, drained * • 125g blanched almonds, toasted ** • 125g shelled pistachios ** • 15g rosemary, leaves picked • 15g thyme, leaves picked, reserve a little for garnish • 15g parsley, leaves picked • 100g pitted green olives, roughly chopped • 60g fresh breadcrumbs* • ½ lemon, juiced • 40g pomegranate seeds, to serve *** *For Pesach, substitute 250g peeled chestnuts for the chickpeas and 60g medium matzo meal for the breadcrumbs ** Don’t like these nuts - put in the same weight of others you do like. If you think of something you can swap for nuts in case of allergies, let me know *** Pomegranate unavailable - use any attractively coloured, slightly tart, chopped fruit instead

Method 1. Preheat oven to 200°C, fan 180°C. Grease a 23cm round tin (preferably loose bottomed) with a little oil and line the base with baking paper 2. Toss the diced butternut squash with the garlic and 2 tbsp oil, spread out in a roasting tin and cook for 15-20 mins, or until soft; turn once, halfway through cooking

3. While the squash is cooking, heat a large frying pan over medium heat with 1 tbsp of oil. Add the aubergine, cook for 10-15 minutes until softened and well browned. Transfer to a large bowl 4. Add the remaining oil to the frying pan with the shallots. Cook for 5-10 mins until softened, then add the red pepper and cook for further 5 mins. Add to the bowl with aubergine 5. Transfer the cooked squash and garlic to a food processor and pulse to a chunky purée; add to the bowl with the aubergine 6. Add the drained chickpeas (or the chestnuts), almonds, pistachios (reserving a few for garnish) and herbs to the food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add to the bowl with the chopped olives, breadcrumbs (or matzo meal) and lemon juice 7. Season well and mix everything together until well combined 8. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for 50-55 mins, or until the top is golden. Allow to rest for 5 mins in the tin then loosen the edges with a knife and turn out onto a serving plate 9. Garnish with pomegranate, nuts and thyme and serve in wedges. It is good hot or cold

Apple and Honey Mousse – serves 4-6 This recipe allows you to have a ‘creamy’ dessert after a meat meal Ingredients 250g Silken Tofu (firm) – Mori-Nu is Parev and is available at Sainsbury’s 250g Apple purée 5Og well flavoured honey (if you prefer it sweeter use 35g honey and 15g sugar Method 1. Warm the apple purée and put into a large bowl with the other ingredients. Beat together until smooth. 2. Put into several small dishes or a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours Alternatives 1. Use the same quantities of tofu and a different fruit purée plus 40 to 50g sugar; put into a bowl and beat till smooth. 2. Use the same quantity of tofu, 100g of 70% dark chocolate, 150ml Oatly Whole Oat Drink and 30g sugar. Heat the milk; add the chocolate and sugar; stir until completely blended Put the tofu into a large bowl, pour on the chocolate mixture; beat until smooth Plate up and refrigerate as above 3. If you are not concerned about being vegan and prefer a lighter mousse, allow the mousse to cool, whip two egg whites until stiff; fold into the mixture and refrigerate.

Judith Simmons

This year Anya is our young person’s service leader and will be running some occasional programmes. She looks forwards to seeing lots of our young people on Shabbat mornings. Anya has belonged to Belmont shul all her life, regularly attending David Lerner’s Children’s Service as a toddler where she learnt the ropes with such favourites as What do you do on Friday night, cock-adoodle-doo? before graduating to the youth services. She had her bat mitzvah in the shul in 2017 and has helped run the services since then. Anya is a student at JFS Sixth Form College, where she is in her first year. She enjoys volunteering and, amongst other things, is proud to have raised money three times for children’s cancer charities, for which she has also cut and donated her hair for wigs. Anya is an avid reader - rarely without a novel in hand - and is a big fan of the Harry Potter series. She loves animals (especially the Berg family cat Ziggy) and enjoys listening to music and playing the violin. Her interests include photography, fashion and art and her favourite place is Israel.

