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OUR NEW ROSH BETH DIN T h e Federation of Synagogues has appointed Rabbi Yisroel Yaakov Lichtenstein, aged 34, an expert in Kashrut as Rosh Beth Din.

“v tsc a n HAMAOR JO U R N A L OF THE F E D E R A T IO N OF SYN AG O GU ES

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ROSH HASHANA

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Dayan Lichtenstein has, for the past five years, been working in Israel. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, he later attended the Boston Lubavitch Yeshiva until he was Barmitzvah. He then went to the Mirrer Yeshiva High School, New York; to the Beth HaTalmud, and the Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, both in New York, and to the Beth Medrash Govoha, Lakewood, New Jersey. Dayan Lichtenstein also studied at the Brisk and Mir Yeshivot in Israel and was ordained as a Rav at Mir Yeshiva in 1987. He was also ordained by Rabbi Mordechai Savitsky of Boston; by Rabbi Moses Halbershtam, and by the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Rabbi Yitzhok Kolitz. He obtained his BA degree from the State University of New York. His father. Rabbi

Dayan Fisher's 50 Years of Service to Anglo-Jewry is Honoured J hu- 5? . r arSJ° f se.rvice t0 the Anglo-Jewish community by Dayan Michael Fisher, Rav Rash! of the Federation of Synagogues, were celebrated by the British Friends of the Ariel Umted Institutions which incorporate the Harry Fischel Institute, Jerusalem, by a Jubilee Dinner in his honour.

It took place under the chairmanship of Mr Erwin Landau, at the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London, on July 10.

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Ariel trains Dayonim and Rabbonim and also has a Torah research department. The dinner raised some £40,000 which will help launch the third volume, (Laws of Tes­ timony), in Dayan Fisher's name, of Halacha Pesuka, which is expected to be ready for publication early in 1990. The dinner was attended by some 200 people including representatives of all shades of the Orthodox community; world Rabbinical scholarship and religious

Zionism.

Greetings were extended on behalf of Israel by the Israeli Ambassador, Mr Yehuda Avner and addresses were given by the Chief Rabbi, Lord Jakobovits and by the Chief Rabbi of Haifa, Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen who is President of Ariel United Israel Institutes. The hosts were Mr and Mrs S. Steinbock.'

Chief Rabbi Jakobovits paid tribute to Dayan Fisher's long career in Rabbonus and said he was one of the last living links with the East European Yeshivot lost in the Holocaust. Chief Rabbi Cohen said that Dayan Fisher had given shiurim at the Harry Fischel Insti­ tute, and praised him for his work. In response, Dayan Fisher stressed that the Federation of Synagogues was the first to open its doors to him when he arrived in Bri­ tain as a homeless refugee. He had never dreamt that he would ever sit at a table with a Rabbi honoured as a Lord and with the Ambassador of a Jewish State. Thanks were expressed to the speakers by Mr M. Klausner.

A MASTER OF TORAH LEARNING In a tribute to him in the dinner brochure, Rabbi M. Frydman, a Vice-President of the Federation of Synagogues, described Dayan Fisher as "a master of Torah learning whose deep knowledge of the labyrinths of the Tal­ mud and its commentaries enables his stu­ dents to unravel the most difficult argu­ ments." Born in Grodno, Dayan Michael Fisher studied at a number of Yeshivot, including Radin, Kamenetz and Mir. He came to this country in August, 1937.

HIS SCHOLARSHIP Dayan Fisher's scholarship is well-known, not only in England through his shiurim and lectures to the community, but far beyond these shores.

. . . . . _ S ™ L chtenstem' n° w retlred' was Rav of the Chelsea community near Boston. Dayan Lichtenstein has been teaching Halacha and Jewish Philosophy in the B'nos Torah Institute, Jerusalem and has also been working as an instructor in Talmud in Yeshivas Or Dovid, Jerusalem.

MRS. RITA LEDERMAN SHE WILL BE GREATLY MISSED

T h e death in June, after a short illness, of Mrs Rita Lederman, the beloved wife of our President, Mr. Morris Lederman, has brought great sadness to many people in our own community; in the wider circles of Anglo-Jewry and to her numerous friends. Dayan Michael Fisher, the Emeritus Rav Rashi of the Federation, writes: "She will be remembered by us all, for her lady-like manner, her sense of fairness, her courtesy, tolerance and good sense. She was emi­ nently fitted for the role of the First Lady of the Federation of Synagogues, not only because of her family background, but also because of her desire to be of service to the community. "She combined a very warm humanity with tough practicability and was always ready and quick to offer sympathy and practical help to anyone in need. Whatever cause she took up, she carried through with dedication and untiring effort. "Married for over half-a-century to a very busy distinguished communal leader, our President, her's was not the easiest path to tread. In all the most anxious moments of her husband's leadership she stood loyally and unwaveringly at his side, and whatever the pressures, her kind and generous demeanor never deserted her. She will be greatly missed".


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Leadership in

Jewish World by RABBI M.l. FRVDMAN

here is a great crisis in the leadership of the Jewish world everywhere. A Talmudic saying is that Noah was crowned with the title "righteous" only in relation to his generation, hut were he to have lived in the generation of the Pat­ riarch Abraham, he would not have been called righteous.

No Shepherd The lewish people have reached a stage in this present time when they are leader­ less as sheep without a shepherd. At the time of the 19th century the Rabbinic authorities of the Jewish community were relied upon to guide, instruct and consult with the lay leader of every large city or hamlet; regional councils were called upon to represent them in matters affecting the lewish population under whose Govern­ ment they lived. There were famous Rahhonim in Eastern Europe who embarked upon a campaign of going on aliya to the land of Israel. Some communities travelled with their Rabbis to Jerusalem, Petach Tivkah and S'fad, engaging in agriculture. The World Zionist Movement, when created, revolutionised the old and the new generations. The inspiration of the then leadership fired the imagination of the lewish people. Secular and religious Jews joinc*d hands in this great venture of return­ ing to the land of their ancestors. Zionism did not deny the fundamentals of Judaism; secularists accepted the idea of historical development of the specific Torah culture and its spiritual values.

Great Scholars

It is true that Socialism and even Com­ munism attracted some young people to their ranks, but the dominant ideology was Zionism in all its forms. We have now, however, reached a tragic situation. At the last (31st) Zionist Congress which I attended, there was a feeling of gloom. The majority of delegates were con­ fused and uneducated about the aims of Zionism. There was ignorance of Jewish val­ ues, Jewish history and the whole spec trum of ludaism. The bulk of them were not even interested in aliya. The dominant discussion was pluralism; that is trying to find a way to discard the burden of traditional ludaism. Neither the leadership of the Congress nor the dele­ gates had a message to convey to the lewish people to stir them to greater effort during the next five years until the 32nd Congress. There was no call to the lewish masses concerning our right to Israel or urging the Jewish people to increased aliya. There was an emptiness. The Congress made no impact on the delegates. The dele­ gates did not expect anything more as they were not brought up in the tradition of our great heritage.

Unbridgeable Gap Unfortunately, every lewish institution, whether it is the World lewish Congress or local national institutions are without dedi­ cated knowledgeable lews who can give directions to their followers. There is, however, a totally different sec­ tion of lews who are unswervingly commit­ ted to the observance of Torah and its com­ mandments. The gap is unbridgeable between the two, and there is a great danger of a total split between them.

The Orthodox community will never for­ sake the Torah because the Torah kept the lewish people on the right path throughout history. The other section must take note that they should not try to introduce pluralism in the life of Israel society, which can have disastrous consequences for the unity of the Jewish nation. • Rabbi Frydman is a Vice-President of the Fed eration of Synagogues.

The lay leaders of the Zionist Movement were scholars of great repute. They were almost without exception imbued with love for lewish learning and general secular knowledge. They had great respect and admiration for Torah scholarship and espe­ cially for famous Rabbis. It is true they were far from being observant Jews, but were proud of religious values. The poets and writers inspired the lewish people with a love of the land and a sense of their belief that the land of Israel is their's for ever. No Zionist ever felt any doubt as to the rightful ownership of the lewish People to the entire biblical borders of Israel. Even Arabs in the 19th century never dis­ puted the right of the lewish people to biblical Israel, as is recorded in the old documents of the settlers in the early part of the 19th century. the Zionist C ongresses of the early days were an inspiration to the lewish people. They were the talk of the stcthch the stiblach and the Synagogues. Jews lived with great hope and expectations and the young people organised themselves in groups whose aims were aliya.

