Kehilat Middlesbrough Newsletter Issue No 3 July 1999
From the Editor
Well, here comes our 3rd issue - in the Halacha this is called a Hazaka, a presumption that this now involves continued activity rather than a one-time performance. However, you will be happy to learn that if we ever get to twenty issues we will be able to say, as on Seder night, "Dayenu" – Enough!
In any event, the last three months have been productive: the Smollan Sheva Brachot, the Internet connection, the interest taken by the French Jewish Press and our own ever expanding mailing list—245 readers with addresses and 80 potential readers so far, without. At the rate we are moving, they will soon end up in the first category, thanks to your help and the Missing Persons list we have already sent to our UK readers and which we also set out on the back page. We are always happy to see ex-Boro folk; Rev Ben Topp, the last part-time Minister, looked us up recently.
So, keep writing to us and don’t forget to keep the contributions coming—and here we must say a big thank you to those who have already responded. As you will realise, your esteemed Publisher and Editor are getting more out of pocket the more we expand. After all, we don’t want to go the same way as the News Chronicle and the Northern Echo!
Kehilat Middlesbrough on the Internet As many of you already know, Kehilat Middlesbrough now has its very own website. The full address is:
On the website you will find, besides the first three issues of the Newsletter, many of the letters and articles we have received over the last 9 months and for which there has not been room in the printed Newsletters. There are also sections covering family histories, Middlesbrough memories, documents of literary and historical interest, a Photo Gallery, press comments and more.
The website will serve as a living archive for the future. It is an ideal medium for posting your family history, profiles of members of your family, early family portraits, etc. Please contact Donald Wiseman for further details.
We are particularly indebted to Susan Eisen of Newcastle Rep Council for all her immense help and understanding in enabling us to construct and maintain our website. We could not have achieved so much in such a short time without her unfailing patience. Thanks, Susan!
Southfield Road to Tchernichovsky Street Kehilat Middlesbrough goes into the Catering Business On June 17 1999 Michelle, the adopted daughter of Louis and Jennie Smollan who now live in Christchurch, Dorset, married her cousin, Zelig Smollan, named after his maternal grandfather, in Ra’anana. His mother is Sadie (Smollan) Mendelovich. On the following Sunday in Jerusalem at the Rechov Tchernichovsky home of Ruth (Miller) Sudwarts, a Sheva Brachot was held in the presence of more than 20 ex-Boro residents.
The evening was memorable, especially for Louis and Jennie, who had never even heard of Sheva Brachot events in Middlesbrough. He met the daughter of his Barmitzvah teacher, Rabbi Epstein, and three other families who had also lived in Southfield Road—the Greenbergs, Millers and Wisemans. Ruth and Naomi Miller showed a large portrait of their father and the "younger" set - Louis Wiseman and Michelle - relived their happy days at Rev Kersh’s cheder.
The most moving part of the evening came when Sadie and her daughter Navah read of the trials and tribulations undergone by her late husband Motti, who died at the age of 45. Sadie had written down his history, shortly before his death, including his experiences in Europe, where he lost all his family and finally escaped from the camps. He eventually reached Palestine, having been interned in Cyprus for two years. After service in the Hagana he was sent to Kibbutz Nitzanim on the Egyptian border, where Sadie had been sent on the first Shnat Sherut scheme. This was the first public reading from Sadie’s notebook of Motti’s personal history and Nava felt that the Sheva Brachot was the appropriate time to remember a beloved but absent guest.
The evening ended in true Boro Quiz style - the Smollans and the Greenbergs had difficulty in naming their own siblings in order—11 each—and remembering the Jewish neighbours of the Kalla in Thornfield Grove. But the last question was the easiest: Who was the first Boro person to come on Aliya since the establishment of the State: our Sadie!!