Reform bars widow, 89, over £133 arrears

By Cathy Forman, January 26, 2012

The family of an 89-year-old widow has condemned Brighton and Hove Reform Synagogue for cancelling her membership over unpaid fees of £133.

Helen Morris, a member of the shul for more than 22 years, received a letter in early January informing her that because of the outstanding balance, her membership "has now ceased, including loss of all burial funds".

She moved into sheltered accommodation in Mill Hill after the death of her husband Michael two years ago. He is buried in the Jewish section of Hove cemetery.

Mrs Morris's son Louis , 49, said she was "hugely stressed" by the situation. "They have just thrown Mum out of the shul."

The shul's deputy chair, Debra Goodman, said officers tried to be caring, "but we have to stay afloat. There is a shortfall in Mrs Morris's fees. The subscription was due to be paid last May. We offered her the absolute minimum we could afford.

"She has paid something, but not enough. We have gone out of our way with this family."

Another letter was sent to Mr Morris this week offering to reinstate his mother's membership if the balance was paid.

Last updated: 1:38pm, January 26 2012