Kehilat Middlesbrough Newsletter No 2 April 1999 page 3
Memories of a Middlesbrough Childhood
Rabbi Epstein taught me my Parshah for my Barmitzvah. The cheder classrooms were long and not very wide, the doors opened from the hall. At the other end were the windows, which opened out into the alleyway. Eric Jaffa always sat in the back row, Siddur open—but in front always a comic or a detective story. Rev Turtledove used to go down quietly, surprise him, take the paper and throw it out of the window. As soon as the class finished, there was the most unholy rush to pick up the paper before one of the locals got it!
A name I remember: "Yankele", a kind of Shamas, telling everyone in shul to stop talking. One of the "never to be forgotten" was Bency Simon, an elder, an inveterate snuff taker; even on the Yomim Tovim he never changed, the same waistcoat with a coating of snuff about half an inch thick over a big corporation. We used to ask him for a pinch of snuff and then go around sneezing all over the place.
Next to the shul in Brentnall Street was the Beth Hamidrash. The hall was up some stone steps and when the door was open we used to go in to play. One night I fell down the steps and gashed one eye; only the care and attention of my mother over a long time saved me from losing an eye.
There was a kosher shop at the bottom of Church Street, which ran off Newport Road. I can remember seeing the small barrels of pickled herrings and cucumber, standing on the pavement outside the shop, Lipsons. We lived in Park Street; our alleyway led to the back of Mossoms, the kosher butchers. Once a week, I went with my grandmother to have the chickens killed by the Shochet, usually the Rav, and watched as he killed the beasts and the hens. It was an education to see, but not pleasant to watch.
David Saville’s father was a real card; always with a quip, but a good friend. When my father died, he came and asked: did I remember how to put on Tefillin? My answer was no, so he came along and spent some time to remind me. I said Kaddish for 12 months for both my father and mother. Benny Goldstein was a tower of strength. I used to pick him up at 10 minutes to 8 every morning to help make a minyan.
My grandmother could not read English. As the films were silent, she used to pay for me to go with her and read what was being shown on the screen. Louis Smollan Christchurch, England
I was so pleased to get the Newsletter. I agree that the surplus funds should certainly go to endow some educational project, to perpetuate Kehilat Middlesbrough in Israel and all over the world. How would it be possible to find and maintain a home for the artifacts from the Synagogue? It sounds like a massive job, but you're right - it would certainly need to have trustees to supervise such a project. Israel would be the place for it.
Always good to hear of the old days and of the people we knew. My grandfather Goldberg was President of the old shul in Brentnall Street many moons ago. Even I can hardly remember!
Thank you for all your great work—it’s a wonderful idea. Mimsie (Goldberg) Serebrin Seattle, USA
What a pleasant surprise to receive the Newsletter. I often think of the old days. As the saying goes—you can take a boy out of Middlesbrough but you can’t take the Middlesbrough out of the boy! I have been living in Sydney, Australia, since 1971 and love it. The openness of the people, the safe feeling, the lifestyle and of course the climate, all make this, for me, an ideal place to live.
Of course, being an Aussie (I have dual citizenship) allows me the thrill of supporting Australia in all its sporting achievements, of which there are many. Also, we have the Olympic Games here in Sydney next year.
So please continue to send the Newsletter and let me know if I can be of further assistance. Julian (Leon) Vyner Sydney, Australia
Thanks very much for the pleasant surprise. It’s very nice to hear from you all. Things have changed in Middlesbrough so much. Very few of the old faces are left. The Saville shop is still missed.
I have naturally retired from work – I am nearly 90 years young, but can still drive!
I visited Jerusalem many years ago, and left my name in the Western Wall.
All the very best David Israel Middlesbrough
To Our Readers We hope you have enjoyed this 2nd issue of our Newsletter.
Please help to defray the costs of production and postage. Your contributions will enable us to continue this important venture
Answers to Quiz in Issue no 1
1. Jack Fischbein & Jack Adler.
2. Ayresome St: Epstein, Doberman, Turtledove, Levy
Oxford Rd: Goldberg, Marks, Doberman, Bookey Cambridge Rd: Broady, Shorvon, Schmulewitsch, Myerson 3. Depends whether your mother went to Shul 4. Prof & Mrs Mahler, 5 The Avenue, Benjamin Family Sonia Altman, Henny (Strom) Myers, Minna (Strom) Steif 5. Not Rabbi Epstein but Eric Frais 6. Rev Silverston; Rev Kahn 7. October 31 1998, at the Closing 8. Dave Morris 9. Rev Turtledove 10. Rev Silverston and his choirboys