Mosaic - New West End Synagogue

Mosaic - New West End Synagogue


Magazine of the

New West End Synagogue

Rosh Hashanah 5769 / 2008


From the Desk

of the Editor

02 Contents & Welcome from the editor

04 Events, Social & Personal

05 NWES Social Club

06 Message from Rabbi Shisler

07 Chief Rabbi’s Rosh Hashanah Message

08 The thoughts of Chairman Melvyn Lux

09 Meet the Chatanim

10 Jeremy Jacobs, The New Chief Executive

of the World Synagogue

12The NWES Israel Trip May 2008

14 Life as a Chorister

16 Childrens Page

18 Bayswater and the New West End Synagogue during

World War Two. Part Four – The most frightening period.

22 Nightingale

23 Invisible Men

24 Israel - An Alternative History

25 Airways to G-D

26 Getting Ready for a Function

28 Favourite Traditional Rosh Hashana Recipes

29 Winter Blues, What Winter Blues

30 News from the Office

31 The Book (Club) Report

32 Yom Tov Guide 5769

34 Hagim Timetable 5769-2009

35 New Year Greetings 5769 / 2008

The Hebrew word “Kippur” means to wipe off or to clean. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement,

is a day when we wipe the slate clean and start again from scratch, starting anew.

It is with this in mind, you will have hopefully noticed a new and exciting look to Mosaic,

the New West End Magazine. It is hoped that this new look will demonstrate that we are

a young, ‘go-ahead’ and friendly Shul with lots going on.

It is not the only thing at the New West End though that has been destroyed rebuilt from scratch

– the Guild has most generously organised the refurbishment of the Bride’s Room. This will

make a New West End wedding even more beautiful than it already is.

Our Rabbi’s teach us that a couple’s wedding day is, for them, like Yom Kippur. In many

communities, the Bride and Groom have a custom of fasting on this day, from dawn until the

wedding ceremony is completed. Fasting before the wedding means forgiveness for all deeds,

starting life afresh, like Yom Kippur. In the Mincha service on the day of the wedding,

the Groom says the Amida of Erev Yom Kippur.

Here at the New West End we have approximately forty weddings a year. Although any

wedding here cannot be anything but memorable, the Service is always enhanced when it is

accompanied by our choir. In our “choral special” you can read about not only our Shabbat

regulars, but also those who come just for weddings.

In this issue we also focus on our other two bridegrooms, John Harris and Victor Wasserman,

this year’s Chatan Torah and Chatan Bereishit. We find out a little bit about them and their

family, where they come from and their thoughts about the New West End.

I hope that you enjoy the new look of the magazine and, together with my wife, Shana wish

you a Shana Tova U’metukah – a happy, sweet, and peaceful New Year.

Eli Ballon

Cover photograph:

Jean (nee Rosen) and Manny SANETT

1st September 1954

Minister Rabbi Geoffrey Shisler

Chazan Jeremy Lawson

Representatives on the

Council of the United Synagogue

Dorothea Josem, Jonathan Matheson

Chairman Melvyn Lux

Vice Chairman Gaby Morris

Representative at the

Board of Deputies of British Jews

Dori Schmetterling

Wardens Alan Gainsford, Martin Lewin

Administrator Rachel Cohen

Financial Representative Jeff Hammerschlag

Beadle Eli Ballon

Board of Management

Harvey Katz

Jonathan Matheson

Frank Miller

Howard Morris

Stephen Peters

Michael Sharron

Jonathan Skry

Michael Talalay

Trevor Toube

Sandra Blackman

Natalie Cutler

Dorothea Josem

Susan Katz

Rachel Magrill

Lynn Meltzer

Toni Nagel

Valerie Richman

Angela Skry

Choirmaster Elliot Burman

Office hours

Monday–Thursday 10.00 am–4.00 pm

Friday & Sunday 10.00 am–12 noon

Telephone 020 7229 2631

Fax 020 7229 2355



Designed and Produced by Creative Interpartners, London

02 03

Events, Social & Personal

New West End

Synagogue Social Club

Mazel Tov to all who were

married at the New West End

over the last few months:

Deborah Silver and Barrie Morgan

Danielle Green and Joel Benson

Eve Kimerling and Julian Harris

Francine Shisler and Sammy Daniel

Katie Godfrey and Nicky Jason

Sarah Benton and Joshua Luks

Gemma Golan and Paul Bloom

Danielle Yershon and Ryan Kissin

Suzanne Wilson and Damian Tash

Jacqueline Hoffman and Benjamin Swabe

Kim Anders and Jonni Milich

Natasha Grayson and Michael Rosen

Laura Harris and Michael Carlton

Natalie Cowan and Lee Josephs

Julie Tamir and Jonathan Gilbert

Ruth Joseph and David Joseph

Sonya Yadin and James Saidman

Mazel Tov to

Susanna and Jonathan Paisner on the birth of a son

Judith and Harold Paisner on the birth of a grandson

Caryl and John Harris on the birth of a grandson

Jeff Margolis on his 70th birthday

Zac Skry on the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah

Maxine and Michael Margolis on the occasion of their son’s wedding

Joseph Djanogly on the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah

Frederic and Marla Simkin on the birth of twin sons

Arnold and Franka Simkin on the birth of twin grandsons

We offer a very warm welcome

to the following new Members

of the Synagogue:

Mrs. Lynn Brown

Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Calton

Miss Brenda Daniels

Mr. Joel Hyams

Mr. and Mrs. Laurence Lando

Mr. Ricky Shapshak

Mr. and Mrs. John Ziegler

Come along to our club on the first Wednesday of each month and receive a very warm welcome.

We are always delighted to see you!

Lunch is served at about 1.15pm and frequently includes homemade soup, hot burekas, freshly

made sandwiches and excellent homemade desserts.

We generally have either a speaker or music. Among recent entertainments we have had:

• Beverley Jane Stewart with an exhibition of her paintings of Shul architecture

• Harry Lyons talking about his life as a wandering musician

• Rabbi Geoffrey Shisler - an afternoon of magic, music and mirth

• Otto Deutsch, memories of pre-war Vienna

• Trevor Toube explaining the science of delicious cooking.

DO NOT MISS - Excellent singer Mark Rosen on Wednesday, 5th November

Many, many thanks to our brilliant Hosts and Hostesses - Bob, Debbie, Dorit, Natalie, Rene,

Ruth, Trevor and Valerie. We all enjoy working at the club and the pleasure of seeing new

and old friends each month.

For further information please phone Patricia on 0207 229 9661.

Raffle Presents

Do you have any presents that you could donate to our raffle These help finance our food and

entertainment as well as giving pleasure to members. Please contact Patricia - 0207 229 9661

We extend our condolences to:

Miss Rachel Cohen, our Administrator, on the loss of her sister

Mrs. Dianne Bloom on the loss of her mother

Mr. Jeff Margolis on the loss of his brother

Mrs. Louise Mirwitch on the loss of her mother

Mrs. Judith Paisner on the loss of her mother

May the Almighty comfort you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem

We regret to announce the following deaths:

Mrs Chinita Abrahams-Curiel

We will remember them

We have introduced the practice of reciting Memorial Prayers to recognise the generosity of

those who have left legacies to the Synagogue in their Wills, and who will be permanently

acknowledged in our Yizkor Book.

We are extremely grateful to those congregants who have made bequests, which enable us to

maintain and preserve our beautiful Synagogue together with its activities.

If you would like to make provision in your Will for the future benefit of the Synagogue please

contact the office.

The Board of Management along with the members, as well as visitors to the NWE, wish to

thank all those who have sponsored Kiddushim over recent months. The Kiddushim provide

a time to make new friends and catch up with old ones.

We would like to thank you all!

04 05

Message from Rabbi Shisler

Chief Rabbi’s Rosh

Hashanah Message 5769

It is very noticeable how many people have abandoned the second day of Rosh Hashanah,

so I have decided to use my message this year to give some background to its origins in the

hope that a better understanding will encourage more of our members to observe it with us.

Although the Torah mandates only the 1st Tishri as Yom Tov, the second day of Rosh Hashanah

was established by our Prophets in ancient times, and has been observed throughout the entire

Jewish world ever since.

The Jewish calendar is a luni-solar one, that is, it depends on the moon as well as the sun.

The months are determined by the length of time it takes the moon to encircle the earth,

which is approximately 29½ days - and the seasons by the sun. In Temple times, the beginning

of each month was announced only after two witnesses came to the Temple to testify that they

had actually seen the crescent of the new moon. If after 29 days there were no credible

witnesses, the 30th day was declared as Rosh Chodesh, making the month a full month

(as opposed to a defective 29-day month). After the new month had been declared, messengers

would be sent out to inform the various Jewish communities whether the previous month had

been a 29 or 30 day month.

Rosh Hashanah presented a special problem because, not only is the 1st Tishri Rosh Chodesh,

it’s also Yom Tov.

On the evening following the 29th day of Elul, (the day before Rosh Hashanah), the court in the

Temple would sanctify the day as the first of Tishri based on the possibility that witnesses might

come that day and testify that they had seen the new moon, confirming that Rosh Hashanah

was indeed on that day. If the witnesses did appear, then that day had been Rosh Hashanah

and following day, 2nd Tishri, would be an ordinary day. However, if witnesses did not appear,

then the following day would be Rosh Hashanah and it would turn out that the previous day,

although it had been sanctified as such, hadn’t been Yom Tov at all!

Since this was clearly a very unsatisfactory situation, to ensure that people would not treat the

first day lightly, thinking that it might not be Rosh Hashanah, the early Prophets ordained that

Rosh Hashanah should be celebrated as a two day holiday - with the prohibition of work,

the sounding of the shofar, and the appropriate festival prayers being observed on both days.

An indication of the ancient character of these two days, even in the Holy Land, is found in the

special prayers that were composed for the second day only, and also in the fact that a different

Torah reading, and Haftarah is mandated for each day. So we know that the Jewish New Year

has, since time immemorial, been celebrated as a two day festival, even in Israel, as it continues

to be to this day.

This two-day celebration of Rosh Hashanah is referred to as Yoma Arichta - one long day, which

means that the forty-eight hour observance of Rosh Hashanah is considered one extended day.

Even so, each day is sanctified in itself. Regarding preparation, however, they are considered to

be two separate days so you may not prepare food on the first day for the second.

In every corner of the world Jews celebrate our New Year for two days. This is a tradition that

has been hallowed by time and is a way in which we identify with our co-religionists, wherever

they may live. I hope you can now see that people who have the notion that they’re identifying

with Israel when they don’t come to shul on the second day of Rosh Hashanah are seriously

misguided. The reality is that if you want to identify with Israel, then you should be coming

to shul then.

Anne and I look forward to the great pleasure of seeing you all over the forthcoming Yom Tov

days, and we pray that you and all your family will be granted a wonderful healthy, happy and

peaceful 5769.

Rabbi Geoffrey Shisler

As I write these words, the world–not just the Jewish world–is facing a period of turbulence

and uncertainty. The international political situation is hard to read; the economic situation

harder still. We face recession; no one knows whether this will deepen into depression.

‘These are the times’, said Paine, ‘that try men’s (and women’s) souls’.

Wrestling with this challenge, I found my mind going back to a Rosh Hashanah long ago,

in the mid fifth century BCE. The Babylonian exile was over. Many Jews had returned.

The Second Temple had been rebuilt. Yet there was no miraculous transformation in the

situation of Jews. They continued to face enemies without and divisions within. Outmarriage

was high. A significant part of the population was deeply assimilated. Half could not even

speak Hebrew (Neh. 13: 24).

That Israel survived at all at this time was due to two remarkable leaders the statesman-diplomat

Nehemiah and the scholar-teacher Ezra. They realised that something radical had to be done to

give the nation the strength to endure: not military or political but spiritual. The people needed

a clear identity, a framework of values, a set of beliefs, a way of life. The national imperative was,

in short, a return to Torah and a renewal of the covenant between the Jewish people and God.

On Rosh Hashanah they gathered the people before the Water Gate in Jerusalem. Ezra read

the Torah to them. Educators were placed throughout the crowd to explain what was being

said. The people, realising how far they had drifted from their mission, began to weep. It was

then that Nehemiah said words that, for me, contain one of the secrets of Jewish survival. He

said: “This day is sacred to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep ... Go and enjoy choice

food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred

to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8: 9-10). Let those

words echo in the mind: “the joy of the Lord is your strength”.