In September 2021 I will be entering my third year of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Liverpool. I decided to pursue a career in veterinary due to a genuine interest in science, a compassion for animals and the opportunity to work as part of a team and with clients. Although the course requires a lot of hard work, I have loved my time on it so far and have met lovely people who share similar interests to me. In addition, Liverpool is a great city to be a student in due to its countless bars, restaurants and most importantly, its £2 pints. Corona virus has made my veterinary journey a little more challenging as I was unable to go into University for the majority of last year which is less than ideal for such a practical based course. Despite this, I was fortunate enough to go on a variety of placements to enhance my animal handling and clinical skills. One such placement included my spending three weeks at Cassiobury Farm and Fishery. As well as having farm animals, Cassiobury hosted a collection of exotic animals kept as part of breeding programmes to conserve and protect endangered species. Therefore, despite it having ‘farm’ in the name, it felt much closer to working in a zoo as I had the opportunity of working with meerkats, squirrel monkeys and zebras. These are just a few of their many exotic species. My main roles consisted of feeding, mucking out and any other physical tasks required on the farm. I also had the opportunity to see interesting veterinary cases including a kangaroo with toxoplasmosis an infectious disease caused by a parasite which left the kangaroo partially paralyzed. I played a role in the supportive treatment of the animal and learnt about the preventative measures put in place to stop the spreading of the disease. Another placement I managed to complete during last summer was a week on a dairy farm. The herd consisted of around 100 cows, so it was a relatively small farm. The cows were milked once in the morning and once in the evening and I helped by attaching the vacuum pump to the udders and moving the cows along the milking parlour. This experience taught me a lot about the dairy industry including how milk was pasteurised and distributed. In addition, I gained a better understanding of the lifecycle of a dairy cow from the point it is born to the point it is lactating. I was even fortunate enough to see a cow give birth. Other placements I have been on over the years include working at a small animal groomer, a stables, in a veterinary practice and on a lambing placement. I feel extremely fortunate to have worked with such a variety of species and these experiences will allow me to gain many skills in order to make me the best vet that I have the potential to be.

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Coronavirus messed up my plans and postponed my year abroad in Australia but, this summer, I’ve had the good luck to work at Camp Ben Frankel, a Jewish summer camp in Makanda, Illinois. I had to travel to Mexico on my way to America - a roller coaster of a journey. I am writing this article in a cabin, the AC cranked as high as possible and four 16-yearold boys playing Magic the Gathering next to my bunkbed. But it all starts with the trip to Mexico. Government restrictions prevented direct travel to the US when I was planning to leave for camp. Since I and three other Jewish students were all contracted to get to the camp by a certain date, in time for staff training, we had to go to Mexico, quarantine for two weeks and make it for camp. To get in, we had to take three flights, spanning the space of 22 hours (including sitting and waiting in airports), with a lot of coffee, exhaustion and stress filling the air. On the way out we found out that we had miscounted the days, meaning we had only been in Mexico for 13 whole days rather than the required 14 – making our quarantine invalid. Again, stress, coffee and exhaustion hit as we ran round trying to find a cheap hotel to stay in for 24 hours having been up since 4 am. This is not to say the Mexico trip was terrible and awful, quite the contrary! I have never felt more relaxed than when sitting on the beach, sipping a margarita, and watching the waves crash against the shoreline. We stayed in a beautiful resort with a stunning view out to the ocean. It is a country I would highly recommend everyone to visit and one which I would hopefully visit again. Eventually, I made it to the US, and immediately started training to become a counsellor. I knew a few people there; the Londoners I embarked on this journey with, a few Americans I worked with on the online version of camp and had kept in touch with, but the vast majority were new faces. In my staff group I knew one person, so adapting to a new

environment was a tough challenge I was forced to face from the start. However, due to the kindness and warmth this camp exhibits I fitted in straight away. The people in my staff group quickly became my family, and when we were split up after a few days to work with our new ‘bunk cocounsellors’ it was upsetting. Don’t get me wrong, the cocounsellors I got are great, and have supported me throughout all of this, so whilst it was upsetting, I wouldn’t change how things went. By the end of that week and a half of staff training, there wasn’t a single member of staff I hadn’t spoken to. They say that at camp a day is like a week, and a week is like a month. And though it sounds cliché and out of a movie, I thoroughly believe it. Finally, the kids arrived on one of the hottest days I had experienced since being away. As I touched on earlier, I was assigned to the 16-year-old boys, helping to run the LIT (Leadership in Training) and CIT (Counsellor in Training) programmes. This was not at my request, far from it actually - I asked for the 11-year-old boys. But as you will read, or even if you approach me and ask me, I would lead these boys again in a heartbeat. I taught them how to run programmes, respect authority, and effectively schedule, amongst other things (which my parents would be shocked at as I portray none of these qualities at home). But actually because of the life lessons they taught me, I have been able to pass them on in the training I have given to these kids. And very much so now as we get to the end of camp. My job has gone from teaching to watching. I have seen my kids run activities for all age groups, whether it was a sports activities for people their own age, or - which I am immensely proud of - run the entire colour war day. They were up until 11 pm decorating, creating chants and setting up for the day. Then they woke me and the other counsellors up at the crack of dawn to keep going. They led chants, activities and made every kid there have a smile on their face! For someone who had been drilling into them how important planning and energy was, it filled me with pride to watch it pan out as amazingly as it did. I know a lot of you may be reading this thinking, ‘Why isn’t he talking about his experiences’, or ‘What has he been doing?’ but the truth is that my experience this summer has been made by the people I have been around. It was made by my friends who went to Mexico with me, with the staff that I trained with and leant on every day, and most of all the kids I have watched become adults. It’s been a summer I wouldn’t forget, and one which I would love to relive. ¶