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AUTHORITY AND FREE ENQUIRY IN JUDAISM ________________________ - by BRUNO MARMORSTEIN

In studying some re*c e*nt cases befori* the ( ourts with a Jewish legal content, I became intrigued by the* idea as to how a single Rabbi, albeit of great authority, c ould alter Jewish law, with the apparent approval of the communities involved. fhe particular dec ree I had in mind was the famous one of Rabbi Uershom of Mayence in about 1,000 C.E. by which polygamy was interdicted for the* Jewish communities of the* West. The more I examined this, the more I bee ame aware of the paradox as to how a people so indi­ vidualist in character and so critical of authority of all kinds (desc ribed by one his­ torian as "The Eternal Protestants of His­ tory" and by another as "faithful rebels") should have* been c ontent to ac c ept, for the most part without question, the authority of the Rabbis. there c an be no question of the* c laim of the* Jew to be, generally speaking, opposed to established conventions. His very posi­ tion as a minority makes this inevitable arid the Jewish people outside Israel have always been a minority. There is no people whic h lias a nobler rec orcJ of cJc'few e of its ideals and of defiance of despotic power, the Jew is also a formidable c hallenger of the accepted ideas of each age*. He* is the* great shatterer of idols, from the* time of Abraham, who utterly rejec ted the* idolatry of current paganism, right through to mod­ ern limes, the Jewish voic e lias often been a lone voice c rying out in the wilderness; a voice* of eternal protest against the* false* ideologies and popular state-supported myths of every c entury and c lime.

TAME ACCEPTANCE At first sight, therefore, it seems inc re*dible* that a people so critical of the* preten­ sions of authority in the political and intel­ lect tual realm, and with sue h a t apae ity for re*sistanc e, should have* so tamely ac c e*ple*d authority in tTie* spiritual and religious sphere. The*y we*re* not, of c ourse*, entirely unc ritic al, and lhe*re* we*re* a of breakaway movements. Pharisaism itsedf was in a se*nse* a break away move*rne*nl from the* Sadducean cult, the* Karaites broke* away from the* Rabbaniles, In more re*c e*nt tirne*s, the* sc hool of HassicJisrn represented a re*at lion against more* formal orthodoxy, and in I fie* last c entury we* have* se*e*n ttie* growth of Reform and I ibe*ral Judaism as secessionist move*me*nts, by way of challenge to the* Judaism of tradition. Rut traditional Judaism has itse*lf ne*ve*r or rarely be*e*n so absolutist or monolithic in c harae ter as c ompletely to resist development and adjustment. It has, in fact, c ontained within itse*lf the* se*e*cJs of its own

growth and adaptation, there is notic c ablein contemporary thought, a curiously biased view as to the* sort of people the* early Rabbis were*. They are* thought of gen­ e-rally as pe*tty legalists with no understand­ ing of the true* ruttun- of their faith or its rele-vance to the* human scene*, de-void of compassion with human frailty. Many areunder the* impression that Judaism stopped dead iri its tracks, c rystallisecJ as it were* in the* first ce*ritury of the* <urrcnl era when it is alleged to have* be*e*n supe*rse*cJe*d by a dominant faith.

THE THREE ESSENTIALS Unfortunately, the* gre*at work of sc holars on I fie* ( hristian side*, such as Ueorge foot Moore*, frave*rs HerforcJ and Hl*rbe*rt Handy and, on the* Je*wish side*, Adolph Buc filer, Claude Montefiore, He*rbe*rt I oe*we, and if I may mention my re*ve*re*d father Arthur Marmorstein, has be-e-n largely forgotten. In fact, however, the structure of Orthodox Judaism is not, as is often re*pre*se*rite*cJ, a syste*rn of re*pre*ssive* legislation. Built into the* system is a me*ans of c onstant adjustment and adaptation. I his built-in rrn-c hanism of amendment is c ontaine*d in a passage* in the* Book of Deuteronomy (17,

8-IT) which instructs Israel to abide by their Holy law s as expounded and inter­ preted by their sages. It would appear that there arc- only three essential pre-re*quisite*s of belief for an Orthodox Jew. One* is the existence and unity of Cod. The second, the* belief in a future life*. Tfie- third is that our law as contained in the Pentateuch and as expounded by recognised authorities is Divine* I aw and is, in fac t and in truth, thewcircJ of the* living God. It may be* that in the*se three spheres, free- enquiry has to be* somewhat guarded and restric ted, but in all other domains there has been throughout our history the* wide*st range* of investigatiori, dialogue and c confrontation imagina­ ble. It must be appre*c iated that, side by side* with the* writte-n law, there has existed an oral law, this oral law being the method by whic h the* written law is to be* interpreted and thus understood. The written law in its simplest and most sublime form is c ontain ed in the Ten Commandments and more* c ompreherisively in the* five* Books the* Pentateuc h and partie ularly in the* last of ttie* five*, the* Book of Deuteronomy. But there are* many contemporary instanc es both of interpretation of the* written word arid also of an oral tradition dating prior to the* Giving of ttie* I aw on Mount Sinai.


As a result of the in-built mechanism of adaptation contained in Deuteronomy, there have been some remarkable develop­ ments. The Torah permitted, but of course did not enjoin slavery. Today, it would be unthinkable for the most Orthodox Rabbi to allow it. In ancient times, the sale or purchase of freehold land in Israel was pro­ hibited; only leases within a 50-year cycle being permitted. Today, in modern Israel, the outright sale of land is common-place. The institution of the Levirate marriage has been largely transformed, jewish law imposes an obligation on a man to marry the childless wife of his deceased brother. Today we discourage him to the point of forbidding such a marriage. Other instances may be cited, such as the law relating to the wife suspected of adultery, the law relating to the remission of debts and the regulations permitting the giving of financial credit, as well as relaxation of laws of evidence to enable a deserted wife or presumed widow to remarry. It is true that sometimes the Rabbis seem more discreet than valorous, but it cannot be over-emphasised that a Court of Rabbis, although masters of the law in one sense, are also servants of the law. In the last analysis, as has been said, "the community of those who keep the Law is the informal Supreme Court of Judaism - they decide, without casting ballots or taking polls, who are the jurists with the power of making decrees and what decrees are within the spirit of the Law".

That Judaism should be a live and live­ able faith is clearly of inestimable impor­ tance. Moses, our teacher, said: "These are the laws by which you shall live"; from which the Talmud derived the principle that interpretation must never be so strict as to render the law beyond the power of the people to observe and uphold it. Deciding how far one can go in lenient interpretation is part of the present crisis in modern Orthodoxy. If it is asked whether there are any limits to free enquiry in Judaism, apart from arti­ cles of faith where enquiry is not so much forbidden as discouraged because of its futility, there would seem to be no limits. Teachers of Judaism in the past, opposed and some Orthodox Rabbis still today oppose the study of secular wisdom for fear it might upset the spiritual equilibrium of the Jew. Such a view mav be disre­ garded. There is overwhelming authority for the view that whilst the study of our Holy Law is our highest duty, the pursuit of knowledge and the culture of the mind are also important - albeit subsidiary - religi­ ous duties. But the Rabbis were also aware of the limitation of the human intellect. There must always be a region we cannot enter, some barriers we are impotent to break. Where we have no certain knowledge we must rely on a sure faith and, indeed, in everyday life we constantly do this. Judaism says to free enquiry: Go where it pleases you. Cultivate your own vineyard and the vineyards of the world. But be mindful of human weakness and frailty. Remember that the laws that have been given to us are not human laws, and that

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our minds, being human, are therefore finite and not necessarily capable of under­ standing the reasons behind Divine legisla­ tion. Our religion does not demand of us that we believe anything repugnant to our reason, but it does ask us to accept certain great truths as an act of faith if we find after effort, that we cannot grasp these truths as the result of intellectual convic­ tion alone.

THE PRESIDENT AND HONORARY OFFICERS OFTHE FEDERATION OF SYNAGOGUES EXTEND BEST WISHES TO THE EMERITUS RAVRASHI. DAYANIM. MEMBERS. STAFF. FRIENDS AND THEIR FAMILIES AND TO KLAL YISROEL FOR

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If you wish Israel and Jew ish Organisations to benefit by your Will, why not consult us? We have a special knowledge of the problems and needs of Jewish clients, and can help you or your Solicitor to carry out your intentions. For further information and advice, without obligation and free of charge, please apply to the Director/Manager Mr H. Rothman

K.K.L. E X E C U T O R & T R U S T E E CO. LTD., Harold Poster House, Kingsbury Circle, London, NW9 9SP. #

Telephone: 01-204 9911, Ext. 36

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NOTICE TO THE JEWISH PUBLIC Federation of Synagogues

LONDON KASHRUS BOARD Enquiries: Secretary, Morris Lederman House, 9 â&#x20AC;&#x201D;11 Greatorex Street, E.1. Telephone 01-247 4471 The following establishm ents are licen sed b y the London Kashrus Board and are under the su p ervision o f the Beth Din o f the Federation o f Syn a g o g u es: TEL.N O S.