Jews never lost the capacity to rejoice, at times of poverty and oppression, they celebrated

Shabbat and the festivals as if they were royalty. They studied, like aristocrats of the mind.

They celebrated weddings as if they had no care in the world. I sensed that same resilience in

Israel throughout the difficult years of suicide bombings, Katyushas and Kassams. The strength

of the Jewish people is that we never allowed our enemies to rob of us of our ability to laugh,

and celebrate, and say Lechaim, and sing. Nehemiah, the shrewd statesman, was right.

“The joy of the Lord is your strength”.

It is not easy to rejoice in hard times. It calls for real disciplines of body and mind. It needs

habits of gratitude, rituals of giving thanks, sacred times when we stop thinking of what we

lack and instead focus on what we have. It means celebrating family and home and children,

love and friends and community. That is what Judaism trains us to do. Half its rituals are

about celebrating and sanctifying life. Rosh Hashanah is a sustained prayer for life.

There have been civilisations that worshipped power, wealth, art, science, victory in war,

dominance over others, privilege, hierarchy superiority. Judaism found joy in life itself: life in

love, life ill community, life in the birth of a child, the life that flows through the generations

as we honour the past and cherish the future. Jews knew that you could lose all else and still

celebrate life.

In life we find G-d. His is the breath we breathe, the call we hear, the forgiveness we feel,

the strength we need. No other religion has so focused on and sanctified the blessing of being.

This sustained our people in the past. May it sustain us in the coming year. May G-d bless us

all with life, and health, and peace.

Bebirkat ketivah vechatimah torah lekha ulekhol Yisrael

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks

Rosh Hashanah 5769

‘the joy of the

Lord is your


Adler House 735 High Road London N12 OUS Tel: 020 8343 6301 fax: 020 8343 6310

06 07

The Thoughts of Chairman Melvyn Lux

Rosh Hashanah 2008

Meet the Chatanim

The World will remember the year 2008 for a number of notable events. Amongst these we had

the first Chinese modern Olympic Games, Russia flexed it’s muscles with its incursion into

Georgia, there was Obama mania in the USA and probably most important to Jews worldwide

we celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the modern State of Israel.

In addition you will have noticed the format of our shul Magazine Mosaic has been modernised.

This is carrying on the desire of the New West End Community to keep up to date.

May I take this opportunity on behalf of us all of thanking Caryl and John Harris for their

professional design input and our Editor Eli Ballon for his guidelines and all who have offered

their thoughts and most especially written contributions for this exciting 21st Century look.

In the last 12 months we have had a number of visitors to the New West End, some of whom

have since become members.

All of these people made similar comments to us about how great the New West End Synagogue

is, which in essence is: The friendliness of the whole congregation. A most beautiful and

inspiring building. Fantastic music. A variety of events and activities. An especially welcoming

spirit for all children whether of the community, or just visiting. For the first time in his life

one person said he actually felt “at home” in a Shul. I would like to thank each of you who

contributes to making this happen.

Naturally the Board of Management and I have been delighted to hear these comments. I know

the whole community wants the NWES to be great and that is why everyone helps in every way.

We have a lot to thank our Rabbi and Rebbetsin who when asked at their first Board of

Management meeting “how do we increase our membership They said you don’t. You first

make the members feel part of the Community”. We have followed their advice. This spirit

has also increased our membership.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to many of those who have previously served on the Board of

Management, or are currently serving, the generous donations from our members and non

members, to maintain the artefacts and the beautiful interior of the building. Because of these,

we have managed to obtain Grade I listing, which applies to only two shuls in London, Bevis

Marks Synagogue and the New West End.

Our two Chatanim and their wives chat to

Eli Ballon about themselves and their lives.

John Harris _ Chatan Torah Caryl (née

Harris) Married – 17 March 1964 Offspring

– Selene, Sofie and Sarah. Profession(s) - JH

– International Graphic Design Consultant

(Retired) -CH Advertising & Graphic Designer

-MD of Design Consultancy (UN-Retired!)

EB - 1Q. Were you born into a big family

JH. No I have one elder brother and Caryl’s

elder sister married him!! Makes life nice and

easy. CH I have an older sister and brother.

2. Did you have a very religious upbringing

JH. Well my father was quite religious and I

always enjoyed going to shul and studying.

Caryl’s parents were less religious but similar

to our family so we fitted together very well.

3. How did you meet

JH. At Edgware Maccabi Club when Caryl

was 14 years old and I was 16.

4. When did you first meet the Wasserman


CH. I think it was because I had started a

crèche at Chelsea Shul but its such a long

time ago – its hard to remember. JH. Victor,

Eliane, Caryl and I were all on the Board of

Management at Chelsea shul and we shared

the responsibility of keeping the shul

thriving and vital.

Benjamin – just 6 weeks. JH. Sarah the

youngest girl is a graphic designer like us

– but so far no wedding bells – too busy

travelling the world.

8. Do they have a view about their religion

JH. Selene went to Solomon Woolfson so she

had a great start to Judaism. Sofie and Adam’s

children attend the NW Jewish School in

Manchester – Sarah runs a Jewish girl-guide

group in Stanmore where I ran a Jewish scout

troop for more than 30 years. CH. The girls

have a strong feeling of who they are - and

children seem to be a very important part of

the New West End.

Victor Wasserman _ Chatan

Berashith – Eliane (née Salanic) Married –

14 November 1965 Offspring – Karen,

Babette and Candy Profession(s) - VW.

Personnel Director (Retired)

the shul which was a big wrench for me as I

was barmitzphad there and had been involved

with Chelsea all my life.

5. What do you like about Nwe – list...


Eliane and I were over-awed by the beauty,

friendliness, and exceptional quality of the

services. Where else can you experience such

a beautiful choral concert every Saturday

morning Not to mention the spiritually

uplifting service. We were most impressed

with the Rabbi and his lovely wife and he is

a superb educator.

6. Let’s go back to you family – what do your

daughters do for a living/interests

All the girls went to the French Lycée here in

Kensington. Karen studied at the Sorbonne

and is a French lawyer and English solicitor.

Babette went to Central St Martins and

graduated in jewellery design and now runs

her own company winning design awards

for her brilliant work. Candy was at King’s

College and is now a marketing manager

with a medical company in Sydney.

To add light to our lustre we had a visit from H.E. the Israeli Ambassador Ron Prossor on a

Shabbat morning in July. We celebrated with a communal lunch and afterwards he spoke and

fielded questions from the audience for over an hour. Before the lunch he spoke to the Rabbi

and to the Chazan saying how much he enjoyed the Service and the music and mixed with

the members generally chatting and making all who met him feel he was a “regular guy”.

The joint Cheder Prize Day ended the first year of the joining of the cheders of NWES and of

Holland Park Shul. This union is very successful and by uniting we have enabled more children

to get together and support a full complement of teachers. In addition we now have a class

covering GCSE Hebrew.

The NWES along with the Zionist Federation organised a mission to visit Israel during the

celebratory week. It was fantastic! We met a number of important people including:

The Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and senior members of the Knesset. Deputy Editor of the

Jerusalem Post. A Colonel of the Intelligence Corps. The British Ambassador and many others.

We went to ceremonies, memorial services, a tour of the Intelligence Corps HQ and a number

of modern museums paying tribute to founders of the State like Herzl and Menachem Begin.

We met visitors from across the world as far afield as Australia, Chile, South Africa and the USA.

By the time this magazine is published we will be at the Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur period.

A time to contemplate, repent and revitalise ourselves and give Tzedaka to those less fortunate

than ourselves.

Denise and I wish you all a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year and well over the Fast.

Melvyn Lux

5. We know you were firm supporters of

Chelsea United Synagogue Before then

– what shul were you a part of

JH. It was when we were looking for the

new London home and we wanted to be

near a shul. Before that we were members

of Edgware United Synagogue – we were

married there and so too were our siblings

Toni (Caryl’s sister) to Peter.

6. What do you like about NWE –


CH. One Shabbat John finally agreed to

try it instead of Chelsea and that was it.

The friendliness and the welcome were

overwhelming. JH. We both love the

services, the musicality of the whole shul

and of course – is there a more beautiful one

in all of London Every Shabbat it is a real

treat to sit and enjoy every aspect of the shul.

7. Let’s go back to you family – what do your

daughters do for a living/interests

JH. Selene is married to Martin both are heads

of schools and have two sons, Harry (9) and

Freddy (5). CH. Sofie is a physiotherapist -

married to Adam, a Consultant Neurologist,

and they have Louis (5) Saskia (2) and

EB - 1Q. Were you born into a big family

VW. Not really I had one brother and

one sister and Eliane has two sisters and

one brother.

2. Did you have a very religious upbringing

VW. Eliane came from a very religious

background. But both our parents and grand

parents had deeply religious backgrounds

and were always involved in community

work both in their places of birth in Europe

and also here. Like most refugees from

Russia, Germany and the Baltics their

struggle to safety is a story in itself.

3. How did you meet

We met at a Boxing Day party in London – two

months later I was invited to her lovely home

in the South of France and I knew she was the

girl for me. I proposed and was accepted we

were married in Central Synagogue in ‘65.

4. When did you first meet the Harris Family

John and I were Chelsea Board Members

and we campaigned to get a Cheder started

because of our six young daughters and

from that point on we more or less took over

running the shul. We both decided to leave

‘Where else can

you experience

such a


choral concert

every Saturday


08 09

Jeremy Jacobs, the new

Chief Executive Of The United Synagogue

As many of you will know, I have had

the great honour to have been offered the

prestigious position as Chief Executive of the

United Synagogue, which I will be taking up

around the Yom Tovim time.

My family has been fully involved with the

United Synagogue since its inception in

the 1870’s. My great-great-grandfather was

Warden of the Hambro Synagogue during

the period when the five main Synagogues

of London joined together to create what was

effectively a self-help organisation dedicated

to developing communal facilities for the

growing London Jewish community, and

he also served on the United Synagogue

Council and Chief Rabbinate Council. As

time progressed the US developed an ethos of

pooling resources to assist new and growing

communities as well as enabling declining

communities to downsize with dignity

My family’s involvement continued with my

great-grandfather serving for over thirty years

as Warden of the Hambro Synagogue and

then Warden and Financial Representative of

the Stoke Newington Synagogue around the

turn of the century. My grandfather served as

a United Synagogue Council representative

for the Dunstan Road Synagogue during the

1920’s and with my father being a very active

United Synagogue Council member for Dollis

Hill, my brother Financial Representative

for Pinner, and my sister and brother-in-law

taking a prominent role at Belmont, it was

only natural I continued the family tradition.

Having spent many years on Belmont’s Board

of Management and Finance Committee I then

became Financial Representative and then

Warden of the community.

In 1996 I ran for the position of Treasurer

of the United Synagogue, and served two

terms finally relinquishing the post of

Senior Treasurer in 2002. However this was

not the end of my involvement. It was with

great excitement that I accepted the post

of Chairman of the newly created Young

Peoples Programme of the United Synagogue.

I helped forge the strategy and brand that

is now TRIBE and have been Chairman

ever since, seeing the fledgling organisation

growing into the largest Jewish organisation

catering for young people in the country,

with over 12,000 members.

The experience of being Chairman of

TRIBE has been a most exhilarating one,

and this has played no small part in whetting

my appetite to play an even greater role in

British Jewry. Working with a dedicated

group of professionals, and seeing hundreds,

if not thousands, of kids, engaging in Jewish

life, and showing a mature responsibility

towards their community, has been humbling.

I remember clearly the Shabbatonim in

Israel, where, annually, over 200 gap year

participants, from various United Synagogue

backgrounds, and different levels of religious

observance, come together to share an

experience which enhances their commitment

to their Jewish identity. How could I not be

inspired by their commitment and enthusiasm

towards their home communities

Which is where I was, back in May 2008. The

post of Chief Executive had been filled very

ably on a caretaker basis by Stuart Taylor since

the middle of 2007 and I knew this period

was reaching its end. Having discussed the

possibility of applying with both Stuart, and

Simon Hochhauser the current President of the

United Synagogue, I decided to make a formal

application and was offered a first interview.

You might be interested in the process

I went through before I was finally offered

the position. I knew the interviews would

be rigorous, having been on the interview

panel for the previous two appointments,

but dealing with it from the other side was

a different ballgame altogether.

