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Birmingham salutes Ruth on a great century

100th birthday celebrant Ruth Shire maintains an active involvement in her shul

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Birmingham Progressive Synagogue held its first service for a centenarian, marking the 100th birthday of community stalwart Ruth Shire.

Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi led the online celebration, telling watching family members, congregants and friends that they were honouring “such an amazing woman”.

She said that Mrs Shire, a Holocaust survivor, was known for her support of a variety of good causes and continuing involvement in the shul, which she and her late husband joined more than 70 years ago.

During the pandemic, she has maintained her contributions to the BPS Book Club and, having mastered Zoom, hosted meetings for members of the University for the Third Age.

“You have many admirers far and wide and we are so glad that today we have the chance to sing your praises and give you our heartfelt birthday wishes,” Rabbi Jacobi said.

The celebrant’s son, Rabbi Michael Shire, daughter-in-law Rabbi Marcia Plumb and their children Anya and Micah travelled from America to be with her for the birthday period.

Mrs Shire’s daughter, Miriam Shire-Feldman, and other grandchildren and great-grandchildren also participated in the Shabbat service tribute.

“Mum had a magnificent birthday,” her daughter said afterwards.

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