RESTAURAN TS AND SHOPS

Aviv Restaurant 952 2482

87 High Street, Edgware

M. Bloom (Kosher) & Son Ltd 247 6835 455 1338

90 Whitechapel High Street, E1 130 Golders Green Road, NW11

*KosherLuncheon Club 247 0039

Kasler Hall, Greatorex Street, London E1

*Pizza Pitta 455 8921

119 Golders Green Road, London NW11

Reuben's Deli-Restaurant 486 7079

20a Baker Street, London W1

Steve's Delicatessen 958 7340

228 Station Road, Edgware

Steve's Kosher Kitchen 958 9446

5 Canons Corner, Stanmore CATERERS

Bournemouth Banqueting Co. Ltd 0202 27636

Glencairn Manor Hotel, Manor Road, Bournemouth

*Conmore Caterers

(Day) 247 0039 (Eve) 554 7375

67 Beehive Lane, Ilford, Essex

Mr David's Choice Banquets 50 Gordon Avenue, Stanm ore, M iddlesexx HA7 3QH

954 6227

Grosvenor Rooms Ltd 92 Walm Lane, London NW2

Kenneth Arfin Banqueting (Selfridges Hotel) Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London W1 Prince Regent Kosher Catering Ltd

451 0066 0202 24524/765910 499 6321

Prince Regent Rooms, Manor Road, Woodford Green, Essex

504 7635

Regal Caterers 57 Shenley Avenue, Ruislip Manor, M iddlesex HA4 6BT

71 32934

Samuel Caterers 'Chanticleer', Paxton Road, Tottenham, London N17

808 9794/5

* P A R E V A N D M IL K O N L Y

MANUFACTURERS (only when bearing the label of London Kashrus Board) Eliko Food Distributors (Cheese) Unit D, Ashley Works, Ashley Road, London N17 9LJ

801 4311

HOTELS

Golders Green Hotel 147/149 Golders Green Road, London NW11

458 7127

Glencairn Manor Hotel Manor Road, Bournemouth, Dorset

0202 27636

Golders Green Guest House 7 North End Road, London NW11

455 8594


JEWS IN ISLA M IC LA N D S If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning... if I set thee not above my chiefest joy," was the historic phrase uttered by Dr. Theodor Herzl, the founder of the modern Zionist Movement in 1897 when he convened the First World Zionist Congress in Basle and issued a clar­ ion call to the Jewish people to work towards the restoration of Jewish sovereignty in its ancient homeland, Israel.

Captives This sentence is from Psalm 137 sung by the Jews carried captive to Babylon after the destruction of the First Temple in 587 B.C.E. Babylon's site is about 50 miles away from where Baghdad is, today, as the capital of Iraq, in which country, a Jewish community has been settled for 2,500 years. The final curtain was rung on its appearance on the Middle East stage on January 27, 1969 when nine innocent Jews were publicly hanged in Baghdad's so-called Liberation Square, wrongly accused of "spying for Israel". It was this atrocity which focussed world attention on the plight of Jews in Islamic lands in which over a million Jews lived until the outbreak of the Second World War, in 1939. It is worthwhile to note three aspects of this subject. Firstly, to learn about the pre­ sent situation of Jewish communities in the Middle East, and North Africa; secondly, to view briefly their historical background, and, thirdly, to outline steps to be taken on their behalf. The position of the 3,500 Jews in Syria giver cause for much concern. They are not allowed to leave Syria in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which Syria is a signatory. In Damascus, the capital, they are housed near Palestinian Arab refugees and become the innocent vic­ tims of their rage whenever tension or con­ flict occurs between Syria and Israel.

by Percy S. Gourgey

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dent Assad, that some Syrian Jewish girls were permitted to leave to marry members of the Syrian Jewish community in New York. Every year, Shabath Zachor is desig­ nated Syrian Jewry Shabbat to recall their plight. Constant pressure is required to achieve an alleviation of it. Since the Gulf War between Iraq and Iran began in 1980, very few Jews have been allowed to leave those two countries. In Baghdad and Basra today there are no more than 300 elderly Jews who are affected by the Iranian missiles descending on those cities from time to time. In Iran, where the position of the 30,000 Jews began to deteriorate with the abdication of the Shah and the advent of the Khomeini fundamen­ talist regime in 1979, scores were thrown into jail and about a dozen executed.

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rep*1 On 24 w rwP w rT accused of "corrupting the earth" and "spy­ ing for Israel". Prominent among them was their outstanding leader, Habib Elkhanian, w ho was given the travesty of a trial lasting an hour and then hanged with no defence

TH E FEDERATION OF SYNAGOGUES DERASHOT IN HALAC'HAH AND AGGADAH W ILL BE D E LIV E R ED ON SHABBATSHUVA, SEPTEM BER 17, AS FOLLOWS: Davan G. Lopian YESHURUN SYNAGOGUE

Fcrnhurst Gardens, Edgware

Before Mincha

Dayan C. D. kaplin SHOMRF1 IIADATH SYWGOG1 F

527 Finchley Road. NW3

After Mincha

Rabbi B. Blau STAMFORD HILL BETH HAMKDRASH

Lampard Grove. Nib

Before Mincha

Rabbi A. F. Herling F AST LONDON CEN I K \L SYNAGOGUE

Nelson Street. E l

After Mincha

Rabbi Z. Telsner

Jewish Girls Murdered •h

In 1974, shortly after the Syrian defeat in the Yom Kippur War of the previous year, the bodies of four young Syrian Jewish girls were found on the border bewteen Syria and Lebanon. They were caught trying to escape illegally, tortured and killed. Syrian Jews have been subjected to much disc rimination with their passports bearing a special stamp, the word "mussawi", meaning of the Mosaic faith, they are not allowed to com­ municate freely with their relatives abroad, and they are under constant police surveil­ lance. In recent months, nine Syrian Jews have been tortured and thrown into jail. Some years ago, the lews of Arab Lands Committee of the Z.F., which committee I chaired, presented a petition to Dr Kurt Waldheim, then Secretary-General of the U.N., appealing to him to use his good offices with the Syrian Government to allow them to leave the country. He told me that he would do what he could but no positive results were forthcoming. It was only when U.S. President Carter interceded with Presi-

FINCHLEY CENTRAL SYNAGOGt F

Rcdbourne Avenue. N3

After Mincha

ILFORD FEDERATION SYNAGOGUE

Coventry Road, Ilford

After Mincha

Rev L. Mockton WALTHAM FOREST HEBREW CONGREGATION

Boundary Road. EI7

Before Musaf

Rabbi M L. Flax SINAI SYNAGOGUE

Woodstock Avenue. NWII

After Mincha

Rabbi A. Greenberg \\ FST II \( k \ F \ S\ N \GOGl F

Am hurst Road, ES

Alter Mincha

Rev. L. Gayer FI FI DGATF STREET GREAT S t NAGOGt F

Fieldgate Street, E l

(Rosh Hashanuh)

Rev. H. Daviest CLAIM ON ELDER V1TON SN NAGOGUE

47 Lea Bridge Road. E5

Before Musaf

Rev. M. Gingold WOONN ICH \ DISTKIC I SN NAGOGUE

Angelsea Road, SE27

Before Musaf

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JEWS IN ISLAMIC LANDS lawyer appointed to present his case. Before the Shah left Iran, in January of that year, he advised Jews to leave, and a number fortunately took his advice. With the intensification of the Iran-lraq war, in which over a million Muslims have been kil­ led on both sides, the attention of the authorities has been diverted from the Jewish community, but they are still very worried about their situation. nother community which causes great anxiety is the plight of the tiny Lebanese Jewish community, over 13 of whom have been taken hostage by rival militia gangs in Beirut. One in particular, called the "Organi­ sation of the Oppressed on Earth", has reportedly killed nine of them, returning only three bodies for burial by their families. On 24 July, 1987, Joseph Mizrahi, acting President of the Lebanese Jewish commun­ ity, issued an appeal to the U.N. SecretaryGeneral urging him "in the name of the most elementary of human rights; in the name of the once prosperous and numerous Lebanese Jewish community; in the name of humanity" to use his good offices to help the Jewish community recover the bodies of the murdered Jews so that they could be buried in accordance with traditional Jewish customs. A recent article by "The Times" corres­ pondent in Beirut, "Nightmare of Kidnap­ ped Jews in Beirut", has on a rare occasion by the press, drawn attention to the plight of Lebanese Jews. Four years ago a number of them were kidnapped, since when nine

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have been killed. The first was Raoul Miz­ rahi, a member of an old Lebanese Jewish family. Others killed included Haim Cohen, Professor Isaac Farrab, Abraham Benisti and Dr. Elie Hallak, and possibly Isaac Sassoon the head of the community. While the media say so much about the American and British hostages - and rightly so - nothing is said about the remaining Jewish hostages including Salim Jammous, the SecretaryGeneral of the Lebanese Jewish community, who was kidnapped near the Synagogue in West Beirut on 15 August, 1984. The Organisation for the Oppressed on Earth includes Palestinian Arabs as well as Lebanese Shi'ites, according to Mrs. Hallak, widow of Dr. Hallak, because they referred to "Israel's criminal operations in South Lebanon."