Even before I started the process, having

read the person specification and job

description, I realised I had to give very

serious thought to my overall vision and

strategy for the organisation. I started to

put pen to paper, and very soon realised

how passionately I believed in the ethos and

principles of the United Synagogue. I am

sure many of you will empathise with this

process. As you start to think about something

seriously you develop a passion that has lain

dormant, and I realised that everything I had

done before for the organisation was leading

me to this new challenge.

My final strategy document filled me with a

sense of commitment and drive. The need to

nurture and develop warm and welcoming

communities, grounded in Halachah, devoted

to developing Jewish identity, is without

doubt a mitzvah and a necessity. What better

challenge could I hope for at this stage of my

professional life

The first interview was conducted by two

current Trustees and a Human Resources

consultant. It was a rigorous interview,

focused on problem solving and personality

profiling. It was a very thorough two hour

process, and one which, despite being

apprehensive beforehand, was actually very

enjoyable. My past experiences put me in

a position of strength as for the most part,

all the problems raised I had come across

during my previous work for the organisation.

I hope my passion also showed through, and

shortly after the interview I was asked for a

second interview with four other Trustees and

a Human Resources professional.

For the second interview I was asked to make

a formal presentation to the panel on, guess

what, my vision for the United Synagogue,

and my proposed strategy to achieve that

vision. Well, I had already done most of that

work, but the additional effort in formalising

the power point presentation was a very

worthwhile process for me. In this process

I had to firm up the practical elements of the

strategy, ensuring that by the time I gave the

presentation, I was confident and polished.

The three hour process, which also

included further discussion on specific topics,

was arduous but exhilarating. The end result

of course was a telephone call asking me

whether I wanted to go through the final

process. I was to meet with an independent

Employment specialist who would delve

deeper into my personality.

Having got this far, and having increased

my passion and commitment to succeed,

I willingly accepted the challenge. As the day

arrived, it began to dawn on me that this final

process would be very challenging. I was not

disappointed. The four hour interview, which

included psychometric testing and probing

questioning, was arduous but enlightening.

As you will have gathered, the outcome

was a success for me. Having gone to Israel,

whilst celebrating at a Simchah, I received a

telephone call from the President offering me

the position. I accepted with alacrity, full of

anticipation and humility.

Here I was, one of a long line of the Jacobs

family, committed to the organisation,

finally being given the opportunity of

fulfilling the dream of accepting what

many regard as the most senior full-time

professional position in British Jewry,

with a chance to really make a positive

difference to the lives of all Jews in Britain!

What does the position involve The job

description gives some flavour of the scope of

the position. Not only would I be responsible

for around 700 employees who are working

tirelessly for the community, but I would also

have stewardship of assets approaching £100m,

and income of around £20m per annum.

In particular it confirms that “The role

is challenging and complex requiring a

sophisticated ability to work with a range of

diverse interest groups and stakeholders and

to balance the need to manage the

unexpected with a focus on moving

the organisation forward.

The Chief Executive is responsible for and

leads the professional team of the United

Synagogue and works in tandem with the

elected President and Trustees”.

More specifically it requires:

The setting and implementation of strategy,

Servicing Communities, Jewish Religious,

Infrastructure provision, Management

of Internal relationships and Personnel,

Responsibility for Communications and

External relationships, Reporting all of the

above to the Trustees and ensuring proper

Governance mechanism is in place

As you can see, the role is complex and

comprehensive, but what is most interesting

is the prominence of the strategy concept,

and it therefore gives me an opportunity to

fulfil my vision for the United Synagogue.

I have of course already alluded to this, but,

in brief, my Vision is as follows:

That the United Synagogue enables all

British Jews, as defined by Halachah, to

develop their Jewish identity, through our

united family of welcoming communities

and quality central services

This is very similar to the existing Vision of

the United Synagogue, but it perhaps has

more emphasis on action rather than reaction.

There are a number of key words in the

Vision which I want to highlight:

All British Jews – the United Synagogue has

always tended to focus on the London area.

With changing demographics, and many

young people moving into the London area,

TRIBE has found a need to start focussing

its efforts more widely, and we have found

willingness, indeed passion, amongst

regional communities to participate in our

Vision. That is something I want to develop

as we go forward.

Defined by Halachah – let us be up front

and proud. We are a religious organisation,

working within the bounds of Orthodox

Judaism, and we should say so. Of course

others will disagree, and we must respect

their views, but similarly they should respect

ours. Dialogue is vital, and I aim to continue

that to the best of my ability, but as far as

our organisation is concerned, we have

restrictions which we must comply with.

Develop Jewish identity – here is the heart

of the vision! Why do we have such an

organisation as the United Synagogue

Of course we want to have communities of

like minded people; of course we want there

to be kosher food available; of course we want

to be buried in a Jewish cemetery; of course

we need a proper Religious Court to settle

certain matters; of course we need world-class

Jewish education; but these are all aspects

of the same goal – TO DEVELOP JEWISH

IDENTITY. As a father, and, Hashem willing,

a future grandfather, there is nothing more

important to me than ensuring my family both

retains their Jewish identity and increases it

as much as possible. That will include their

being involved in Jewish communal, social

and religious life and an up front and proud

commitment to Israel. That is what the United

Synagogue is really all about and my vision

is that we create the opportunities for all of

British Jewry to grow in a religious and

Jewish communal sense.

United family of welcoming communities

– But how can we develop Jewish identity

Through our communities, because that is

where Jewish life really exists. Notice some

key words even here: we must be a united

community, working towards the same

goal, and sharing facilities, ideas, resources

and personnel wherever possible. Different

communities within the United Synagogue

may sometimes have differences of opinions,

but ultimately we must be united, because

we are a family sharing the same goals,

aiming for the same objectives. To do that,

all our communities must work tirelessly

to be welcoming to all their members and

visitors alike. We must always realise that

we are serving our membership, and that

service concept applies at both central and

local level. My goal is to encourage and

enable communities to increase membership

by providing the warm and welcoming

atmosphere people want, as well as

providing a wide range of facilities and

services, with the ultimate goal of

developing Jewish identity.

Quality central services – this was one of

the original goals of the United Synagogue,

and nothing has really changed. Pooling of

resources and strength in numbers enables

a community to provide facilities that are

financially and physically impossible when

there are too few members. However, one

aspect of my vision is perhaps more focussed.

I am determined to ensure the facilities we

provide are efficient, relevant, and steeped

in the concept of SERVICE to the community.

We must never forget, whether it be within

the centre or at local level, the needs of our

members, and we must do this with the

express intention of developing their

Jewish identity.

So, quite a task ahead of me! But I am

passionate about the United Synagogue

and my Vision, and I hope I will play some

small role in ensuring the organisation

delivers quality and relevant services to our

membership, enabling our community to

grow and to assist in the development of

Jewish identity.

Jeremy Jacobs

Chief Executive Designate

United Synagogue

‘I realised that


I had done

before for the


was leading

me to this new


010 011

July 2008

The NWES Israel Trip May 2008

Henry Magrill

‘...we were

struck by the

many areas

in which they

were in broad


especially in

relation to the

potential threat

to the region

from Iran’

Twenty-one NWES members gathered in the Carlton Hotel Tel Aviv on Sunday 4th May for our

third Israel Mission, led by Rabbi and Mrs Shisler. The previous trips in 2004 and 2006 had been

hugely successful and enjoyable and the 2008 event was to prove equally popular.

Breakfast on the Monday morning found the overnight arrivals semi-compos-mentis - some had

had only a couple of hours sleep after their night flights whereas the majority had already had

two days in the sun to recover from the journey.

The formal proceedings started with a briefing in the hotel from our guide Mina Glatzer, but

the tour got off to an unfortunate start because the coach was caught up in a huge traffic jam on

the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway following an earlier accident so we eventually left the hotel 1½

hours late. This meant that our scheduled meeting at the Foreign Ministry had to be cancelled

and instead we went straight to the Knesset where we met with two MKs - Yoel Hasson of the

Kadima Party and Colette Avital of the Labour Party. Each of them spent about an hour with us

briefing us on the political and security situations in which Israel finds itself and answering

questions. Naturally there were differences of opinion between the two politicians but we were

struck by the many areas in which they were in broad agreement, especially in relation to the

potential threat to the region from Iran.

We then drove to the new Yad Vashem complex where, after lunch in the cafeteria, we were

guided through the exhibition by Asher Cailingold, a veteran of the ex-British community in

Israel. As was to be expected, the visit was both impressive and moving and the new facility

is architecturally striking, being built through a hill so that, on exiting, the visitor sees a

breathtaking panorama of the Jerusalem hills.

We dined at a restaurant in Jerusalem (various tasty morsels on skewers, accompanied of

course by Israeli salads and pita) and then returned to Tel Aviv for the night.

Tuesday 6th May provided some of the major highlights of the trip. We returned to Jerusalem

(this time the coach was on time!) and at the Jewish Agency building we met with Steve Linde,

Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post. In a highly entertaining and informative one-hour

discussion he gave us a third viewpoint on Israel’s internal politics (rather more bluntly than

the politicians the previous day!) and external security threats where once again Iran figured

prominently. Steve promised to visit us at the NWE next time he is in London to bring us further

up to date with developments and you would all do well to watch out for this event and make

a point of attending - you will not be disappointed!

After lunch in Cafe Joe in Keren Hayesod Street - highly recommended - we drove to Mount

Herzl for a visit to the Herzl Museum where we were joined by Eli and Shana Ballon who were

on holiday in Jerusalem. The museum traces Herzl’s early ideas on a Jewish state through to the

Zionist Congresses of the 1890s and 1900s through a series of cleverly thought out dioramas and

films. We then moved on to the Menachem Begin Museum which uses photographs, recordings

and similar displays to record his life both before and after the founding of the State of Israel.

We dined in the restaurant at the Museum and then drove to the Old City of Jerusalem for the

official state ceremony for Memorial Day - Yom Hazikaron - at the Western Wall, attended by

President Shimon Peres who together with a war widow lit the memorial flame for Israel’s

fallen soldiers.

On the Wednesday morning we drove first to the Machal Memorial in the Jerusalem hills for the

Yom Hazikaron ceremony. Machal was the name given to the overseas volunteers who came to

Israel in 1948 to fight alongside the Israelis in the War of Independence. Many died, and all their

names were read out during the ceremony, including twenty-two from the United Kingdom.

At 11am the air-raid sirens sounded throughout the country to signal the two-minute silence -

a very moving moment.

We were accompanied that morning by Colonel Olivier Rafowicz who briefed us on the security

fence and took us to see parts of it in and around Jerusalem and overlooking Bethlehem from

Gilo, a neighbourhood which had come under sustained fire from the Palestinian territories

before the construction of the barrier. In the afternoon we had a short tour of the Old City

culminating in a visit to the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, adjacent to the Southern Wall of

the Temple Mount, which houses in the Davidson Centre a three-dimensional “walk-through”

computer reconstruction of the Second Temple.

Dinner that evening was at a restaurant in the new North Tel Aviv port which has been

transformed from a run-down group of disused warehouses into a smart shopping, eating

and tourist area within fifteen minutes walking distance from our hotel.

Thursday was Yom Ha’Atzmaut - Independence Day - and we were taken to the Army

Intelligence School at Glilot, just north of Tel Aviv. We spent a fascinating morning seeing

everything from captured military hardware to satellite imaging equipment and pilotless

information-gathering aircraft. There was also a full size replica of a Hezbollah camp in South

Lebanon and a mock-up of one of the tunnels used to smuggle people and weapons across

the Gaza-Egypt border. These tunnels are quite unlike the image one has from The Great

Escape film - they are easily big enough to drive a truck through!

Our next stop was the JNF picnic and barbecue in the Nes Harim Forest in the Jerusalem hills

(where one has to say that the food did not compare favourably with that produced by our own

ex-South African team of experts at the Shul barbecue in July!).

On the final morning of the trip we were honoured by a visit to the hotel by the British

Ambassador, H. E. Tom Phillips CMG. He stayed with us for nearly an hour and gave us a

somewhat off-the-record briefing on his view of the Middle East situation. Without breaking

any confidences, he too regarded Iran as the most serious threat to stability in the region and

he also made many flattering comments about Israel’s development over the many years that

have elapsed since he was first sent there as a relatively junior diplomat.

Our last outing was a short tour of the old city of Jaffa which is continually developing as an

arts-and-crafts centre and also a brief stop at the Independence Museum in downtown Tel Aviv.

