Birmingham

Kindertransport refugee remembered

August 15, 2008

Members of the Birmingham Jewish community gathered at a local churchyard last week to dedicate a memorial plaque to a five-year-old Kindertransport refugee from Prague who died in a bombing raid in December 1940.

Suzanne Marburg had been taken in and adopted by the Lloyds, a non-Jewish family, whose members died with her in the bombing.

They were all buried in the Lloyd family grave at Kingswood Unitarian Chapel, Wythall. Suzanne's mother, who had survived the concentration camps, learned of her fate when she came to England look for her after the war.

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Progressive Synagogue's new building opens after 10 years' planning

July 25, 2008
Birmingham Progressive Synagogue's new building has opened after 10 years' planning. Services for the 300 members are now being held in the Bishopsgate site, and other activities are now moving there from venues used in the two years since the Sheepcote Street site closed. The purpose-built Edgbaston site's facilities include a function room, classrooms and a basement youth area. The shul will house the Midlands Centre for Liberal Judaism.

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Solihull and District Hebrew Congregation parades first Sefer Torah

July 25, 2008
Heavy rainfall did not derail the plans of the Solihull and District Hebrew Congregation to parade its first newly written Sefer Torah through the streets after the last letters were completed at the home of their rabbi, Yehuda Pink. Some 250 people from as far afield as Manchester, Leeds and London joined in the celebrations, which culminated in a dinner addressed by Dayan Yonason Abraham of the London Beth Din.

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Jewish refugee's German passport returned to descendants

July 22, 2008
On discovering a Jewish refugee's German passport in her late husband's effects, Birmingham Quaker Doreen Clarkson contacted Birmingham Hebrew Congregation to try to return it to any descendants of its owner, Richard Silberbach. Lionel Singer, chair of the Holocaust Commemoration committee, discovered that Mr Silberbach arrived in the UK in 1939 and made his home in Birmingham. Further enquiries disclosed Mr Silberbach's granddaughter, Cheryl Lawrie, to whom the passport was presented.

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40 youngsters join Nottingham neighbours for first Midlands Shabbaton

July 11, 2008
More than 40 youngsters from Birmingham, Derby and Leicester joined their neighbours in Nottingham for the first Midlands Shabbaton. Bnei Akiva youth leaders organised a host of activities and were invited by Nottingham Hebrew Congregation's Rabbi Moshe Perez to take Shabbat services. The event was the latest in a series of initiatives by Midlands rabbonim to foster closer relationships between children from the communities.

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90 people gather for writing of the last letters of a new Sefer Torah

July 4, 2008
More than 90 people gathered in Silverstone Court, Birmingham’s Jewish sheltered-housing complex, for the writing of the last letters of a new Sefer Torah for Andrew Cohen Synagogue. When completed, the Torah scroll was carried under a chupah to Andrew Cohen House, accompanied by music and dancing. The scroll was greeted by the residents and taken into the care home’s synagogue where a service of induction was held.

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260 attend celebration of Israel’s 60th

July 4, 2008
A capacity audience of 260 people attended a celebration of Israel’s 60th birthday organised jointly by the local Representative Council and Israel Information Centre. Guest of honour Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor spoke about the political situation in the Middle East while Anav Silverman of the Sderot Media Centre told guests about the situation in Sderot. The event was held at Central Synagogue.

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Students exchange ideas at chaplaincy board

May 23, 2008

More than 100 people attended an EGM for the Midland Region Chaplaincy Board. At the meeting, held at the Joseph Cohen Hall, students from across the region were able to exchange ideas. Reporting on the current chaplain, Rabbi Fishel Cohen and his wife Esther, Samy Katz, 21, a student at Warwick University, said: “The Cohens are a great support for Jewish students on campus and have helped us to co-ordinate many events.”

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National Heritage given tour of Singers Hill

May 23, 2008

Birmingham Hebrew Congregation hosted delegates from English Heritage in preparation for this year’s Heritage Day events. The shul’s heritage representative, Warren Lessar, gave the delegates a tour of Singers Hill, which is known as one of the country’s “cathedral synagogues”. The delegates included members of local historical and religious groups who are planning the open days, which will take place in the autumn.

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Big turnout for Birmingham's Holocaust commemoration

May 9, 2008

Nearly 100 people attended a Holocaust commemoration held at Witton Jewish Cemetery in the presence of Lord Mayor, Councillor Randal Brew. The Representative Council chose the Jews of Greece for the commemoration. Psalms were sung by Birmingham Hebrew Congregation choir.

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