Hostages International humanitarian and world Jewish organisations should take up the case of the Lebanese Jewish hostages. The treatment meted out to them and other hos­ tages indicates the barbaric nature of Israel's neighbouring States and the difficulty of coming to terms with them. When the Israeli Army went into Lebanon in 1982 to remove the terrorists' bases which were used to launch attacks on Israel's northern settle­ ments and towns, I wrote to Prime Minister Begin, as I was Chairman of the Jews of Arab Lands Committee, to get all the Jews out of Beirut, then under Israeli Army con­ trol. He replied that they were free to leave and many took his advice. Others believed that they could weather the storm and main­ tain their centuries-old businesses. The

same arguments were tragically used by Jews in Eastern and Central Europe before Hitler's Holocaust , and by the Jews of Iran and Ethiopia in recent years. t is to be hoped that with the prospect of the Gulf War ending soon, the 30,000 Jews of Iran will take any opportunity of emigrat­ ing, as should the 300 Jews in Iraq, to lands of safety. n Morocco today there are about 25,000 Jews who live in safety and prosperity because of the tolerant attitude of King Hassan II and his Government and people. King Hassan follows the example of his father, (King Mohamed V, who won independence from France in 1956), and is a known mod­ erate who recently met Foreign Minister Shi­ mon Peres to discuss a peaceful settlement of the Israel-Arab conflict. However, two abortive attempts were made on the life of King Hassan and efforts are being made to persuade the Moroccan Jews to make arrangements to quit the country in case the regime turns unfriendly. In Egypt, the 200 elderly Jews are per­ fectly free from any difficulties especially since the Peace Treaty with Israel in 1979. Recently, news has been received of about 1500 to 4000 Jews in North Yemen living in conditions of difficulty. It was thought that the whole community had mig­ rated to Israel in the early fifties: In a brief review of the historical background of the Jewish communities in the Middle East, it may be observed that they have a record of settlement and indeed


JEWS IN ISLAMIC LANDS sovereignty in the area, long predating that of the Arabs, beginning with the destruction of the First Temple in 587 B.C.E. and the deportation of the Jews to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar as mentioned in the Bible. This community maintained an unbroken sojourn of 2,500 years in that land and nota­ ble landmarks in its history are the return to Jerusalem following the Cyrus Declaration of 538 B.C.E. (comparable to the Balfour Declaration of the early part of the 20th cen­ tury); the subsequent return from Babylon under Ezra and Nehemia; the birth of Hillel the Great in Babylon whence he journeyed to Jerusalem; the compilation of the authorative Babylonian Talmud; the King­ dom of Mehoza in the fifth century C .E .; the setting up of the academies of Sura, Pumbeditha and Nehardea; the period of the Gaonates and the Exilarchs; and the Hachamim during the Ottoman Turkish Empire from the 15th century until the First World War. In Egypt, Alexandria was the capital of the then Diaspora at the time of the Second Temple (comparable to New York today) and later Cairo was the home of the incomparable Moses Maimonides. It is important to note that there were three Jewish States in the Middle East region (outside of Israel). They were Mehoza, in Mesopatamia (or Iraq) in the 5th century C.E. ruled over by Mar Zutra II; the Jewish Kingdom of Himyar in the Yemen from the 4th to the 6th century C .E .; and the King­ dom of the Berber Queen, Daha-al-Kahina

in the 7th century. All these kingdoms pre­ vailed before the rise of Islam in the 7th cen­ tury following the message of Mohammed and the Quran, accepted by the Arabs, who at the time lived in what is today Saudi Arabia. They burst out of this country to other parts of the Middle East to carry the message of Islam, and the Berber Jewish Kingdom fell before the invading Arab armies. Historically speaking, it is the Arabs who are the invaders in the Middle East compared to the long Jewish settlement there - contrary to Arab propaganda today that the Jews are like the European invaders and colonialists in the region!

Dhimmi In the Quran, Jews are in the category of Dhimmi, i.e. having “protected" if inferior status, like the Christians, as being members adherents of a monotheistic faith preceding the rise of Islam which converted to its new religion the Arabs who had previously been idol-worshippers. Arab propaganda today does not refer to this status accorded to Christians, because it is inexpedient to do so, given their commercial and political relations. However, in the Middle Ages, sometimes known as the "Golden Age of the Jews in Spain", when due to Muslim tolerance and enlightenment, both Jewish and Muslim civilisation and culture attained very high peaks of achievement. This could one day serve as a model of good relations prevail­ ing between Israel and her Muslim neighbours.

BIBLE STORIES IN RHYME No 10 Jacob Leaves Home Alone and afraid lacoh went on his way The hatred of Esau Made it impossible to stay. The journey was long And he needed to sleep. No need to despair Or to stand and just weep. Before it got dark He gathered some stones, Some sort of protection Against the unknowns.

COM PETITION W INNER In the last competition (how many words can you make out of the word "PESACH"?) the winner was DOV HARRIS aged nine, from Edgware, who made 34 words from "PESACH". Well done Dov! Dov received a gift token as a prize.

A New Contest Here is a similar competition. See what you can do with it boys and girls. •

Before the Second World War there were over one million Jews in the Middle East and North Africa (the largest Jewish community being that of Morocco, also with an ancient and honourable history). After Israel was established in 1948 by virtue of the U.N. Palestine partition resolution of 29 November 1947 (which the Arabs rejected although it signified as Palestinian Arab State, in addition to Jordan set up by the British Mandate in 1922), there was an exchange of populations in that half-a-million Palestine Arabs fled to escape the war breaking out as a result of five invading Arab armies pledged to destroy the infant Jewish State, and nearly 800,000 Jews leaving Arab lands because of the adverse policies of the Arab Governments. Most of them went to Israel leaving behind vast amount of prop­ erty in Iraq and Egypt and Libya for which one day, compensation will be sought. Thirdly, the techniques of information and representation used for the cause of Soviet Jewry could be applied for Jews of Arab lands, e.g. letters and articles in the press, demonstrations, representations to Governments and international organisa­ tions and raising of the matter in the parlia­ ments of democratic countries. As the late Premier Levi Eshkol told a spe­ cial session of the Knesset following the terri­ ble hangings of the nine innocent Jews in Baghdad — an atrocity which brought to world attention the plight of Jews in Arab lands - If there is a conscience in this world, let its voice be heard now; let us do everything to rescue the remnant of Jewish communities in Arab lands."

Sleeping on one He began to dream. And saw in his mind A very strange theme. A ladder was stretching From ground to the sky And angels descending And going up high. "Fear not O Jacob I am your Guard. The trail is lengthy The way may be hard. I will protect you And bring you hack home. Ne'er more to vsander. Ne'er more to roam. This land you'll possess It will blossom and flower. All who oppose you Will shrink and will cower Your children will grow Like stars shining on high. Whatever befalls them, I'll always be nigh".

How many words can you make out of the word "SHOFAR"? (FAR. RASH, etc).

On hearing these words, lacob woke with a start. With such promise from G-d He now had new heart.

Send your answers to the Director of Edu­ cation, Lohdon Talmud Council, 9-11 Greatorex Street, London El with your name, age and address and there will Ik * a prize for the entry with the most words.

"I'll go forward", he cried, "And conquer all foes. Away with weak weeping, Ayvay with all woes!".


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by ELLIS HILLMAN, BSc.FRSA 11

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(4) This, the fourth and last one, appears in Sedra Tsav in Vayyikra chapter 8 verse 23 with the shalsheles resting on the third Vayyischat (And when it was slain). Here we have the consecration of Aaron and his sons, and the sacrifices and ceremonies associated with it.

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here are only four places in the whole of the Torah where the niggun of shalsheles (roughly translated as a chain) is used in the cantillation of the Sedra. Can any sig­ nificance be attached to Tehillim or lyyov, for example? An examination of the context in which it appears may give the answer to this ques­ tion. Three of the occurrences of shalsheles surface in Breishis with one in Vayikra. In chronological order they appear:

(1) In chapter 19 verse 6 in Sedra Vayera, where the angels hasten Lot saying: "Arise take thy wife, and thy two daughters who are here; lest they be swept away in the iniquity of the city. Vayyismahamo" (But he lingered);

In chapter 24 in Sedra Chayei Sara

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where, Eliezer, Abraham's servant, prom­ ises to find a suitable partner for Yitzchak, " Vayyomar: And he said, O Lord G-d of my master Avraham, I pray thee send me good speed this day and show kindness to my master Avraham" (verse 12). This is Eliezer's third Vayyomar if we include his promise to Avraham (see verse 9).

at then, is the purpose of shalsheles in these particular passages, and what have the passages in common? The shalsheles appears at critical points in the narrative to draw attention to the importance of this section. It poses the question, what would have happened had the story taken a diffe­ rent course as it so nearly did in these four examples. In the first case, we have to ask ourselves what would have happened had Lot lingered any longer in the land of S'dom. The family of Lot would have undoubtedly perished. There would have been no Amon and no Moav... The Messianic lineage could not even have begun!

(3) In chapter 39 verse 8 Sedra Vayeishev where Yossef refuses to lie with Potiphar's wife. This was the same Potiphar who was captain of the guard who had rescued Yos­ sef from the Ishmaelites (chapter 39 verse 1). In the words of the Sedra "and he refused" ( Vayyemoein).