This trip differed from the previous two in that we spent much more time being briefed by very

highly qualified and experienced people on the political and security situation. On earlier visits

we were taken to units helping, for example, disabled children or disadvantaged families. As one

of the people who has been on all three trips I can say that we now have a much more complete

insight into what makes Israel unique and what we can do to spread the message in the face of so

much adverse comment in this country.

012 013

Life of a Chorister

By Gary Fine

‘I led the boys

in the high


services at the

Odeon cinema

in Temple


My Grandfather, Naphtali Halter, was a chazzan in Lodz, Poland at the age of 15 years.

After arriving in Liverpool in 1907 with my Mother, who was 12 years old, he took up the post

of chazzan at the Princes Road Synagogue before moving to the East End of London where he

became well known as a mohel, shochet and cantor of the Cannon Street Road Synagogue for

more than 40 years.

When I was a child my Grandfather tried to teach me to write music but had to admit defeat,

as I was completely unable to understand the basic rudiments of note positioning and value.

However when he taught me my bar mitzvah he realised that I had a pleasant singing voice

but suggested that I should not seriously think of using it until it had broken.

At the age of 17 I joined the choir of Golders Green Synagogue in Dunstan Road as a trainee

baritone. The choirmaster was David Levine and one of the basses was Stanley Warren. My

apprenticeship lasted about one year after which Queen Elizabeth invited me to join her army.

Two years later in 1956, after retiring from National Service, I returned to Golders Green and

my mothers cooking to find that I was welcome to return to the choir as an unpaid trainee but

I declined as I considered that my apprenticeship had ended two years earlier.

Some friends persuaded me to attend a rehearsal of the Zemel Choir where I was auditioned by

Dudley Cohen, the founder and musical director. To my delight and amazement I was accepted

but, as this was a mixed choir, I had to retrain as a tenor. Once again Stanley Warren was in the

Bass section.

After a short while I joined the choir of Finchley Synagogue in Kinloss Gardens, under the baton

of Lionel Leigh, where I sang with a bass named Stanley Warren!! I led the boys in the high

holydays services at the Odeon cinema in Temple Fortune. One of the boys was 7 year old Lionel

(now Rabbi) Rosenfeld whose father was chazzan of the Shul.When the choir disbanded I was

asked to sing in the Dennington Park Road, Hampstead Synagogue choir.

I met my future wife, Rita, who was a soprano, in the Zemel Choir. She was also a chorister in

the Hampstead Synagogue where we were married in 1963 and sang together for almost 30 years

with Chazzan Charles Lowy. Hampstead was the last United Synagogue to have a mixed choir

but no Stanley Warren.

We then moved to the New London Synagogue where we sang for 13 years.

Rita and I had set up home in Stanmore and became members of Kenton Synagogue where our

son Clifford was Bar mitzvah and daughter Natalie was Bat Chayil under the tutelage of Rabbi

Eddie Jackson and the then chazzan Geoffrey Shisler.

For the past 10 years I have been singing at the New West End Synagogue in Bayswater, which

has the last full time synagogue choir in London, and with The London Cantorial Singers and

Stanley Warren.

You may be asking yourself why anyone would want to devote so many years to an activity.

To me and the majority of choristers this is not just a hobby but, to use a well worn phrase,

it’s a way of life.

New West End Choir

The New West End Synagogue has had a

choir from its inception in 1879. Its most

distinguished choirmaster was D.M. Davis,

whose photograph and Code of Conduct hang

in the Golda Cohen Room. He conducted for

no less that 50 years, during which time he

co-compiled Kol Rinah: The Voice of Prayer

and Praise, but is far better known as the

“Blue Book”, which contains the

core-collection of Nusach Anglia choral

pieces. It is still used in Anglo-Jewish

communities over one hundred years later.

Paul Lessman , choirmaster, was in the choir

from 1948 until his retirement in 1992. Paul

was succeeded by Elliot Burman who has

been choirmaster since 1993.

The New West End can boast the only

full-time professional synagogue choir in the

London area. They officiate at all Shabbat and

Yom Tov Services held in the Shul, Weddings

and any special Services, at all times with the

aim of making the Service more beautiful in

praise of Hashem.

Rev. Brian Segal became choirmaster of

Edgware United Synagogue in 1973, having

joined their choir as a ten year old. After a

period of tuition at Jews’ College under the

aegis of Rabbi Geoffrey Shisler he became

Chazan at Ilford Federation Synagogue until

1984. Brian spent 23 happy years as Chazan of

Palmers Green United Synagogue, serving the

community and expanding his knowledge.

Since 2006, Brian has been the wedding

Chazan of the NWES. He was extremely

pleased to be given this honour at what has

been his favourite London synagogue.

Elliot Burman has led the New West End

choir since 1993. His family discovered his

musical talent at a very early age. He has sung

in classical concert choirs including at a Prom

Concert, as well as with Zemel, the London

Jewish Male Choir and the London Cantorial

Singers; he has acted as deputy-conductor in

the latter two. A semi-retired school teacher,

his other interests include the history of

transport and collecting phonecard, stamps

and coins.

Jack Ferro A barrister by profession, he began

singing with the New West End choir in 2005,

and performs regularly with the choir and

also the Neimah Singers. A lyrical tenor, he

has a keen interest in chazanut and liturgical

music, and has often led the Shabbat service

at the NWES. He has performed with some

of the world’s leading chazanim, in the UK

and abroad.

Trevor Toube has sung in choirs in South

Africa, California, Cambridge, and London

over a period of nearly six decades. He is

also a composer. By profession, he is a

mostly retired academic, specialising in

organic chemistry.

Stanley Blum loves to sing everything from

L’Dor Va’Dor to Al Jolson. A pharmacist by

trade, he wanted to leave his profession for

the stage. He recently made his second CD

and is in the final ten of the Star Now Search

for a Star.

Jeff Jacobs first sang in public aged 4 at

Jewish retirement homes with his two

brothers. He then sang tenor in the South

West Essex Reform Synagogue junior choir,

and bass in the adult choir.. Jeff joined the

London Jewish Male Choir in 1993, and

toured Israel, Holland, and Gibraltar -

he is the choir secretary. In 1995 he joined the

NWES choir and has sung in shul on Shabbat

and Yom Tov ever since. Jeff’s hobbies include

opera, comedy and walking.

Stanley Warren first heard a Shul choir

singing a Sefirat Ha Omer Service aged 10

at Philpot Street Synagogue in 1936 and was

thrilled. He joined Duke’s Place choir for

a short time and after demob took singing

lessons. He sang in the Sadler’s Wells chorus

until Professor Herbert Cesari said “Not for

you; you’re a soloist”. Stanley has sung in the

Golders Green Shul choir, Kinloss Gardens,

Finchley and Hendon Shuls.,Stanley was

enticed to the NWES and has remained for

the past ten years.

Elliot Berman (with an e) - Although the

newest recruit to the choir, he felt that it was

inevitable that he would sing at the NWES.

Having been involved in Jewish choirs for

several years, he was often confused with

NWE’s illustrious choir master! Elliot sings

with the London Jewish Male Choir and is its

current treasurer. He is also a member of Mill

Hill Amateur Operatic Society and Impact

Theatre Company.

Stuart Dashwood has been a member of the

NWES choir since 1995. He has sung with

The Jewish Male Voice Choir and the London

Cantorial Singers, currently he spends most

of his time singing for various operatic

and musical societies throughout London

including the Brent Opera, whom he

considers his “home”.

Melvyn Miller has over 45 years experience

of singing with various Jewish Choral

Societies and Synagogue choirs around the

country including the Zimriyah Choral

Society of Birmingham, the Glasgow Jewish

Choral Society, the Zemel Choir and presently

sings with the London Cantorial Singers.

He is also a member of Edgware United

Synagogue Choir and occasional member

of the NWES choir.

Alex Knapp graduated from Cambridge

with MA, MusB and PhD degrees in music.

He has also been awarded Hon ARAM, LRAM

and ARCM diplomas. Alex teaches privately

and at university (most recently as Joe Loss

Lecturer in Jewish Music at SOAS).

A composer, arranger, broadcaster and

consultant Alex has performed as

accompanist (piano/organ) on several

recordings of Jewish music, as well as at

numerous concerts accompanying Chazanim

Adler, Hainovitz, Helfgott, Herstik, Malovany,

Miller, Müller, Schulhoff, Stern, and Weinbach.

014 015

Childrens pages


If you are ready for some

Fun then come to

Club Sameach

to play, to pray and for plenty of


A Story About The Meaning Of The Shofar

Once upon a time a boy from a small village came to a city for the first time. In the middle of the

night he was woken by the loud beating of drums. When he asked what it was, the people told

him that when a fire breaks out, people beat their drums and, after a short while, the fire is gone!

When the boy returned home to his village, he told his neighbours about the wonderful system

they had in the city for putting out fires. The people in the village were very excited and ordered

drums for each household! The next time a fire broke out, everyone in the village beat their

drums but the fire continued to burn and many of their houses burnt down. A visitor, who was

there from the city, saw what happened and was told that they thought the beating of the drums

would help extinguish the fires so the visitor explained:

“Did you really think you could put out the fire by beating drums We beat the drums in the city

to sound an alarm and wake other people for them to help and go to the well for water to put out

the fire. It’s the water from the well that extinguishes the fire, not the beating of the drums!”.

Dip The Apple In The Honey

to the tune of Clementine

Dip the apple in the honey

Make a bracha loud and clear

‘Shana Tova Umetuka’

May you have a sweet new year

Mummy, Daddy, Sister, Brother

Sit around the table now

Dip the apple in the honey

If you’d like, I’ll show you how!

Rosh Hashanah is here!

to the tune of Happy Birthday!

Rosh Hashanah

is here,

it’s the time

of the year;

we all say

‘Good Yom Tov’ and

‘Happy New Year’!

At New West End we welcome

people of all ages!

Our children’s club, Club Sameach, has

separate activities on Shabbat and Chaggim

for children under 5 and for those over

5… teenage volunteers are also more than


We’d love to meet you anytime but please

make a special effort to join us over the Yomim

Tovim. Our Sunday morning Cheder caters for

children from 4 yrs old and attracts families

from as far away as Windsor and Wimbledon!

Do come to see for yourselves…

If you’d like further information about any of

our activities for youngsters at New West End,

please send an e-mail to:

Club Sameach Schedule:

Rosh Hashanah

(both days) 11.30am – 12.30pm

Can you


these letters

to find words

linked to this

time of year





Hearing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah is a kind of ‘beating the drums’ alarm for us, warning us

to improve our behaviour in the year ahead!

Yom Kippur



14th October 11am – 12pm

answers: apple, honey, tashlich, tekia

For the regular Shabbat schedule, please e-mail

Club Sameach celebrates Lag B’Omer 2008

016 017

Bayswater and The New West End Synagogue

During World War Two

Geoffrey L. Green

Part Four.

The Most Frightening Period

‘London will

never be


and will never

fail, and that

her renown,

triumphing over

every ordeal,

will long shine

among men’

‘London will never be conquered and will never fail, and that her renown, triumphing over

every ordeal, will long shine among men’ Closing sentence of a Statement on the ‘Flying Bomb’

made by Winston Churchill to the House of Commons 6 July 1944.

The German Air Force diverted to the Eastern Front after the invasion of Russia on 22 June

1941 which meant the heavy night bombing of London ceased. For the citizens, a kind of lull

pervaded, the opportunity of a night’s sleep, and some normality slowly returned, set against

an austere background. At the New West End Synagogue services were held in the Board Road

(now the Golda Cohen Room) on weekdays during the winter months, and in the Synagogue at

other times, attendances were satisfactory. To show his appreciation of the Jewish efforts in the

ARP Services the Mayor and Council of Paddington visited the Synagogue on Sabbath 4 October

1941. Reverend Ephraim Levine had completed 25 years of service to the Synagogue and now his

four sons and son-in-law were in the Army. The United Synagogue agreed to extend the retiring

age of Reverend Isaac Goldston for a year, where he taught ten children in the Hebrew Classes,

two of my friends, Geoffrey Gross and Peter Bird were Bar Mitzvah.

