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The JC Letters page, 27th October

Jeff Lewis, Avi Moshe, Neville Landau, Josephine Bacon, Rabbi Gideon Schulman, Tony Adler, Barbara Epstein, Bryan Diamond and Neville Goldschneider give their opinions

    (Getty)

    Not running away

     
    An objector to the proposed Islamic centre in Golders Green ( JC October 20) claims that it would “force the Jewish population to run away”.
     
    I remember a similar scare story in Prestwich, not far from where I live, as an Islamic centre opened.
     
    I am glad to report that that the only people I have seen running round there are those after a bus or on their way to a minyan, in what continues to be a thriving Jewish area.             
     
    Jeff Lewis 
    Manchester M45
     
    The “reasonable” face of Jewish protests appears to be concerns about traffic and parking. Perhaps these would be more legitimate if fewer Jewish motorists in North West London parked insensitively, indicated, and refrained from speeding on a regular basis!
     
    Avi Moshe 
    Manchester M25
     
    What a supreme irony  —  residents of Golders Green complaining about the parking misbehaviour of visitors to what used to be The Hippodrome.
     
    For the last 30 years or more the appalling habits of those parking in Golders Green have been evident for all to see.
     
    Do me a favour!
     
    Neville Landau 
    London SW19
     
    Marie Van der Zyl calls me “ill-informed” ( JC October 20). Sadly, I am very much informed. As those who know me are aware, I have been in a business partnership with a devout Muslim for more than 10 years and have Muslim friends in Israel and elsewhere.
     
    I refer you to an article by Judith Bergman on the Gatestone Institute’s website which points out that a Jewish group asked for the Hippodrome to be converted into a place of worship some years ago and were refused! The Hippodrome was then used by a Christian group and the Shia Muslims have been operating the building as a mosque for some time, even though Barnet Council has not granted them permission to do so. 
     
    As for most of the worshippers being Iraqi, the fact is that they are Shia and are heavily supported financially from both Iran and Kuwait, both countries that take every opportunity to vilify Israel.
     
    Josephine Bacon 
    London N17
     
     

    Saying thank you 

     
    For nearly 20 years now I have been living with a debilitating disease called MS.  As the years have gone on, the symptoms have become more extreme and as the disease progressed I found daily living more and more of a challenge. A ground-breaking treatment is available called Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) but is in its infancy and therefore not accessible in many countries as of yet.
     
    After much consideration and trying everything that was available locally to me I decided to travel to Mexico.
     
    Treatment would allow me to recover from some of the symptoms and give me the opportunity to pursue a normal life.
     
    The next stage was to raise funds to have the treatment.  The kindness, and compassion I received from family, friends, people I do not know and the Jewish community has been overwhelming. This enabled me to go to Mexico in July. I am now back in the UK recovering. 
     
    I humbly and gratefully wish to thank all of you who found it in your hearts to assist me not only financially, but in prayers from communities around the world.  Please continue to have me in mind in your prayers, as I look ahead to years of a better quality of life.
     
    I am so proud and honoured to be part of the Jewish community and pray that everybody is blessed with health, simchah, mazal, and shalom.
     
    Rabbi Gideon Schulman
     
     

    Balfour omission

     
    The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration has, surprisingly, not been marked with a display of papers held at the National Archives which record the  discussions of a Jewish National Home in Palestine at Cabinet Meetings during  September-October 1917
     
    The archives do feature a display to commemorate  the 75th Anniversary  of the Partition of India, but omit to mention that it is almost exactly 100 years since the momentous announcement on August 30 1917 of Britain’s committment to self-government by the India Secretary  Ewen Montagu. 
     
    Although he was the only Jew in the cabinet, Montagu was a passionate opponent of Zionism which he described as a “mischevious politics/creed” and two weeks later Montagu’s controversial  paper, which characterised the plans of Lord Rothschild and Balfour for Palestine as antisemitic, was discussed in Cabinet .
     
    The cabinet minutes make riveting reading and one of the great ironies is that  Montagu was prepared to consider self-government  for India but not for his own people. However, in fairness to Montagu he was convinced that there was no such thing as a Jewish nation, merely “people of different nations who  professed to greater or  lesser degree the same religion”
     
    Tony Adler 
    Richmond TW9
     
     

    Memories

     
    I wonder if any of your readers can help me trace a spoof version of the Mikado that I and my late husband saw sometime in the 1960s or 70s. when we lived down south. I have trawled the internet and managed only to come up with one song from the show, Three Jewish boys from shul are we.
     
    No-one in my circle of acquaintances in Leeds has heard of it and I am beginning to doubt my own memory.
     
    If anyone of a certain age has either knowledge or, like myself, just a memory, I would love to hear from them.
     
    Barbara Epstein
    Leeds L217
     
     

    Getting it right

     
    A news item on October 13 stated that the Council of [not “for” as in a letter of the same date re Balfour ] Jews and Christians (CCJ) is the UK’s oldest interfaith organisation (1942).
     
    But The London Society for [now “of”] Jews and Christians was founded in 1927. It arose from an initiative of the Social Service Committee of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, London, where meetings continue to be held. Records of the Society are held at the London Metropolitan Archive (LMA),under ACC/5686.
     
    Bryan Diamond  
    Former Hon. Archivist, The LMA, London NW3
     

    Female volunteers

     
    I read with interest the opinion piece ‘Where are the young women?’ ( October 13) which referred to the shortage of young women volunteers in the UK. As chief executive of Camp Simcha UK I am pleased to report that our experience of volunteer support is quite the opposite.
     
    We have large numbers of amazing young women, usually aged between 18-25, who volunteer as ‘Big Sisters’ (special friends) to seriously ill children, as well as their siblings. They visit the children weekly and come on Camp Simcha outings and retreats, bringing joy and distraction in difficult times. Their impact is just as important for siblings who can feel sidelined when a child is very ill. We have many ‘Big Brothers’ too but generally we find we have more young women volunteering then men amongst our Big Sisters and Brothers.
     
    Their commitment is unwavering. This is not always an easy volunteering role — our Big Sisters and Brothers are trained to support families when they are facing the most difficult times of their lives. However, the difference they make is immeasurable. 
     
    We also have many women, aged 20-45, who volunteer delivering balloons and toys to children in hospitals and who help with outings, events and parties for the families we support. We are grateful and indebted to all the young women (and men) who selflessly give up their time in this way.
     
    Neville Goldschneider
    Chief executive, Camp Simcha UK
     

     

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