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TA’ALI WORLD MOVEMENT FOR A TAAU p npun tORIDMOVIM EKT n'o^ min*? fOUISARI'N fT tD 9m** AEL

UNITED ISRAEL On the occasion of the 40th anniversary oflsrael's Independence TA’ALI - WORLD MOVEMENT FOR A UNITED ISRAEL

expresses its ardent hope that we will all work towards a fully integrated and United Israel. and extends New Year greetings to the Federation of Synagogues and to all its Members Leon J. Tamman World Chairman

Sidney L Shipton Executive Director for Great Britain. Europe and the Commonwealth 1416 Cockspur Street London SW1Y5BL

WHAT I TELL YOU THREE TIMES IS TRUE In the second case, what would have transpired if Eliezer Avraham's faithful ser­ vant had failed in his mission to find a suita­ ble partner for Yitzchak? Avraham would have had no legitimate descendants... we could never say "Elokai Avraham Yitzak, ve Yaakov". Avraham would have ended his life seeing Eliazer inheriting all his posses­ sions. There would have been no great nation in whom "all the families of the earth would be blessed" (see Genesis, chapter XII, verse iv). In the third and perhaps most intriguing case, it is all too easy to see the consequ­ ences of |oseph succumbing to the wiles of Potiphar's wife. He would have been arrested and probably shared the gruesome fate of the chief baker who was hanged on a tree and birds, "ate the flesh from him". (See Genesis chapter 40 verses 19 and 22.)

refused to give Israel passage through his border" (Bamidbar c hapter 20 verse 21). The fourth levitical case is even more puzzling. The shalsheles appearing after the third Vayyischat suggests that the com­ pletion of the complex ceremonies involved in the establishment of the priest­ hood with all its appurtenances was extremely critical and important. Even the slightest deviation from the strict order of service and method of sacrifice could invalidate the whole operation. Thus the linal Vayyisch.it implies the successful con­ clusion of the whole ceremony. Eor without a rigorous adherence to every one of its minutiae, the setting up of the line of the high priests would have been invalidated.

TRIPLE HESITATION I he use of the Niggun shalsheles shows a triple hesitation on the part of Yossef, i.e., she made three advances to Yossef which he repulsed. Compare the use of the /V/ggc/n Gershayyim in the case of Vashti, the wife of Achashveirosh, where she refused twice to appear at the banquet in the palace of the king and the simple use of the Niggun Kadmoh in the case of Yaakov when he refused to be comforted on the "Death" of Yossef (see Genesis chapter 37 verse 35). Moonach on Vayyemoein in the case of Eysov when they refused to allow the Israelites to travel through their territ­ ory... Vayyemoein Edom. Thus "Edom

In Conclusion he Niwiun shalsheles appears to have been specially chosen for the great turning points in the Torah narrative to show how Israel's fate literally turned, hesitated, trem­ bled at these junctures. The smallest twist in the chain of the story could have funda­ mentally altered the history and fate of 10

Israel... with a priesthood, without Y'tziat Mitzraim, without the Z'chut of the pat­ riarchs and with hope of the Mashiach, what would the Torah have been? Eortunately at these four turning points the right decisions were taken and the chains con­ nected up. All that is left is for us to complete them.


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CROYDON DISTRICT SYNAGOGUE

THE RABBI HONORARY OFFICERS AND BOARD OF MANAGEMENT OFTHE

THE PRESIDENT, HON. OFFICERS AND BOARD OF MANAGEMENT WISH THE

ILFORD FEDERATION

MEMBERS OF THE BETH DIN, AND

SYNAGOGUE

MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATION A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR

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wish the members o f the Beth Din, President and Hon. Officers o f the Federation o f Synagogues, all their members and their families, and

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SHOMREI HADATH SYNAGOGUE The President. Hon

GREAT GARDEN STREET SYNAGOGUE

Officers and The President, Hon. Officers,

Board of Management wish their R av, Secretary, and all their members

and Board of Management extend sincere good wishes to their members and K'lal Yisroel

A Happy New Y e a r and well over the Past

for a Happy and Peaceful New Year

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AHAVATH SHALOM SYNAGOGUE

THE PRESIDENT AND HONORARY OFFICERS OF

SINAI SYNAGOGUE The President, Hon. Officers,

G O LD ER S G R EEN N.VV.ll

and Board of M anagement extend sincere good w ish es to their m em bers and K'lal Yisroel

wish their Rabbi, all their members and their

for a Happy and Peaceful New Year

families, the President and Hon. Officersofthe Federation of Synagogues, their members and

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SOVIET JEWRY Jewish organisations devote a great deal of attention to the dramatic developments in the Soviet Union, but they deal mainly, with day-to-day developments. There is a lack of a historic perspective. We have to bear in mind the following fundamental points: The U.S.S.R. is a vast country - larger than the U .S.A .; therefore a visit to Moscow or Leningrad could never convey a realistic picture of the situation.

Despotic Regime With the exception of a short period in 1917, the people of Russia never knew what democracy and freedom meant for the life of an individual. They lived over 300 years under the despotic regime of the Romanows and over 70 years under a totalitarian Communist regime. In spite of the present talk about "democratisation" and "glasnost", the Soviet Union remains a one-Party State. Mikhail Gorbachov's reforms must be welcomed but without illu­ sions. The U.S.S.R. is at the crossroads and noone could prophesy developments during the coming years, lews have always been inclined to excessive optimism; they paid dearly for it both as individuals and as a people. To deal with daily events, we must face facts; we must appreciate the specific problems of Soviet Jewry. For a variety of reasons, the situation of the Jewish community in the Soviet Union is a question sui generis; it is a specific prob­ lem but it does not exist in a vacuum. It is important to discuss the Jewish position in the light of the country's general population structure.

Unique Problem by DR. S. LEVENBERG

In addition to 15 Republics and 20 Autonomous Republics, there are, in the Soviet Union, other territorial sub-divisions: 'autonomous regions' and 'administrative regions'. An 'autonomous region' - Birobidjan is one of five such units in the Russian Repub­ lic - has no constitution of its own but sends Deputies to the Council of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet. Birobidjan - in the Far East - is supposed to be the 'Jewish Autonomous Region', but 91 per cent of its population is non-Jewish (80 per cent are Russians and 9 per cent are Ukrainians). From a total population of 163,000 only 15,000 are Jews (see 'Jews in the Soviet Union', Novosti Press Agency, Moscow 1967). According to the 1970 cen­ sus, there were only 11.452 Jews or 6.64 per cent of the total population in Birobid­ jan. The Jews in the Soviet Union, the most important minority from the numerical, economic and cultural point of view, have no centre of their own; they are an excep­ tion within the general population. Apart from the Jews, the Germans and the Poles are two important non-territorial minorities in the U.S.S.R. Many of the Germans in the Soviet Union are the descendants of those who were invited by the Russian Empress Catherine the Great to settle on the River Volga in 1762, in the Black Sea area and the Crimea in the 1780s. German settlements were also set up in Siberia, Kazakhastan and Central

Asia. Most of the Germans who settled in Rus­ sia were farmers, but some of them became tradesmen, professional people, civil ser­ vants and members of the nobility, espe­ cially in the Baltic States. Individual Ger­ mans assimilated to the majority; some con­ verted to the Orthodox faith. Some of them occupied important positions in public life and the economy. Such types were often mentioned in Russian literature of the 19th century.

Cultural Self-Expression After the Lenin Revolution, the Germans were given facilities of cultural self-expres­ sion. In 1924, the Volga Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was formed. 17 German National districts were established in other parts of the country: 9 in the Ukraine, 6 in Russia, 1 in Georgia and 1 in Azerbaijan. In 1926, less than 15 per cent of the German population lived in the towns. About 400,000 - approximately a quarter of the total group - resided in the Volga Autonomous Republic; they were deported in August 1941, to various parts of Soviet Asia; the National Districts were also abolished. During and after the Second World War, there was a general distrust of Germans in the Soviet Union; they were not allowed to return to the areas from which they were deported and remained in the new settle­ ment areas of South West Siberia and

Territorial Units The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) is sub-divided into territorial units. In addition to the Russian Republic the most important one - there exist 14 other Republics: the Ukraine, Byelorussia, Kazakhastan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Azer­ baijan, Moldavia, Lithuania, Latvia, Kirghistian, Tajikistan, Armenia, Turkemania and Estonia. Numerically, the Jewish population is probably larger than the number of inhabitants in 7 or 8 of the Republics but there is no 'Jewish Republic' in the U.S.S.R. Within some of the 15 Union Republics there is a further sub-division on a territorial basis. There exist in the U.S.S.R. 20 'Au­ tonomous Soviet Socialist Republics' which are subordinated to the Union Republic of which they form a part; they have 'no right' to conduct their own foreign policy or main­ tain their own armed forces - a privilege which is granted, at least on paper, to the 15 Union Republics. Of the 20 Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics, 16 are within the Russian Repub­ lic, for instance Bashkir A .S .S .R ., Dagestan, Karelia, Tartar A .S .S .R .; two in Georgia; one in Uzbekistan and one in Azerbaijan. Once again the Jews have no Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of their own.