It was getting near my turn. In the spring of 1942 my Aunt and Uncle returned to London from

Oxford, and I had a final change of school. St Clement Danes Grammar School in Ducane Road,

Hammersmith, on the number seven bus route from Westbourne Grove. I dropped down a Year,

and not only that, Reverend Goldston contacted Father and gently broke the news I was far from

ready for my Bar Mitzvah. A simple seven line portion was re- found for me on Sabbath second

day Shavuot, and so started a crash course in the Secretary’s Office. I do not know who had

a harder time of it poor Reverend Goldston, or me. On walking to St Petersburgh Mews most

evenings, I passed the bomb site in Bark Place (now the Herbert Samuel Hall) where a large brick

built emergency water supply water tank had been built. Came the day I was so nervous, no

confidence whatsoever, the memory of the Priestly Blessing from Reverend Levine addressing

me in seat number 32, in the front row traditional place for all Bar Mitzvah boys. No Kiddush,

home for lunch with the family, including mother’s parents present to witness their youngest

grandson’s Bar Mitzvah. The possible threat of the Air Raid sirens was ever present, but did

not stop my having a few friends for tea

About the time of the third anniversary of the war came the decisive battle of El Alamein.

Germany’s advance was threatening Stalingrad, and looking grim for the Russians, with

anguished cries from them for a ‘second front’. However, the naval defeat of the Japanese at

Midway Island and the stemming of their advance through the jungles of Burma was better

news from the Far East. Everyone began to feel we would win the war, but it would be a long

and heart-breaking time, rationing got more severe, our clothes were getting drab, queuing for

everything particularly the cinemas. Wartime conditions made inroads into religious life, one

example when the Board of Shechita cut the salaries of shochetim and shomerim because less

kosher meat was being slaughtered. Although kosher supplies absorbed only one per cent of

home-killed meat, there was no government guarantee that Jews would receive their full ration.

Five pounds of matzoth was allotted to each Jewish person at Passover.

The iron railings to the dwarf brick wall fronting Orme Lane were given up for scrap to help

the war-effort. Not all was despondency, ironically membership substantially increased as the

drift back to London gathered momentum with services well attended. Central Synagogue,

Great Portland Street had been bombed and Western Marble Arch Synagogue was not to be built

until after the war, which meant St. Petersburgh Place became pre-eminent. Striking was the

numbers of allied servicemen, particularly from the United States who had a number of hostels

in the Bayswater Road at Lancaster Gate, opposite Kensington Gardens. During the High Holy

Days the New West End Synagogue was filled to overflowing. On United States Thanksgiving

Day a service was held in the Synagogue, conducted by the U.S. Chaplain, Judah Naditch who

also gave the address, later being broadcast to the United States. The Lord Mayor and Lady

Mayoress of London were present with the Chief Rabbi. For Dutch Jews our Synagogue saw

the celebrations for Queen Wilhelmina’s birthday, and Polish Army Officers with Government

representatives attended for special prayers to the victims of Nazi atrocities in Poland.

Reverend Ephraim Levine took part at Kensington Town Hall in April 1943 of ‘Support for the

oppressed peoples’- ‘He spoke as one of the persecuted people, and was glad of the opportunity

to give audible expression of thanks to the men of the Churches represented at the meeting.

The voices that had been most articulate against oppression were the voices of the Christian

Church. This form of persecution is an attack against all religion - not only the Jews. Christianity

is intimately bound up with Judaism. We want practical help as well as sympathy, and we must

open up Palestine, the traditional home of the Jews’

The income of £8,135 in 1944 was the largest in the history of the New West End Synagogue,

as against £7,305 the previous year. Membership continued to increase with thirty gentlemen

awaiting seats, and only sixteen vacant seats for the ladies. At a Board Meeting on the 20 January

1944 sanction was given to train Mr Harris as a successor to Reverend Isaac Goldston at a salary

of no more than £200 per annum for the post of Secretary. Many of the marriages solemnised at

the Synagogue were not members, which on occasions resulted in men entering the Synagogue

without proper headgear (kippot were not allowed) and indulging themselves by smoking in the

vestibule. The United Synagogue had already pointed out the danger of increased ceremonies

at public halls, if the use of the Synagogue was refused or discouraged. Reverend Goldston

proposed a large notice in the Vestibule. The Ladies Committee had been revived with monthly

meetings and energetically led by Mrs Franklin. Contact Ascot Hostel, a Jewish home for

children orphaned or otherwise directly affected by the war. Concern was expressed to urgently

pass to the United Synagogue that the Matron of the London County Council Lindsey Hostel

for Unmarried mothers and their Babies was anxious for Jewish girls to start being visited by a

Jewish Minister. The far sighted start to organising a Social Centre, where young Jewish men and

women could meet, once a month on a Sunday afternoon for social and educational activities.

Importantly to be housed on Synagogue Premises, where the rooms on the first floor were most

suitable, requesting a power point and use of the piano. Concern over cleanliness of the Toilets by

employing regular cleaners instead of casual workers, and pressing for amendment of the United

Synagogue Act of 1870 by granting the franchise to lady seat holders.

A startling reminder just a month later - the air raid sirens sounded during the night of 18-19

February 1944, the heaviest raid by 120 aircraft since the London Blitz. Incendiaries caused fires

in Moscow Road, Queensborough and Inverness Terrace. A high explosive in the centre of the

road opposite 18 and 19 Bark Place demolished four small houses with blast damaging the whole

of the east side beyond repair. Irvine Court, Porchester Terrace received a direct hit killing three.

On Sunday 20 February numerous incendiaries caused fires for two hours between 10 pm. and

midnight in Palace Court, Ossington Street and worse of all fires in the United Dairies building

at the corner of St Petersburgh Place and Moscow Road, opposite the Greek Church. The horses

from the stables in Chapel Side were led away to safety. The Great Western Railway Royal Hotel,

Paddington Station had the top floor severely damaged by incendiaries. All went suddenly quiet

again, the Little Blitz was over.

On the 19 February 1944 England played Scotland at Wembley winning 6-3 with 80,000 in the

crowd. Before the game, and during half-time, I was in the Massed Drum and Bugle Bands

of the London Sea Cadets, counter-marching on the famous ground. The wizardry of Stanley

Mathews on the right wing giving the Scottish full-back a torrid time until he brought Stanley

down by the shirt in utter frustration. Both got up, and shook hands. On reaching 14 years of age

the youth were expected to volunteer in the Cadet Movement. With two of my friends, living

opposite, we joined The Royal Borough of Kensington Sea Cadet Corps at 19, Chepstow Villas

W 11. The band being taught by Max Abrams. Drills, rudimentary seamanship and navigation,

visiting Portsmouth Naval Barracks and a submarine re-fitting in the Dockyard. In August 1943

I stayed with an Aunt in Liverpool going aboard her son’s ship, the aircraft-carrier Furious, then

re-fitting in Gladstone Docks. At school the Playing Fields were dug up for allotments and I was

so pleased to bring home in my cycle bag vegetables for Mum.

018 019

‘Huge crowds

gathered in the

West End and

at Buckingham

Palace whilst


weaved our

own large Vs

for Victory in

the night sky’

News of the long awaited Normandy Landings were announced on 6 June 1944 but for

Londoners the elation was short lived. Just a week later I was with two friends on the corner of

Needham Road and Westbourne Grove we saw streaking across the sky over towards Shepherds

Bush in the west one of our fighters on the tail of what appeared to be a small German aircraft

belching fire. Soon out of sight then an explosion. Another raider downed so we thought.

In fact what we had witnessed the first day of attacks by Pilotless Planes over London on

Thursday 15 June Hitler’s Vengeance Weapons had started. The Doodlebugs as these V1s became

known were mid-wing monoplanes having a wing span of over 17 feet and an overall length of

about 25 feet carrying a war head of about 1,800 pounds. Propelled by a pulse jet engine, a top

speed of 410 mph, navigated automatically by a gyroscopic unit, flying at an average height of

3000 to 4000 feet. Launched from an inclined 150 feet long ramp from sites in Northern France

and Holland with a range of 150 miles, later extended to 250 miles. The engine cut out, automatic

flaps opened, causing the missile to go into a shallow glide for 15 seconds, an impact fuse

causing a blast wave of up to 400 yards. Day and night the Doodlebugs came over London

each one sounding like a dozen motor cycles, without silencers, struggling up a hill.

I heard the beastly things approaching getting louder and louder ‘Quick Mum get downstairs

I shouted - jumped a flight of 8 stairs in one go - down to our basement shelter. It passed over,

silence, a massive explosion, the house shook.

It was pointless for the RAF fighters to shoot down the V1s over London, but rather in the open

sea. The static AA guns reinforced with 363 heavy and 522 light guns formed a gun belt on the

Downs 30 miles from the Kent and Sussex coasts, behind which a massed Balloon Barrage.

Although radar had improved, it was decided to move the guns to the coast with the fighters

operating in the Channel. Time was crucial, but the huge logistical effort of shifting all the guns

within one week to the coast showed immediate results. Until 1 September 1944 apparently 8000

V1s were used until the German launching sites were destroyed by the advancing allied armies,

of this number 2400 V1s fell on London, killing over 5,000 injuring and maiming many more.

There was considerable strain on moral, many using the Underground again as deep shelters,

others leaving London on packed trains, with a number of children evacuated for the third time.

Bayswater was generally fortunate in that south-east London bore the brunt of the doodlebugs.

On Wednesday 28 June a doodlebug had cut its jet engine off coming down in the gap between

The Hammersmith Hospital and my school in Ducane Road, fortunately exploding at the back of

our playing fields. On one occasion at School Assembly we stood silent for a minute as one of our

pupils had been killed. A Jewish boy nick-named ‘Russia’ at school lived in the top floor of Ralph

Court, Queensway, opposite Porchester Baths, asked me to come up on the roof. With binoculars

to the east we could see the ring of barrage balloons defending us. One incident certainly stands

out. I was going to visit my Aunt and Uncle now living in Finchley, and heard a Doodlebug

getting louder and louder. I was caught in the open - the noise was deafening - if it cut out that

would be that - fear got a hold - I dived behind a small front garden wall and lay flat - thankfully

for me it flew on, cut out, a massive explosion followed

On Tuesday 27 June rumour spread a V1 had hit Whiteleys in Queensway but in effect came

down with a colossal explosion on 136-140 Bayswater Road virtually alongside Queensway

Underground Station. Only about 500 feet from the New West End Synagogue, causing

considerable damage from 1, Orme Court to opposite the Park Gates, destroying a Convent and

the Coburg Hotel, severely damaging another, now The Hilton Park Hotel. Re-built as seven

new shops in a complex of flats as Caroline House on the Bayswater Road with road access to

Caroline Close at the rear. Just one person had been killed; our Synagogue had escaped with

minor blast damage. The very next day another V1 caused considerable damage and blast to 1-21

and 2-20 Leinster Gardens corner of Porchester Terrace and Leinster Place (abutting Cleveland

Square with damage at 35-56 Porchester Terrace. A V1 in Westbourne Square damaged the

Bayswater Synagogue

Seven Doodlebugs fell within the vicinity of Kensington High Street and Campden Hill.

The worst was on Lyons Tea Shop on the corner Earls Court Road and Kensington High Street on

Friday 28 July during the lunch hour for shoppers and store assistants - 30 killed and 184 injured.

Other incidents included, with fewer casualties, on The Abbey Grounds Hornton Street where

the Library and Town Hall now stand; and severe damage to Kensington Palace Mansions on

the corner of De Vere Gardens where 350 Gibraltarian evacuees were sheltering - 3 killed and

16 injured.

Then like a ‘Bolt from the Blue’ two massive explosions were heard over most of London on 8

September at 6.40 pm - the first of the expected long range V2 rockets fell at Chiswick, killing

three and injuring another ten. Sixteen seconds later a second near Epping without casualties.

Plummeting on London from a height of up to 60 miles, with a range of just over 200 miles

loaded with about 1650 pounds of explosives these ballistic missiles caused huge craters.

There was no defensive answer except to find and bomb the rocket launching area near The

Hague. Meanwhile we anxiously watched for news of our advancing front into Holland,

which had unfortunately been held up at Arnheim.

At a New West End Synagogue Board Meeting on the 12 September discussion centred on the

current bombing emergency on the High Holyday Services starting five days later. Resulting

in no Children’s Services being held; provision for an Overflow Service left in abeyance; free

seats provided for members of H.M. and Allied Forces; approval of Mr. Emanuel Adler (very

satisfactory the previous year) to be engaged as Ba’al Shacharit and Ba’al Tokeah at an agreed

increased remuneration of £30; with all Services held in the Synagogue. Other matters included

requirement of additional Minyan men; the un-authorised printing of a ‘New West End

Synagogue Bulletin’; finally a Grant to the Beadle Mr Roth of £15 was approved in appreciation

of his untiring devotion to the interest of the Synagogue during the bombing emergency.

