Blue plaque unveiled at Bnei Akiva hostel
Blue plaque at the site of a former Bnei Akiva hostel for Kindertransport refugees in Rowledge village
A blue plaque has been unveiled at the site of a former Bnei Akiva hostel for Kindertransport refugees in the village of Rowledge, near Farnham, Surrey, on the 70th anniversary of its establishment.
Mark Westcott, who now lives in the property, was the prime mover behind the ceremony after discovering that Rowledge House was used as a refugees’ hostel from 1942-45 by the Bachad movement, Bnei Akiva’s senior wing. It was the first UK home for 32 children who fled the Nazis. They learnt Hebrew and Jewish history in addition to their secular studies.
The hostel was run by Bachad members Shalom and Edie Ma’agan, who were later founder members of Lavi, the Bnei Akiva kibbutz in northern Israel, where Mrs Ma’agan still lives.
Ex-Rowledge House resident Hanna Nyman was invited to unveil the plaque.
“I felt extremely privileged to have commemorated a truly remarkable and important part of all our history,” Mr Westcott said.