Holocaust Learning UK

Out of the Darkness

‘So what on earth do we do now?’ was the challenge for Holocaust Learning UK in March 2020 when lockdown commenced and the realisation dawned that they were not going to be able to hold in-person events for 2021. Since 2001, annual Holocaust Memorial Day Events attended by school students from school years 8 – 13 had been hosted at nine synagogues, including Belmont. By 2020, over 35,000 students from approximately 50 local schools had attended these. Students had had the opportunity to hear the testimony of a Holocaust Survivor (or close family member), meet a rabbi, take part in bespoke workshops run by trained facilitators (including several from the Belmont community), enjoy refreshments, and participate in a quiet candle lighting ceremony at the close of the session. They learned about the Holocaust and subsequent genocides and were urged to play their part in the fight against discrimination, intolerance and bullying to build a better, safer future for all. For some schools, this visit had become an important fixture in their calendar. Holocaust Learning UK felt they had to do something, or risk le�ng everyone down – including themselves. They decided to make a film…. something of an ambi�ous project in the face of a pandemic! The film had to convey the aims of Holocaust Learning UK, the experien�al impact of the live Events, the curriculum needs of teachers and it needed to be appropriate for streaming both

within schools and into the homes of students during lockdown and isola�on. Holocaust Survivor Janine Webber took part. A cast of student actors was selected. Broadley Studios in Marylebone generously gave their studio space and �me. Jason Isaacs was the Docufilm narrator, subsequently crea�ng an unan�cipated, and somewhat incongruous flurry of interest from fans of the Harry Po�er films! In October 2020, the completely original and newly commissioned Docufilm Out of the Darkness was ready to go and was launched to schools for screening from 1st February to 31st May 2021. By the close of the Screening Window, 275 schools from all over the UK and beyond were signed up to view Out of the Darkness. Feedback from Holocaust Educators, teachers, students, Holocaust Learning UK supporters and volunteers, and even from documentary film makers was extraordinary. The Docufilm proved to be engaging for students and it worked for teachers. Out of the Darkness delivered on its promise and has been a resounding success.

Janine Webber

Holocaust Learning UK

Wishing the Belmont community a happy and healthy New Year. We offer bespoke legal services for private, high-net-worth individuals, families, trustees and family offices. Providing bespoke solutions that suit you and your family, we ensure the upmost discretion and professionalism. For more information, please contact Marc Selby: | +44 (0)20 7842 8000.


Barbara, David, Grandma Norma, Dov, Miriam, Ariella, Orly, Shoshy, Aron, Zippy, Daniel, Eliyahu, Aryeh, Ruchi and Moshe all say


Rochelle & Maxwell Nisner together with Lauren,Neil, Orly, Zev & Eden Hamburger, Elissa, Adam, Annabelle, Blake & Olivia Benjamin, and Philippa, Rob & Mya Rosenberg wish all at Belmont Shul a healthy, happy and prosperous 5782.

Struggling to cope is more normal than you think. Uncertainty and isolation can cause any of us to experience feelings of distress or anxiety. Whatever you are going through, you don’t have to face it alone.

I f you need support or are supporting someone who needs help, contact Jami. or call 020 8458 2223

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CST wishes our community a

peaceful, healthy & safe New Year

This Rosh Hashanah, we will hope and pray for a

Demonstrations have included Jihadi battle cries

better year ahead, one in which we are able to

against Jews.

lead our Jewish lives to the full. In recent months, CST has given numerous The volunteers and staff of CST, Community

reports to the police that have led to arrests and

Security Trust, will do everything that we can to

prosecutions for antisemitic behaviour. This was

help ensure that antisemitism does not interfere

partly due to information reported to us from

with our Jewish lives. We do this all year, every

Jewish members of the public, as well as our own

year. We do it with your help and cooperation.

specialist research work. This is the side of CST’s

We thank you.

protection that goes largely unseen, whereas our physical security is much more obvious.

This May, when Israel was at war, many British Jews saw the sad extent to which antisemitism is still

Both sides of CST’s work depend upon you

a problem. This Jew-hatred changes over time,

playing your part: the security and the research.

but it never disappears. It did not end with the

So please, keep reporting antisemitism to CST

Holocaust, nor with the creation of Israel: and this

and keep supporting us in our security work.

is why CST still does its work, in close partnership

We will continue to always work in partnership

with shuls, schools and Jewish organisations

with our shuls and communities.

throughout the country. May all of you and your families and friends The antisemitism came in many forms.

have a sweet new year.

Schoolchildren and university students felt it from those they had thought were their friends. Cars bearing Palestinian flags were aggressively driven through Jewish neighbourhoods, with drivers and passengers shouting abuse at people in the street.

Mark Gardner, Chief Executive, CST

Community Security Trust


National Emergency Number (24-hour) 0800 032 3263 London (Head Off ice) 020 8457 9999

Manchester (Northern Regional Off ice) 0161 792 6666 Community Security Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (1042391) and Scotland (SC043612)

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