Aimed at Central London and approaching from the east the V2s often fell short causing

destruction in East London and Essex. By the time the rocket sites were over-run on the 27

March 1945, London had been hit by 517 rockets nearly 3000 killed and 6000 seriously wounded.

None fell on Bayswater but we heard some of the distant explosions.

We knew the war with Germany was ending with the eventual surrender coming on the 4 May

1945. Huge crowds gathered in the West End and at Buckingham Palace whilst Searchlights

weaved our own large Vs for Victory in the night sky. A visible reminder of those memorable

days 1939-1946 is the mortar filled holes at the top of the small dwarf wall in Orme Lane where

the iron railings for the war effort were removed.

To see an appendix of places damaged, or the sources and bibliography, for this and the

previously published three parts, please set the author or magazine editor.

020 021


The Invisible Men

by Stuart Katz

By Rachel Cohen

‘She had



and I am still

very much

indebted to

the wonderful

care, love and

affection she


As a trustee of Nightingale, the South London care home has a special place in my heart and I’m

incredibly proud to be a part of such a fantastic organisation. I was born in Nightingale Lane

opposite the care home and their gardens became my local playground some 60 years ago. Few

things stand the test of time, but Nightingale has gone from strength to strength as the decades

have passed on.

It is 100 years since the first residents moved into the Wandsworth site in early 1908. Nightingale

continues to be unrivalled in their care and recently reached a new high when it was awarded

the highest ranking of 3 stars by the regulator, the Commission for Social Care Inspection.

I have a very close affiliation to Nightingale, my mother a volunteer for 50 years and in her later

life became a resident for a further three years. She had excellent treatment and I am still very

much indebted to the wonderful care, love and affection she received. This made me mindful to

do all I can to promote the home and the wonderful facility which is available the whole family.

Some ten years ago, my wife Jacquie started to become a regular volunteer and her weekly events

now include a discussion group with the residents and tea parties where she brings our three

Labradors who are registered as PAT dogs (pets as therapy).

Today, it serves as both a home and community for those entering the later years of their lives.

Nightingale boasts top facilities and cares for 250 residents, making it the largest care home of its

kind in the UK. With residential care, advanced nursing facilities, a dedicated dementia unit and

short stay respite facilities, Nightingale caters for the entire spectrum of need for older members

of the Jewish community. For the families of residents, Nightingale offers the peace of mind they

need and assurance that their loved ones are being looked after in comfort as well as being given

level of care according to individual needs.

Any visitor walking through the home will be genuinely surprised at what they Nightingale

has to offer. A buzzing café, a beautiful synagogue, a volunteer run shop, a full medical centre

on site, a popular hairdresser and beautician and a relaxed, warm and friendly atmosphere.

The staff realise the importance of keeping the residents minds as well their bodies active to

keep them healthy and place an enormous emphasis on creating an environment in which they

can channel their energies and interests into a variety of stimulating pursuits. With a monthly

book club run by Edwina Currie, a concert hall, a dedicated arts and crafts team and regular

trips out, including trips to the theatre, opera, ballet parks and the seaside, the residents are

encouraged to participate and spend time with their friends.

It doesn’t take the Commission for Social Care Inspection to prove what a wonderful

establishment Nightingale is – all you have to do is look around at the content, smiling residents.

We can only hope that Nightingale thrives in this fashion for another century and continues to

provide a safe, secure and caring home for the older generations of our community.

If you would like to enquire about permanent or short stay residence at Nightingale,

would like to make a donation, or find out about volunteering opportunities please contact: or 020 8673 3495.

You have heard of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the three musketeers, well even the New West End

Synagogue has its invisible men. You hardly ever see them and even if you do they are part of

the furniture – unseen - however you do see the cleanliness and order in the synagogue. Who

are they, these invisible men Between us they are Fabricio, Eder and Mark. “Who” I hear you

ask. Let me tell you something about these three characters that not only helped us receive a

Grade I Listing with English Heritage but also upkeep the synagogue in tip-top condition.

Fabricio, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil spent ten years with the Mounted Police in São Paulo,

which in Brazil is called Regimento de Cavalaria, and together with his horse numero 556 (Al

Capone) was trained to preserve public order and control riots. During Fabricio’s career as a

mounted policeman he was honoured to accompany the Brazilian hero, Formula One Triple

world champion, the late Ayrton Senna, to his burial place in the famous Morumbi Cemiterio

in São Paulo. Another big event was his participation in 1992 at the Carandiru Penitentiary in

São Paulo where a massacre took place, triggered by the inmates rioting. Luckily, Fabricio and

his horse were there to help, guarding the outside prison perimeter. In 2000 Fabricio was

invited to visit London by a family friend and has been here ever since, he met his Portuguese

wife Raquel and last year were blessed with a cute son Gabriel. I bet Fabricio will put him on

a horse before long!!

Eder was born in São Paulo, Brazil and, after finishing his education, moved to Spain with

his family before finally came to Great Britain in 2002. Some of you may remember John who

worked here about four years ago; John is Eder’s brother, so we have kept it in the family!

Some of you may know that the name Eder is mentioned in the Chumash, (Genesis 35 Verse

21) “And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond Migdal-eder”. The New West End

Synagogue is the first Jewish place that Eder has ever worked for and when he went to Brazil

on holiday, he started to notice how many Jews and Jewish things there are in Brazil mainly

the kippot wearers on the streets.

Actually Eder is our brave caretaker who climbs up to the roof (pictured) in order to lower the

chandelier for the changing of the bulbs. You could say that Fabricio and Eder now deal with

the “Changing of the Bulbs” rather than the Changing of the Guards!!

Mark was born in the East End of London where he still lives, with his family. Mark is a very

talented cartoon artist, (see his Spidey) and enjoys creating his own characters especially with

a horror theme. As a cartoon artist his drawings require precision and this is to the benefit of

the New West End Synagogue as Mark meticulously looks after the everyday maintenance of

the synagogue.

I am looking forward to seeing the new cartoon images of the members that come in to contact

with Mark, maybe they will have fangs dripping with blood or will Mark be lenient – remember

you have been warned! Maybe I should recruit Spiderman to change the bulbs as he does

not need to harness up before climbing the walls to reach the chandelier, but Eder enjoys the

adrenalin rush that being on the roof gives!

The caretakers send their best wishes for a Peaceful and Happy New Year.

‘You have

heard of the



and the three


well even the

New West End


has its

invisible men’

022 023

Israel - An Alternative History

by Gaby and Howard Morris

Airways to G-d

by John Harris

‘what would

we be thinking

now, what

would our


have been, had

Israel not been


It occurred to me during the NWES visit to Israel over the Independence Day celebrations,

what would we be thinking now, what would our experience have been, had Israel not

been created If Israel had been snuffed out in the War of Independence in 1948 how many

experiences both joyous and tragic would have eluded us

I don’t think there would be a Palestinian state. Egypt’s march into Gaza would have succeeded

and no doubt it would have occupied a good bit of what is now southern Israel. Jordan having

occupied the West Bank would have pushed on to the Mediterranean. A Russian backed Nasser

would quite likely have fought a war with Jordan sometime in the last 60 years.

Jewish communities may have survived, but the prospects of the Palestinians having their own

country may now look better, ironically, and if the nascent Israel had not survived.

The great power struggle between the West and the Soviets would have been expressed through

proxies other than Israel and the Arabs.

But for us in the Diaspora this would have been another disaster following the Holocaust from

which we may have struggled to recover spiritually and intellectually.

Where would those existing in Displaced Person camps have been resettled Could they have

all reintegrated into their original homelands Quite apart from whether they wanted to return

to their original countries as the Iron Curtain was lowered across Europe, how welcome would

their return have been How many more would have been offered homes by the USA, UK and

Australia A bankrupt Britain would have been reluctant to take tens of thousands of Jews.

Less so, unless other countries were willing to shoulder a proportion of the burden of absorbing

the refugees. The chances are that the Jews would have rotted in the DP camps for a generation

or more. Perhaps the political Zionists would have wanted to keep the Jews together in the

camps, the best place to politicise them, even radicalise them for a continuing struggle.

So where would the struggle for an independent Zionist homeland have reached Would it have

left the realm of politics altogether, to remain our two thousand year spiritual goal Would the

Zionist movement have produced new leaders

On any view it’s hard to see in the post colonial poverty stricken Middle East that any bit of land

would have flourished in the way Israel has. No one would have planted forests, created farms

and developed cities and industries to a first world level. The Holy Land would have remained

a stony, parched and neglected place.

For centuries our aspirations for the return to Jerusalem had been a central belief that had helped

hold our people together. To come so close and to fall at the last fence may have been a catalyst

for further secularisation.

I put these thoughts out of my mind. Instead of that gloomy outcome for the Jewish people we

found ourselves under a beautiful blue sky, commemorating the courage of volunteers who came

to fight for Israel’s independence, looking in awe at the power of the Israeli air force and visiting

a specialist army unit, marvelling at the technical know-how of the young soldiers.

If G–d is everywhere it stands to reason that-part if not all of him may be in the air. There is a

certain spirituality in the air–you cannot touch it but you can feel it.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Hebrew word for air, wind and breath is similar to the

Hebrew word for spirit – RUACH and the adjective for spiritual is RUCHANI. Also the Hebrew

word for air is related and has links with the Hebrew word for spirit of life – NEFESH.

The rather wordy literal definition of a kiss is “ an anatomical momentary juxtaposition of two

orbicularis oris muscles in the state of contraction.” But despite this lengthy description what this

doesn’t describe is the emotional abstract definition of the kiss is the feelng you get from the love

of your partner by exchanging a breath of each other’s air through the mouth. Or the pleasure

you derive when you place a breath of your air on the forehead of your grandchild or loved one

and vice versa. Anyone who has had anything to do with horses will know that in order to feel

empathy with the animal you must first breathe through its nostrils.

Is not death the expulsion of air leaving the body in order for the soul to rise up And what

about mouth to mouth resuscitation, is it not filling the lungs with air in order to put life back

into the body Or smoking when inhaling bad air can often lead to cancer. I cannot understand

why many orthodox Jews smoke.

Abstract expressionism is a development of art in America in the 1940’s in which the expression

of the artist’s feelings informs his abstract representations.

The average person does not understand abstract art because there are no elements to see–no

subjects to relate to. But G–d could be described as abstract and not literal and this may be the

reason why many non believers cannot translate the tangible from the intangible. Perhaps they

see G–d as a wise old chacham with a long flowing white beard sitting on a golden throne

offering judgement and surrounded by winged angels. They cannot grasp the intangible

concept that G–d might be abstract in the air and therefore cannot be seen.

You are unable to make a sound without air either with singing, music or general

communication. If you don’t believe me try blowing the shofar with your mouth tightly

closed or whistling with your finger blocking the air. Perhaps that is why music can be

spiritual as well as emotional, because you cannot touch music but you can feel it’s

abstract and emotional qualities.

In the same way and especially at this time of the year you cannot touch G–d But with penitence,

prayer and charity you might be able to feel the shachena of his presence touching you.

‘Perhaps it is

no coincidence

that the

Hebrew word

for air, wind

and breath is

similar to the

Hebrew word

for spirit -


1948 was a dramatic year, not just for Israel. The end of the British Empire and all colonial

empires fast approached. Partition of India brought horrific bloodshed, independence for

immature African nations was just around the corner and in South Africa the National Party

came to power launching its racial policies to subjugate a mass of people that were doomed

to a failure that would take nearly 60 years of hardship and injustice to come about. Israel

has survived but its future depends upon it standing out as an example of justice, peace and

reconciliation. The alternatives are too awful to contemplate.

024 025

Getting Ready for a Function

by Anne Shisler

Recently the shul has held two very successful functions, the lunch for Israeli Ambassador and

the Summer Barbecue. Many people came and enjoyed themselves. I thought I might give you

a little insight into how the functions are arranged.

When the Functions Committee decided to hold another barbecue – our last one was in 2005

– we were having a meeting in the depths of winter. It is difficult to look ahead to the English

summer and hope that we would pick a warm, sunny and dry day. We were lucky – we managed

this time!!