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SOVIET JEWRY Problem

A Unique

Kazakhastan. But after the establishment of diplomatic relations with Bonn in 1955 there began a gradual improvement in the situation of the German minority and the restoration of cultural facilities. On August 29, 1964, the Presidium of the U.S.S.R. Supreme Soviet published a spe­ cial decree stating that the "sweeping accusations" that the Volga Germans col­ laborated with the Fascist invaders "were unfounded and were a manifestation of the arbitrary rule under the conditions of the Stalin personality cult/' The decree went on as follows: Thanks to the great help of the Communist Party and the Soviet State, the German population has, in the intervening years, taken firm root in the new places of residence and is enjoying all the rights of citizens of the U.S.S.R. Soviet citizens of German nationality are working conscien­ tiously in enterprises, on State and collective farms and in offices, and are participating actively in social and political life. Many of them are Deputies to the Supreme and local Soviets of the Russian Federation and the Ukraine, Kazakhastan, Uzbek, Kirgiz, and other Union Repub­ lics, and occupy other administra­ tive posts in industry, agriculture, in the Soviet and party apparatus. For their successes in work, thousands of German Soviet citi­ zens have received U.S.S.R. orders and medals and hold hon­ orary titles of the Union Repub­ lics. In districts of a number of provinces, territories and Repub­ lics that have a German popula­ tion there are secondary and elementary schools where teach­ ing is conducted in German, or German is taught to children of school age; where radio program­ mes are broadcast and newspap­ ers published regularly in Ger­ man, and other cultural undertak­ ings are arranged for the German ff population...

lie; 50,000 are in Kazakhistan where they form 7 per cent of the total population of the Republic; 50,000 are in the Kirghi Republic - 2 per cent of the general number of inhabitants. A smaller number are in the Tajik Republic. In 1959, 75 per cent of the group regarded German as their mother tongue; in 1970 this figure dropped to 66.8 per cent (less than 20 per cent of the jews declared Yiddish as their language). The Soviet radio has special programmes for the German minority which is also enti­ tled to demand that wherever there is a minimum of ten children and an adequate supply of teachers, lessons be given in their own mother tongue.

44

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Since 1957, a German weekly Neues Leben has been published in Moscow with a circulation of over a quarter of a million. There are local German papers in Altai and Kazakhastan. The latter are called Freundschaft (Friendship).

No Jewish Schools There are 8,000 German teachers in the Soviet Union (there are no Jewish schools). There also exist facilities to study the lan­ guage; there are books and publications in German on a variety of subjects. There is a German theatre ensemble. Still, there exists a problem of German emigration from the Soviet Union. As in the case of the Jews, there is always a "battle" about numbers, which are considerably increasing. It is clear that the German minority enjoys facilities which are denied to the Jewish population. This is a peculiar development bearing in mind that during the last war the Germans were considered a "Fifth Column while over half-a-million Jews had a distin­ guished record in the Red Army. The double standard in the treatment of the German and Jewish minorities is due to a variety of reasons. Behind the Germans is ft

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Communist Eastern Germany and now Bonn, with whom Moscow is anxious to have good relations. Jews are "suspected n because of their interest in Israel and family links in Western countries. Besides, the Ger­ mans are now a largely Asian population segement - many of them residing in such "key" cities as Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Odessa, Minsk, Riga and other major centres of many Soviet Republics. The part which individual Jews play in Soviet science, medicine, economic undertakings, art and literature is still of great importance. But the numbers are on the decline due to a deliberate policy by the authorities. This is a major reason for increased emigration figures. The unwritten policy of the authorities is the elimination of Jewish national charac­ teristics and assimilation. The "new cadres" in various Soviet Republics, look at the Jews as competitors, while this applies to a much smaller degree to Germans in Siberia with its large untapped resources. While both Jews and Germans are minorities in Soviet society, the difference between them is considerable. In 1959, there were approximately 1,167,000 Poles in the Soviet Union. The large majority of them live in three Repub­ lics (Byelorussia 39 per cent, Ukraine 26.3 per cent and Lithuania - 16.7 per cent). Part of the Polish population resides in places whch were annexed by the U.S.S.R. as a result of the Hitler-Stalin pact. A typical example is the city of Lvov which prior to the war, was part of Poland, but is now a Ukrainian town. Some of the Poles are assimilated to the Byelorussians and Ukrainians. There is a

MR. M. LEDERMAN 11 M A YFIELD GARDENS, N.YV.4

wishes his children , grandchildren and great grandchildren. relatives , members o f the Beth Din , Honorary O fficers and C ouncil o f the Federation o f Synagogues, and K'lal Yisroel a VERY HAPPY NEW Y E A R A N D W E LL OVER TH E FAST

In the Russian Republic Today the total number of Germans in the U.S.S.R. is 1,846,000 - the 14th most numerous nationality in the country (see Pravda April 17, 1971). I he German minority is mainly concen­ trated in the Russian Republic (notably in the Orenburg region; the Omsk and Novosibirsk provinces of Western Siberia; the Altai territory bordering on Mongolia), and in Kazakhistan. In other words, the large majority of the Germans reside in the non-European parts of the U.S.S.R. less than 40 per cent live in the urban areas. Roughly half of the German population live in Asian regions of the Russian Repub-

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similarity of background and language. Widely dispersed among the Ukrainian population, the majority of Poles in urban and rural areas have adopted the language of the majority (or Russian) as their native language and do not always show a desire to preserve their national identity. Since 1959, the number of Poles in the Soviet Union - according to the 1970 census decreased by 213,000. The Polish minority is a more important segment of the population in Byelorussia where they form 7 per cent of the total population (over half a million people) and in Lithuania where they are 8.5 per cent of the Republic's inhabitants (a quarter of a million. But they are not a significant section of Soviet society. In the cultural field, the Poles preserve a certain sense of national identity despite the process of assimilation, which is increasing. There are Polish schools and Polish publica­

tions in the Soviet Union. The existence of a Communist regime in Poland is a vital factor which makes the position of their own Polish minority normal from the Soviet authorities' point of view. The role of the Poles in the economic and cultural life of the U.S.S.R. could not be compared to that of the Jews, whose educational standards are among the highest in the country. Among the smaller minorities in the Soviet Union are the Bulgarians (about 350,000) - they live in the Ukraine and Mol­ davia; the Greeks (over 333,000) - they reside in the Ukraine, Russian Republic and Georgia; Hungarians (165,000) — in the Ukraine; Finns (85,000) - in the Karelian region of the Russian Republic; Kurds (89.000) - in Armenia and Georgia; Turks (79.000) - Caucasus; Chinese (25,000) Far East; Czechs (21,000) - Ukraine; Arabs (8.000) - Uzbekistan. This list clearly shows that by no stretch of

Loughton, Chigwell & District Synagogue On behalf o f our Minister, Wardens, President, Vice-President, Chairman, Hon Officers and Board o f Management, we extend to all our Members and to Klal Yisroel our very best wishes for a Healthy, Happy and Peaceful New Year.

the imagination, could any of these small minorities, from the numerical, economic or cultural point of view, be discussed on the same level of significance in Soviet soci­ ety as the large Jewish minority - an urban element of first-class importnace in the life of the U .S.S.R., with deep roots in the life of the country and the history of human cul­ ture over many generations. This makes the Jewish problem in the Soviet Union of such a nature that it must be discussed on its own. It is a specific issue which could not be compared with the pos­ ition of other territorial or non-territorial nationalities in the U.S.S.R. Since Mikhail Gorbachov came to power (March 1985), there has been a certain improvement in the situation of the Jews in the U .S.S.R., but the policy of glasnost has also led to the emergence of violent antiJewish organisations like Pamigat (Memory) and similar bodies.

THE PRESIDENT AND HONORARY OFFICERS OF THE

GREENFORD SYNAGOGUE WISH THEIR MEMBERS AND FAMILIES AND K’LAL YISROEL A HAPPY NEW YEAR rrn o

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WEST HACKNEY SYNAGOGUE

On behalf o f our Rabbi, Wardens, President, Vice-President, Chairman, Hon. Officers and Board o f Management, we extend to all our Members and to Klal Yisroel our very best wishes for a Healthy, Happy and Peaceful New Year. m ia

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FIELDGATE STREET GREAT SYNAGOGUE The Honorary Officers and Board of Management extend New Year Greetings to Members of the Synagogue and their families, as well as to the Betli Din, Honorary Officers, members of the Executive and Staff of the Federation of Synagogues.

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THE HONORARY OFFICERS & BOARD

The President and Honorary Officers of the

OF MANAGEMENT OF THE

C L A P T O N F E D E R A T IO N SYNAGOGUE (SH A A RE SH O M A Y IM )

YESHURUN SYNAGOGUE

47 L E A B R ID G E R O A D , E .5

EXTEN D

THEIR

BEST

WISHES

FOR

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HAPPY, PROSPEROUS AND PEA CEFU L NEW

extend New Year greetings to the Minister, Officials and members o f the Synagogue and their families, and to the President and Hon. Officers o f the Federation of Synagogues, and all their members and families.

YEA R TO THE MEMBERS OF THE BETH DIN, HONORARY I

OFFICERS,

EX EC U T IV E

AND

A LL MEMBERS OF THE FEDERATION OF SYNAGOGUES

YAVNEH

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SYNAGOGUE

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The President.

Hon.

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Management wish all their Members a year of good health and prosperity.

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WOOLWICH & DISTRICT SYNAGOGUE

FEDERATION OF SYN A G O G U ES

FIN CH LEY CEN TRA L SYN A G O G U E R e d b o u r n e A v e n u e , F in c h le y , N .3.

