Alfred Godfrey

January 3, 2013
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Although it does not encompass the whole essence of Jewishness, the incidental bits and pieces which accompany our religion— the Jewish penicillin, the way we communicate in our very special way, the red ribbon superstition, and expressions such as kein ayin hara [beware of the evil eye] — they are the recognisable hallmarks of our faith. Of course, the ritual is far more important to us, and moreover the attempted destruction of our culture for no real and justifiable reason, has not made us afraid to be Jewish, but indeed, it has even made us more proud to be what we are.

Mr Godfrey, a jeweller, is still working — at 89. He can trace his family records back to 1790. His great-great-grandfather founded a family business in Whitechapel, Witmond & Sons, cigar manufacturers. His family were among the founders of Stepney Green Synagogue. Married to Muriel Yuleberg since 1951 and a great-grandfather of 10, Mr Godfrey has celebrated his barmitzvah twice — once at Harley Street, in London E3, and a second time at Ilford Synagogue in Beehive Lane.

Last updated: 12:14pm, January 4 2013