As the date approached, Henry Magrill made contact with his Residents’ Association to book

Cleveland Gardens, the private square outside his home. We made contact with Cyril Green to

ask him if we could use his van to schlep chairs, barbecues, etc. Lynn Meltzer, Susan Katz and

I went shopping, butchers were phoned for quotes, lists were made and Fabricio the caretaker

was nagged to find all the equipment. Fabricio and I went shopping for ice boxes and things for

the barbecue from Tesco’s. Henry bought the charcoal; Jeff Hammerschlag bought the barbecue

seasoning for the meat. (Our South African members were in charge of cooking the meat!). We

went to Just Kosher in Borehamwood, Sainsbury’s in Ladbroke Grove, Paperplus and Kays in

Golders Green. I think Paperplus are always very happy when Lynn and I arrive to buy things

for any function – we are very good customers! Rachel and Eli manned the office. Appeals were

sent out for help. Simon was booked to be the caretaker for the day and performed his duties

with his usual good humour.

‘The Rabbi

stood in the

kitchen slicing

melons to


On the morning of the barbecue, Jonathan Robinson, Natalie Cutler, Susan and Harvey Katz and

Rachel, Henry Magrill and Lynn and Alan Meltzer gathered in the shul to get things under way.

We collected chairs, equipment, paperware, knives, buckets, cold drinks, (and rushed down to

Tesco’s to buy ice) and made lots and lots of salad. The Rabbi stood in the kitchen slicing melons

to perfection (remember he used to be a mohel). Simon and Cyril loaded the van to take the

equipment to the square (they made six trips!) where Jeff Hammerschlag, Michael Margolis and

Eric Shapshak and helpers were waiting to get the cooking under way. Mike Talalay, in his role

as our security chief, made sure we all stayed safe and his wife Debbie came along to support

him and give her usual valuable help.

Lots of people helped as the food was put out – lovely dips and crackers, crisps and nibbles,

soft rolls, fabulous salads and great chicken, burgers and sausages from the barbecue, followed

by lots of fruit. Nobody went away hungry. We had over 70 people come for lunch – the weather

was fantastic and everyone had a great time.

When it was time to pack up it was all hands on deck and everything was soon cleared up.

Just remember that any time there is a function at the New West End Synagogue, many hours

of preparation have gone into making sure it is a success. We have a great team – but we could

always do with more help in the kitchen. The day before the Ambassador’s lunch we had a

caretaking team, with our committee laying up the tables, making sure they looked beautiful and

another team cooking all day in the kitchen. Shabbat was a great success, but very hard work.

There had been many hours of preparation before that, plus the concerns and hundreds of

emails about having such a high-profile visitor. But again we could say – ‘Well done the Team’.

Hope you enjoyed these functions – if you missed them make sure you come and support us

next time!

We Work

For Good Causes


We raise money for UK Jewish Charities

21st Happy Birthday



saleable items

of clothing






linens &

household goods

(sorry, no electrical items)

You can drop the goods off at any of the local



you can phone us to arrange a collection

020 8381 1717

For more details visit our website



How about volunteering

A great way to meet new people and help worthy causes.

026 027

Favourite Traditional

Rosh Hashana Recipes

Winter Blues,

What Winter Blues

By Lynn Meltzer

Easy Sweet Honey Cake


1lb self raising flour

1 tin of Golden Syrup

1 cup of dark brown sugar

1 cup of corn oil

5 large eggs

2-3 teaspoons of ground ginger

2-3 teaspoons of mixed spice

2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 tea cup of warm water with ¾ teaspoon

bicarbonate of soda


Mix all ingredients together except for the

water and bicarbonate. Leave in a bowl

covered for at least 1 hour, longer if possible.

Line two loaf tins with foil. Add warm water

and bicarbonate and mix well. Divide mixture

into the two tins and bake at 160°C (325°F) for

40 minutes, then at 150°C (300°F) for a further

40 minutes. Freezes well.

Butter Biscuits


12 oz of self raising flour

8 oz Tomor margarine

6 oz sugar

2 x 1 beaten egg


Cream Tomor and sugar together and 1 of

the beaten eggs and then the flour. Chill in

fridge for a few hours. Roll out gently and cut

into shapes. Glaze with the other beaten egg.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, almonds,

glazed fruit or decorate as you wish.

Bake 10-15 minutes till golden.

by Dee Mullan

Yet another summer has past, but life goes on. Summer 2008 was OK – but different from

other summers. Was it really bad Maybe the weather in the UK was not too pleasant, but still,

we did our best to enjoy ourselves. It’s nice to moan from time to time, it makes us feel alive.

The children are gone from home and it’s two of us again. The time is different though. Now we

feel we deserve from life more than ever before - yes, we can afford more material things; we are

more sophisticated than before, more knowledgeable and definitely we are wiser. But are we

Of course in many respects we are, but let’s look closely at ourselves.

Looking in the mirror is a good place to start. What can we see - a familiar face, perhaps

a little older We don’t like our wrinkles, but that’s OK, anything in the twenty first century

can be fixed. Possibly we feel we can allow ourselves to be slightly overweight – that’s no

problem, we can always go on a diet. We read about different ways of dieting in just about

every magazine, we know all the facts, yet nothing seems to work when we try it, so we join

the gym or if we are really desperate, we resort to surgery in order to look trim and desirable.

All well known celebrities have their own personal trainers in order to look good and keep fit.

Reputedly, Madonna spends four hours every day exercising. I am not different, I can do it

myself. Nowadays, each one of us is conscious about body image and the older we get, the

more we realise that we should do all we can to maintain ourselves in tip top condition.

Living healthier lives helps us keep up with the younger generation. None of us wants to feel

left behind. Not so long ago, the Victorians considered themselves old when they reached

50- now, most commentators say, life begins at 50! Consequently we need to make a conscious

decision to do something like joining a suitable exercise class. Not all classes are suitable for

everybody. It can be very off putting to go to gym and see gorgeous, young slim bodies.

Yet some classes are far more suitable.

Several years ago I was asked to establish a keep fit group for Jewish ladies. It is a small class

with a personal touch. I am a qualified trainer and come highly recommended. Ladies who

joined when the classes began several years ago still attend regularly. The group reinforced

friendships. What’s more, they learn continuously about their bodies while I teach. Only last

week one of the groups returned from a cruise to Alaska. On the ship there was an exercise

class, but she was very disappointed with it as she missed what she was used to and the sense

of camaraderie within her home class.

Each Tuesday evening at 7 o’clock, we have fun with different music and choreography, and

I can’t imagine life without my lovely ladies. We are a very happy group, young at heart and

most of all we have real fun while keeping our bodies supple and trim.

Quick Cheese Cake


1 lb of cooking soft cheese

1 cup of caster sugar

Crushed biscuit chunks or sponge cake

2 beaten eggs

2 small cartons of sour cream


Mix together cheese, sugar and eggs. Pour

into a loose bottomed tin, lined with crushed

biscuit chunks or sponge cake.

Bake 190°C (375°F) for 30 minutes.

Mix sour cream and 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Pour over the cake and then return to the

oven for 5 minutes. Allow to cool and then

put in fridge overnight.

Whether you are familiar with exercises or have never attended exercise classes before, why not

give it a go Come and give it a try and see how it can help ward off the winter blues.

028 029

News from the Office

The Book (Club) Report

Michael Talalay

‘it looks


Worth getting

married just

to use it –

I shall give

that some


Dear Members and friends,

I am pleased to report that the new membership database at the US Head Office is near

completion and our office should go live in November/December 2008. If you spot any errors

in your data please do let me know so I can correct them.0One thing I noticed is that I do not

always have your children’s names and date of birth - please email them to me so I can enter

them in the database. Also note that children on reaching the age of 21 should become

members in their own right and we have a special rate of sixty pounds per annum for them.

As for the High Holydays seating form, my hat goes off to Mr L. Peters, the only member who

spotted and told me that the seating form stated Friday 12th August 2008, instead of Tuesday!

In fact I said (jokingly) to Mr Peters that it was deliberate mistake to see who and how many

would spot it! Douze points to Mr Peters!

Once again I say Kol Hakavod to all the helpers and volunteers who make the New West End an

exciting and vibrant place to attend. Without their help we would not be able to achieve what we

do. I have to mention a very special thank you to the Guild for their refurbishment of the Bride’s

Room – it looks amazing! Worth getting married just to use it – I shall give that some thought!!

Every morning a group of dedicated men come to make up a Minyan for the morning prayers;

these same men dig into their pockets and pop a few coins in our collection box and apart from

a variety of foreign coins and little balls of fluff, they have collected since Pesach just under

£400.00. These monies, usually given as a sum of forty pounds, are donated to institutions such

as the Initiation Society for Mohalim, Hospital Kosher Meals, Jewish Child Holiday Fund, Jami

and many other worthy causes. A hearty thank you to you all and may you all continue to do

mitzvot rabot.

Here’s to wishing you all a Very Peaceful, Healthy and Happy New Year and a G’mar

Chatimah Tova.

Rachel Cohen

P.S. In 2011, 12th August is a Friday– you saw that here first!

Next came the first of two novels by Bernice Rubens, The Elected Member, a harrowing

storyof personal and familial descent into madness involving a Rabbi, his barrister son,

and not-quite-sane daughter.

We then jumped back in time over a hundred years and sashayed into Coningsby, by Benjamin

Disraeli. We read some fascinating passages on the social mores of the English upper classes

and on Disraeli’s (very positive) view of Jews and Judaism; we also skimmed some not quite

so engaging paragraphs on the intricacies of the Corn Laws and the Reform Act of 1832.

Moving closer to the present, we stole our way into the heart of The Book Thief by Markus

Zusak, an Austrian writer living in Australia (no typo or loss of syllable there), a novel that was

intended as a children’s book but crossed over to the adult best-seller list. It’s an uplifting story

of an orphaned German girl who hides and befriends a young Jewish man during the dark days

of the Second World War.

This was followed by us marching on with the second Rubens, The Sergeants’ Tale, a lightly

fictionalised account of the kidnapping and hanging of two British sergeants by the Irgun in

retaliation for the execution of several of its members. One of the sergeants is halachically

Jewish, and the novel, despite appearing to be merely an easy read, actually delves deeply

into the meaning of duty and friendship, of family loyalty, and of personal identity – all

made even more complex by an overlay of heterosexual and homosexual love – both

unrequited and not.

Finally, by the time you read this, we will have finished the year by investigating The Yiddish

Policemen’s Union. Set in the (fictional) post-war Jewish community of Sitka in Alaska, it is

‘at once a gripping whodunit, a love story, an homage to 1940s noir, and an exploration of the

mysteries of exile and redemption’. Or so the dust jacket claims – possibly accurately as this is

another novel from the American writer Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures

of Kavalier and Clay, an engagingly drawn portrait of two young men involved in the genesis

of the (Jewish) comic book industry in New York that produced the Marvel and DC superheroes

from Superman to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four (and yes I have read them all and

Spiderman as well).

To those of you who don’t yet attend the Book Club, please join us. It’s great fun. Next year’s

reading list is still to be agreed, so come along and recommend your past favourites – or those

books that you’ve always wanted to read. The suggestions for the next twelve months include

Children of the Ghetto by Israel Zangwill, The Color of Water, by James McBride (it’s American

– there’s no “u”), and Sashenka, the new and very well-reviewed novel by Simon Sebag-

Montefiore. My own nomination is Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, because it’s a wonderful

bitter-sweet novel with a very unusual love affair, because Hemingway writes beautifully,

and because there is a strange and haunting Jewish element to it.

Good books are wonderful companions. As Groucho Marx once said, ‘Outside of a dog, a book

is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.’

Share your books with your friends. Contact us if you want to get on the email list (bookclub@ Then come along and participate in some interesting and intelligent

discussions, and maybe even some friendly arguments. Stretch your intellect, and join us for a

cup of tea, a piece of cake, and possibly a dram of Rabbi Burns’ favourite tipple. See you all there.

‘We were then

swept Away

by Amy Bloom

into la-la

land, where a

young Russian

Jewess makes

her way in New

York in the

early 1900’s...’

The Book Club continues to lay down a marker for intellectual brilliance. The last twelve

months began with Saul Bellow telling us not to look a Humboldt’s Gift horse in the mouth.

Or anywhere else.

We were then swept Away by Amy Bloom into la-la land, where a young Russian Jewess makes

her way in New York in the early 1900’s, has an affair with two wealthy impresarios, the father

and his gay son, then tries to get back to Russia to find her lost baby daughter, along the way

hanging out with hookers in Seattle and grifting with gold miners up in the Yukon.