The President, Hon. Officers and Board of Management wish

The President , Honorary Officers and Board o f M anagem ent , on behalf o f the Synagogue , w ish Rabbi Z. Telsner, all m em bers and their fam ilies for 5749

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You D on't Have to be Jew ish! T h is )une saw something of a landmark in the shadowy history of Yiddish, when Duckworth's published the first teaching grammar of the language ever produced in English. The book is based on techniques pioneered in Oxford by its author, Dr. Dovid Katz, and is likely to become a stan­ dard for the world's Yiddish teachers, of whom there is a surprising, and growing, number. Bob King is the Dean of the Faculty of Lib­ eral Arts at the University of Austin, Texas. If you did not already know that there is no such thing as an unusual Yiddishist, you find him extraordinary. A middle-aged WASP, with skin-tight, grey hair steel rimmed glas­ ses, a broad smile and a tan, he is the very picture of a Southern gentleman scholar, exuding affability, self-confidence and glow­ ing health.

During August this year, the streets of Oxford echoed with the sound of Yid­ dish, as students of the language from all parts of the world, participated in the 7th Summer Oxford Programme in Yiddish under the aegis of the Oxford Centre for Post Graduate Hebrew Studies. In this article, writer NICK THOMAS reflects upon the revival of Yiddish at academic level and on the personalities involved.

had a lot of )ewish friends. He began his academic career as a mathematician, then moved into historical linguistics, specialis­ ing in German, which he found "boring and crowded". This was where the story began to sound familiar, for in Yiddish, which has only been a respected scholarly field since the War, there is still no shortage of new work to be done, nor yet a super-abund­ ance of scholars competing to do it. Reputa­ tions are waiting to be made. Yiddish was the invention of )ewish pog­ rom refugees who enjoyed a much higher level of adult literacy than their hosts and found little point in learning the Roman alphabet in order to write down the local language. The result was German dialect in Hebrew script, evolving on its own through the centuries , and establishing itself w h e n ­ ever the Diaspora spread. Although the same thing seems to have happened with most of the languages which the exiles had to learn (though not, apparently, English), only Yiddish and its Spanish counterpart, Ladino, survived. Yiddish was always the strongest strain, reaching a peak of some seven million speakers, eighty or ninety per­ cent of whom died in the ten years to 1945. The spoken language survived only in poc­ kets, notably in parts of New York, Montreal, Moscow and, of course, Israel, although there it was actively discouraged while Hebrew was being established as the national tongue.

DR. DOVID KATZ Now there is a major revival in progress, albeit at the academic level, for which Oxford takes much of the credit. This is a source of considerable pride to the Hebrew Centre's amiably donnish President, Dr. David Patterson. David, a British jew who gives university lectures in post-Biblical Hebrew, founded the Centre in 1972 with support from, among others, Isaiah Berlin, with the idea of helping to repair the loss to Jewish scholarship inflicted by the War. In fifteen years the Centre has won an interna-

"GUILT" When I asked what had attracted him to Yiddish as an academic field, he began: "Well, I consider myself a Right-wing con­ servative - I'm a great admirer of Mrs. Thatcher - so it isn't guilt." "Right," I said. A useful word in conversa­ tions with Americans. I met Bob King last December, in the Hall of Yarnton Manor, a few miles from Oxford, where the Fellows from the Oxford Centre for Post Graduate Studies were kicking off their second winter symposium in Yiddish with a party for their guests. Even in Oxford, where the wholesome influence of the academic international brigade prevents our natural loathing of tourists from degenerating into mere chauvinism, the Yiddishists are a bizarre mixture. A few feet away from our settee in a corner of the Hall, stood a group consisting of a Polish Pari­ sian, an Italian who teaches Yiddish at Heidelberg, and an ex-patriate New Zea­ lander in full Hassidic dress, complete with hat, beard and glasses. No, there is nothing unusual about Professor King. Bob went on to explain that, while he felt no guilt, he did have a certain emotional attachment to things )ewish. He grew up in a small town in Mississippi, where bright bookish children inevitably found that they

The Oxford Centre for Post-Graduate Hebrew Studies, Yarnton Manor.


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be Jewish tional reputation in Jewish Studies, not least in its promotion of Yiddish, which is now an option in some Oxford undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The Centre also runs an intensive summer course which has become a greenhouse for Yiddish scholars. Of the three hundred people who have taken the course, fifty are now teaching the subject in universities around the world.

BRAINCHILD

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The Yiddish summer programme is the brainchild of Dr. Dovid Katz, the Centre's young Director of Studies. In a field whose scholars defy generalisation, Dovid and his student and colleague, Dov-Ber Kerler, offer a comforting stereotype. They are the Centre's native Yiddish speakers, Dovid from Brooklyn, Dov-ber from Moscow via Israel. They are large, loud, goodhumoured, demonstrative, generous; larger-than-life personalities who are regarded with special affection and awe, like a couple of curators who are their own prize exhibits. Dovid took his first degree, in linguistics, from Columbia - where he suffered horribly from the barbaric requirement for credits in 'Phys. Ed.' - then moved to London for his doctorate. Now he has made his home in Oxford, in a Victorian terraced house, taste­ fully furnished. In the quieter periods of the year he works through the night on his own research, of which the Duckworth grammar is the most recent product. For him the sym­ posia and summer courses are both per­ sonal triumphs and nightmares, intense periods of work and hassle, mingled with the joy of gathering old friends from all over the world. They are also times of trial for his students, who find themselves pushed into the deep end, giving papers to audiences of eminent scholars, often after only a year of study. They survive. Dov is a hard task-master, demanding a thesis chapter every term from his postgraduates, cramming tomorrow's Yiddish teachers with the knowledge and contidence they will need to compete in an expanding academic field. Curiously, they are likely to find that their students, as well as their colleagues, are no longer even pre­ dominantly Jewish. In Heidelberg, which has the largest Jewish academic population in Germany, Daniella Mantovan has only three Jewish students in a class of thirty.

JEWISH CULTURE "Ihere is great interest in Jewish culture amongst German youth,” she told me, adding that they like to see their own culture through "other” eyes - a rare example of Jewish understatement. Another winter symposium guest who finds himself teaching a lot of Gentile stu­ dents was David Miller, of Ohio State. His academic starting point was literary theory, and he is full of optimism about the future of Yiddish. Although he is, like Dovid Katz, a Brooklyn Jew, David is neither a native Yid­ dish speaker nor a current speaker of Brook-

lynese. His manner is American-donnish, his voice a stateless, professorial drawl, sym­ bolic of the way in which Jewish culture is assimilated into the modern academic world. // All Yiddish literary theory men are autodidacts to some extent, because of the cross-reference of disciplines. The questions which are now important are not textual solely - questions like, 'How do marginal cultures legitimate themselves?' There is a great deal of work being done now on Anglophone and Francophone writing in Africa, and we can use Yiddish to test all our theories. The story of Yiddish is quite pheno­ menal. Suddenly there is a canon, a tradi­ tion, a qualitative hierachy, a Nobel laureate, (Isaac Bashevis Singer) whereas a hundred years ago there was not even a

stable name for the language. // That may be so, but among the ordinary Jewish communities who gave us the language, Yiddish continues to decline. Academic interest may, in time, revive spo­ ken Yiddish among its own people, but the academic renaissance is influenced heavily by Gentile students eager for novelty, and Gentile scholars greedy for virgin territory. Academic posts proliferate, although just now it is American universities, rather than their cash-strapped English counterparts, who are adding Yiddishists to their staff. Still, David Miller complains that there is generally only one per institution, so the fee­ ble circuit can get hectic. "We have to dance at too many wed­ dings,” was the way he put it. That, at least, was a traditional Jewish image.

T H E EM ER IT U S RAV RASHI AND DAYAN IM O F T H E

$eti) Bin of the Jfeberation of synagogues EXTEND MOST CORDIAL WISHES TO THE CHIEF RABBI THE HAHAM THE PRESIDING RABBI AND RABBINATE OF THE UNION THEIR Rf ’ SPECT1VE BATEI DIN, THE BATEI DIN OF THE PROVINCES AND TO ALL RABBANIM AND MINISTERS. THE PRESIDENT, HONORARY OFFICERS MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE AND GENERAL COUNCIL AND ALL MEMBERS OF THE FEDERATION OF SYNAGOGUES WITH THEIR FAMILIES TO MEDINAT YISRAEL AND KLAL YISROEL THROUGHOUT THE WORLD’ FOR A n n 'n r

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LONDON TALMUD TORAH CO U N CIL 1988 ANNUAL EXAMINATIONS record number candidates applied to sit for the examinations this year, constituting a 20% increase in numbers on last year. A very good stan­ dard was achieved. The results were as follows:

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With three distinctions, three credits, one pass and no failures, this is an excellent result, though the total number of entrants are well down on last year, due to a smaller intake at this examination level. ILFORD: David PHILLIPS (D) - Joint top boy of all the classes at this level Neville SHANE (D) Jonathan SHALOM (D) Howard LEVY (D) Melanie Wajchendler (D)) Michael ROSE (D) Philip LEWIS (C) Hadley SILVER (P) Fraser LEVY (P) Paul WINNICK (P)

This is a really fantastic improvement on last year's results (two distinctions and one pass) with six distinctions, one credit, three passes and one failed. This reflects great cre­ dit on the headmaster and teachers con­ cerned. LO U G H TO N : Mathew PIATKUS (D) liana LORRAINE (C) Victoria CONWAY (C) Adam GO RD O N (P) Tanya MOTHEW (P)

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C O N G R A TU LA TIO N S he Editorial Board o f 'Hamaor' extends sincere congratulations to: Dayan Dr. and Mrs. S. Herman, on the mar­ riages o f their daughter and son. Mr. and Mrs. A. Stuart, on the birth o f a daughter. Mr. and Mrs. S. W. Stuart, on the birth o f a grandson and grand-daughter. Mr. and Mrs. S. Goldberg, on the mar­ riage o f their grand-daughter. Mr. and Mrs. G. Palmer; on their son's marriage.