030 031

Yom Tov Guide 5769

Rosh Hashanah

Monday night, 29th September

Light the Yom Tov candles before 6.29pm

and recite the following two blessings:

‘Barooch atah Adonye Eloheinoo melech

ha’olam, asher kiddshanoo b’mitzvotav

v’tzivanu l’hadlik neir shel Yom Tov.’

‘Barooch atah Adonye Eloheinoo melech

ha’olam she’hecheyanoo, vekiyemanoo,

vehigianoo lazman hazeh.’

Prior to lighting the candles, it is important to

light a twenty-five hour candle e.g. a Yahrzeit

candle, so that one can transfer the flame from

the twenty-five hour candle to a new candle

in order to light the Yom Tov candles on the

second night of Yom Tov.

Services in the Synagogue commence

at 6.15pm

Following services, and your return home,

make Yom Tov Kiddush, then wash hands

ritually and make the blessing over the

challah. The challot for Rosh Hashanah are

traditionally round and represent continuity

and wholeness. After eating some challah,

dipped in honey, we take an apple and dip

a piece in honey and say the following prior

to eating it:

‘Barooch atah Adonye Eloheinoo melech

ha’olam, Borei Peri Haeitz’

After eating it recite the following:

‘Yehi ratzon milfanecha Adonye Eloheinoo

veilohei avoteinoo, she’techadesh aleinoo

Shana Tova oometooko’

‘May it be your will. O Lord our G-d and

G-d of our forefathers that this year will be

a happy and sweet year for us.’

Tuesday 30th September

Shacharit services begin at 8.00am

It is important for every man, woman and

child to hear the blowing of the Shofar which

commences at approximately 10.00a.m. It is

important to hear the blessings recited by the

Ba’al Tekiah (the one who actually blows),

and to answer ‘Amein’ to each of the three

blessings. Then, during the course of the

morning, we are obliged to hear one hundred

blasts of the Shofar.

It is forbidden to talk from the time one

hears the first note of the 100, right up until

the last one.

In the afternoon of the first day of Rosh

Hashanah, we will return to the Synagogue

at 4.30pm to walk together towards the

Serpentine for the traditional Tashlich Service

at 5.00pm at the Peter Pan Statue. This is

performed by reciting several prayers at a

source of water. Afterwards, the pockets are

symbolically emptied as if a person is shaking

off his sins and casting them into the water.

As a source for this ceremony the verses in

Michah are often quoted:

‘He will again have compassion upon us;

He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou will

cast all our sins into the depth of the sea …’

We then return to the Synagogue for Mincha

and Ma’ariv at 6.45pm.

Tuesday night 30th September

We usher in the second day of Rosh

Hashanah by lighting the Yom Tov candles

as soon as possible after 7.27pm We do this

by transferring the flame from the existing

flame which was lit before the first night Rosh

Hashanah began (see above) and then reciting

the two blessings. Since there is a doubt about

whether we should recite the She’hecheyanu

Beracha on the second night, it is traditional

to have on the table a new fruit that one has

not eaten yet that year, while one makes the

blessings over the candles. Alternatively one

can wear a new item of clothing. However, if

one does not have a new fruit or a new item

of clothing, one still makes both blessings

including ‘She’hecheyanu’.

Wednesday 1st October

Shacharit services begin at 8.00am

Mincha and Ma’ariv will be read at 6.45pm

Yom Tov ends at 7.25pm.

The Fast Of Gedaliah

Thursday 2nd October

The day after Rosh Hashanah is observed

as a fast day, in memory of Gedaliah ben

Achikam. Gedaliah had been appointed

Governor of Judea by Nebuchadnezzar, after

the destruction of the first Temple in 586 BCE.

He had been charged with the responsibility

of rebuilding Jewish life among the remnant

of the Jews still in the Holy Land.

As a result of internal strife among the

people, Gedaliah was assassinated and,

many of those Jews who had remained in

Judea, fled to Egypt. Since this represented

the final stage of the destruction of Jerusalem,

it is observed as a fast day, when we recite

special Selichot prayers.

Shacharit will be at 6.45am.

Fast ends at 7.17pm

Shabbat Shuva

Friday 3rd October

Shabbat commences 6.19pm

Mincha and Kabbalat Shabbat will be read

at 6.15pm

Saturday 4th October

Shacharit will be at 9.15 am

Mincha, Seudah and Ma’ariv at 6.00pm

Shabbat ends at 7.18pm

Yom Kippur

Wednesday 8th October


On Erev Yom Kippur, Wednesday 8th October,

at 1.30pm, we will conduct the pre-Yom

Kippur Mincha (afternoon) service, in the

Synagogue. Included in this service is the first

of the ten times that we recite ‘Al-cheit’ prayer

(confession) throughout Yom Kippur.

A festival meal on Erev Yom Kippur is a

mitzvah (obligation) because one thereby

reveals joy over the approach of his or her

time of forgiveness. This meal is called the

‘seudat hamafseket’ (meal of cessation).

There is no Kiddush prior to this meal, but

we do wash our hands ritually, make the

‘Hamotzi’ (usually over a Challah) and

say Grace after Meals. The meal should be

concluded well before 6.08pm, allowing

enough time to light candles and to get to

the Synagogue in time.

The following Berachot are said over

the candles:

‘Barooch atah Adonye Eloheinoo melech

ha’olam, asher kiddshanoo b’mitzvotav

v’tzivanu l’hadlik neir shel Yom


‘Barooch atah Adonye Eloheinoo melech

ha’olam she’hecheyanoo, vekiyemanoo,

vehigianoo lazman hazeh.’

Wearing Non-leather Shoes

It is forbidden for men, women and children

to wear leather shoes on Yom Kippur.

Kol Nidrei

Services in the Synagogue commence

at 6.20pm

The Yom Kippur prayers begin with the chanting

of Kol Nidrei. We have to commence before

sunset since this prayer is a form of the repealing

of vows, and we are not permitted to repeal vows

on Yom Tov.

Thursday 9th October

Shacharit commences at 9.30am

Yizkor on Yom Kippur Day will be at

approximately 12.45pm

If one’s parents are still alive, it is permissible,

but not essential, to leave the Synagogue

during Yizkor. However, it is our custom that

we commence with a public Yizkor, which

includes Memorial Prayers for the victims of

the Holocaust and for Israel’s fallen soldiers,

for which everyone should remain in the

Synagogue. There will then be a short break to

allow those who wish to leave to go out before

we commence the private Yizkor.

The Fast ends at 7.07pm.


The Building of the Succah

If you haven’t built a Succah before and intend

to do so this year, the Rabbi will be very

happy to advise on the requirements to ensure

that it is Kasher. It is a Mitzvah to decorate the

Succah. If you are able to assist with the Shul’s

Succah, please contact the Synagogue office

for details of when it will be done. Also please

let us know if you are able to donate laurel

branches, fruit, etc.

Dwelling in the Succah

It is a great Mitzvah to eat in the Succah.

The congregation is invited to join us for a

festive dinner in our Shul Succah following

services on Monday evening 13th October.

Please make reservations at the Synagogue

Office on 020 7229 2631.

Kindling of the Lights

Lights are kindled on the first Yom Tov

night in the Succah (if you have one - or else

indoors) and two Berachot are said:

‘Barooch atah Adonye Eloheinoo melech

ha’olam, asher kiddshanoo b’mitzvotav

v’tzivanu l’hadlik neir shel Yom Tov.’

‘Barooch atah Adonye Eloheinoo melech

ha’olam she’hecheyanoo, vekiyemanoo,

vehigianoo lazman hazeh.’

Note that the same requirements regarding

the 25-hour candle apply as they did for

Rosh Hashanah.

Four Species - The Lulav

The four species are taken hold of each of

the seven festival days (except Shabbat)

and a Berachah is said over them daily.

Anyone who wishes to have a set of lulav

and etrog, please contact our Shammash Eli

Ballon in the Shul Office. Even if you do not

have your own Lulav and Etrog there will be

several sets in the Synagogue for your use.

Simchat Torah

Please note that our annual Simchat Torah

party will take place this year on Tuesday

21st October following the evening service

which commences at 7.00pm Please bring

your children both on the Thursday night and

Friday morning for Hakafot - there will also

be a special Kiddush after the service on the

Friday morning.

032 033

Hagim Timetable 5769 / 2008 New Year Greetings 5769 / 2008

Rabbi & Mrs. SHISLER and family wish the

community a healthy and peaceful New Year.

A happy New Year and well over the Fast to all

our friends at the NWE Synagogue – Denise &

Melvyn LUX

We wish all the NWES a healthy, sweet and

peaceful New Year from Gaby, Howard, Lucy

and Josh MORRIS

Wishing Rabbi & Mrs. Shisler, Honorary

Officers and the entire New West End

Community a happy and healthy New Year

from the HAMMERSCHLAG Family

Eli & Shana BALLON wish Rabbi & Mrs.

Shisler and all our friends at the NWES a

healthy and peaceful New Year

Happy New Year to Rabbi & Mrs. Shisler,

Honorary Officers, members and guests of

the Community. Many thanks for your

hospitality and acceptance – Svetlana &


Wishing my community a Happy New Year

and blessings and peace for Israel – Sandra


Best wishes for a peaceful, healthy and happy

New Year from Zara BRICKMAN and Lionel


Norman & Thelma EPSTEIN and family wish

the Rabbi, Chazan, the Honorary Officers and

the whole Congregation a happy and healthy

New Year.

Geoffrey & Valerie GREEN wish all the

community a happy and healthy New Year

Best wishes for a healthy, happy and peaceful

New Year from Jane and Cyril HODES

To the Rabbi & Mrs. Shisler, the Honorary

Officers and all my friends Happy New Year

from Yolanda HOPMEIER

Wishing Rabbi & Mrs. Shisler, family and

friends and all members of the community

a happy and healthy New Year – Susan and

Harvey KATZ

A very happy New Year to Rabbi & Anne,

Jeremy, Board of Management and the

Congregation from Roy & Barbara LEVIN

With our best wishes for a healthy and happy

New Year to all our Community - Linda and

Martin LEWIN

Maxine & Michael MARGOLIS and Family

wish Rabbi & Mrs. Shisler, the Honorary

Officers and the entire Community a happy

and peaceful New Year

Hilde & Jonathan MATHESON wish Rabbi &

Mrs. Shisler and all their friends a happy and

healthy New Year and well over the Fast

Lynn & Alan MELTZER together with

Amanda, Oliver and Brandon wish Rabbi &

Mrs. Shisler, Chazan Jeremy Lawson, and all

our dear friends a healthy happy New Year.

Sandy & David MONTAGUE wish everyone at

the New West End health, peace and happiness

throughout 5769

Anne and Stephen PETERS and Family wish

all at the New West End a very happy, healthy

and prosperous New Year.

Wishing a happy and joyous New Year to all

– Collette & David PRICE and family.

Renée & Valerie RICHMAN wish Rabbi and

Mrs. Shisler and all our friends at the New

West End a very happy and healthy New Year.

Mrs. Sybil SCHAPIRO wishes everyone a

healthy, happy and peaceful New Year.

New Year greetings from Phyliss SHAPRO and

Stuart. May we all have a peaceful year.

Our best wishes for a healthy, prosperous and

happy New Year – The SIMKIN Family now

joined by Sebastian and Zachary

Wishing the whole community a happy and

healthy New Year from Angela, Jon, Rachel

and Zac SKRY

Marcella and Bobby wish all their friends a

very happy and peaceful New Year.

Wishing all at NWE a healthy, happy and

prosperous New Year and well over the Fast.

Jacquie & Stuart KATZ and family

Jean & Alan LANDESBERG wish Rabbi

Geoffrey and Anne Shisler, and all members a

very happy New Year and well over the Fast.

Jeremy & Susan LAWTON with Joel, Oliver

and Joshua wish you all nachas and good

health for the coming year

Happy New Year from Jonathon, Jemimah,

Rebecca, Liz and Michael STEINFELD

Celia and Morris WEINTROUB send their

best wishes for a happy and healthy New

Year to you all.

L’Shana Tova. Wishing all my friends at the

New West End Synagogue a healthy and

peaceful New Year – Madeline WHITESON

034 035









then call cst 020 8457 9999

Emergency 24h. 07659 101 668

Community Security Trust registered charity number 1042391


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