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These results in themselves are quite good, one distinction, two credits, two pas­ ses and two failed. However they are a little down on last year (three distinctions, three credits and three failed).

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Again these are extremely good results, four distinctions, four credits, two passes and two failed, compared with last year's three distinctions, two passes and one failed. ILFO R D : John PHILLIPS (D) - Top boy of all the classes at this level Bret SO LO M O N S (P) (Two failed)

Although these results included the top boy at this level with a very high mark, it is disappointing that not more children were successful compared with last year's two distinctions, one credit, three passes and one failed.

Rabbi M. Frydman gives some guidance.

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MORRIS LEDERMAIM HOUSE, 9-11 GREATOREX STREET, LONDON E1 5NF Telephone: 01-247 4471

HIGH HOLYDAY SERVICES

SENIOR EDGW ARE:

will be held at the underlisted Synagogues

Jonathan SO LO M O M (D) —Top boy Jonathan RUBECK (D) Nicholas POLLEN (D) Darren CO H EN (C)

To have achieved three distinctions and one credit with no failures at this level, is indeed an achievement. ILFO R D : Mark G A RD IELD (D) Daniel GARFIELD (P) Lawrence ASH (P) Ian LEIGH (P) Jack MILLER (P) (One failed)

I hese results are extremely pleasing as it is some years since Ilford were able to tackle the senior examination. To have come back with one distinction and four passes with only one failure is a credit to all concerned.

BAS CHAYIL ILFO R D : Ruth BOOKATZ and Joanne LEVY both passed.

ANSWERS CROSSWORD Across 1. Honey 3. An 5. Melech 8. A.A 9. Nimrod

Down 1. Ha man 2. One 4. Ehud 6. Lamb 7. Ear 10. On

inform ation regarding Services and other activities may be obtained from the local Rabbi, Minister, Honorary Officers or Secretary NORTH and NORTH E A S T LONDON Clapton Federation, Lea Bridge Road, E.5. (01-806 4369) Springfield, Upper Claapton Road, E.5. (01-806 2377) Stamford Hill Beth Hamedrash, Lampard Grove, N.16 (01-806 3861) Tottenham Federation, High Road, N.17 (01-808 4698) Yavneh Federation, Ainsworth Road, E.9. (01-554 5267) West Hackney & Montague Road Federation, Amhurst Road, E.8. (01-254 2128) E A S T LONDON East London Central Federation, Nelson Street, E.1. (01-790 9809) Great Garden Street Federation, Greatorex Street, E.1. (01-247 4436) Fieldgate Street Great Federation, Fieldgate Street, E.1. (01-247 2644) Ilford Federation, Coventry Road, Ilford, Essex (01-554 5289) Ilford Federation Beth Hamedrash, (Ohel Jacob) (01-550 4596) Loughton, Chigwell & District Federation, Borders Lane, Loughton, Essex (01-508 2070) Leytonstone & Wanstead Federation, Fillebrook Road, E.11 (01-989 2355) Congregation of Jacob Federation, Commercial Road, E.1. (01-550 8339) Waltham Forest (Queen's Road), Boundary Road, E.17 (01-520 2288) NORTH W EST LONDON Sinai Federation, Woodstock Avenue, Golders Green N.W.11 (01-458 1581)

Finchley Road (Sassover) 843 Finchley Road, NW11 (01-455 4305) Shomrei Hadath Federation, 527a Finchley Road, NW3 (01-958 6987) Finchley Central Federation, Redbourne Avenue, N3 (01-36 1892) Neasden Federation, (Ahavath Shalom) Clifford Way, NW10 (01-441 3817) Ohel Shem - services at Willesden Synagogue, NW2 (01 -459 3817) Kesser Torah, 62 St. Gabriel's Road, NW2 (01-452 2769) Machzike Hadath, Highfield Road, NW11 (01-455 9816) W E S T LONDON Shepherds Bush Federation, Poplar Grove, W6 (01 -992 2049) Notting Hill Federation, 206-8 Kensington Park Road, W11 (01-952 4354) West End Great Synagogue, Dean Street, W1 (inc. Beth Hasepher & Soho) . (01-437 1873) M ID D LESEX Yeshurun Federation Synagogue, Fernhurst Gardens, Stonegrove, Edgware (01-952 3844) Greenford Federation Synagogue, Oldfield Lane, Greenford (01-868 7275) SO U TH LONDON Croydon Federation Synagogue, Elmwood Road, Croydon, Surrey (01-777 6236) Woolwich & District Federation Synagogue, Anglesea Road, SE18 (01-856 0845) New Wimbledon & Putney Federation. (01-788 0176)

22

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OBITUARIES

CONDOLENCES The Editorial Board of 'Hamaor' extends sincere condolences to:

T h e Croydon congregation mourns the passing of the Rev Samuel Michelwitz, its Emeritus Minister. He served this congregation for some 60 years, a record unparalleled at the Federa­ tion of Synagogues. He officially retired as Minister there in 1963 but from 1966 to 1971, while the Synagogue was without a Minister, he again conducted services and directed its educational and social activities. He married twice and is survived by two daughters. Born in Warsaw, he came to Britain as a young man. His services to the Croydon community were manifold. Besides being Minister, he was also teacher, shochet, mohel and was also a hospital and prison chaplain. His promotion of inter-faith goodwill through the Council of Christians and Jews and

/M ichael Goldman writes: "Mr. Manny Lever, former Financial Representative and Vice-President of the Clapton Federation Synagogue, passed away last month after a lengthy and painful illness. "Mr. Lever was also Chairman of the Functions Committee of the Clapton Synagogue and, in that capacity, was responsible for raising large sums of money for the Kehilla through personal effort. Although quite forthright and outspoken in communal debate, he had a great deal of

other organisations was held in high esteem. Mr Michael Goldman, Secretary of the Federation of Synagogues, on behalf of the President, Honorary Officers and himself writes: "He was a Minister deeply devoted to his congregation and one who showed heartfelt con­ cern for his individual congreg­ ants and their families. Nor did he neglect the interests of other Jewish residents in Croydon who had, for one reason or another, remained outside the community. "As visiting Minister to hospitals and prisons he showed care and understanding for patients and inmates alike, making great efforts to ease their situation."

personal charm and undertook his work for the community with exceptional devotion and conscientiousness. "His last years were marked by much suf­ fering. His wife pre-deceased him after a lengthy period of ill health during which time he cared for her tirelessly, and this was followed by his own traumatic deteriora­ tion which he bore with resilience and dig­ nity". Condolences are extended to his dear children and family.

E lfe s L t d MONUMENTAL MASONS

17 OSBORN STREET, LO ND O N E l 6TD Telephone: 01-247 0163 & 01-247 6025 23

Mr. M. Lederman, on the loss of his wife. Mr. J. Evansky, on the loss of his wife. His Honour Judge Aron Owen, on the loss of his brother. Mrs. J. Gitlin and family of the late Mr. E. Lever. The family of the late Reverend Michelwitz. Mr. John Mulholland, on the loss of his wife.

Mr. John Mulholland /M em bers and congregants of the Great Garden Street Synagogue will be sad to learn of the death of their former caretaker, Mr. John Mulholland, who retired to Scot­ land just a few weeks after the death of his wife. Mr. Mulholland served the Great Garden Street Synagogue, and latterly the Federa­ tion of Synagogues in its new offices, for over 20 years during which time he endeared himself to all.

Knowledge of Synagogue Custom Formerly a merchant seaman, Mr. Mulholland quickly garnered a knowledge of Synagogue practice and custom. This set him in very good stead when asked for advice by less knowledgeable congregants who might not have attended Synagogue since their Barmitzvah! He even described himself as "a Jew from the neck up". With the drift away of active members from the East End and the consequent gradual decline in attendances, he would go out of his way daily to try to ensure a minyan, standing outside the shul in all weathers or calling on neighbours to make sure there was no break in regular Services. He participated devotedly in the joyous or sad family events of congregants; had a cheerful word for everybody and could truly be said to have kept the shul running smoothly for many years.


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Rosh hashana 1988  
Rosh hashana 1988  
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