Kehilat Middlesbrough Newsletter No 5 January 2000
The Glory that was Middlesbrough
We did not initially prepare the contents of this our fifth Newsletter with the Kindertransport in mind. However, the truth is that we have been collecting various articles and letters which have accumulated from our many contributors on this subject. Always looked down as the handmaiden of the North-East Kehilot, we came into our own in the years 1939-1942.
Who can forget the generosity of the Benjamin family who provided the premises at 5 The Avenue; the devoted care of the Mahlers, who managed the Hostel; of Lionel Levy and Bency Simon who came every day to see to the welfare of the children; of the various families who each took in a small child for three years because there was no room at the hostel; of Ilse Hass—one of the few members of the Kehila who could speak German to the girls; of old Mrs Wulwick, who looked after the kitchens. And indeed so many others, some mentioned in this Newsletter and others we have not yet heard about. As Churchill might have said of the Kehila: "This was their finest hour."
Visitors in Town who looked us up
1. Mina (Sztrum) Steiff spoke of her three kindertransport sisters when they stayed at the homes of Ray & Joe Blakey, Leah & Issy Bernard and Thalia & Bert Marks, before moving to the Hostel at 5 The Avenue.
2. Harold Claff - relived his MHS days with special memories of WW Fletcher
3. Rabbi Meir Trepp,Director of the Sunderland Kollel in Gateshead - and deliverer of the last sermon in shul on November 1st 1998 - was instrumental in providing services during the last years to the Kehila when needed
Congratulations to Gillian Hush on receiving the OBE for services to Journalism.
Friends in Middlesbrough
The Newsletter Goes Public
The M’bro Evening Gazette recently published an article on Kehilat Middlesbrough. They had seen our Newsletters and came to the conclusion that with such a lively and active readership it could justifiably be said that we are indeed a "virtual Kehila".
The article quoted many of the historical anecdotes which appeared in the first four issues of the Newsletter and wished us good fortune for the future. A copy of the article can be seen on our website.
The Gazette publishes a quarterly magazine entitled "Remember When", which aims to chronicle the recent history of the M’bro area. There have been quite a number of items of Jewish interest and some of our readers are occasionally quoted in the magazine. In due course we will also put this material onto the website.
A Plea for Help!
The exceptional generosity of several of our readers has enabled us to produce five issues of the Newsletter. Unfortunately, as the mailing list continues to grow - so do the expenses of producing and posting nearly 300 copies of each issue around the world.
We particularly ask you to consider sponsoring an issue of the Newsletter, or at least to share the financial burden with us.
A further option is for a number of readers to undertake the printing and posting of 50 copies each—as one of our readers has done for this issue.
Those of you who are prepared to participate in this way, please contact Donald Wiseman for further details.
Home at Last
As reported in our first issue, the two Wiseman Sifrei Torah were brought to Jerusalem after the Closing.
One of them has now been repaired and has taken its place in the Aron Kodesh in Pisgat Ze’ev Jerusalem, where Donald Wiseman regularly davens, .
The other Sefer, made of weaker parchment, is no longer useable, having been stored in the M’bro Aron Kodesh where, experts here say, that damp came in from the nearby sea air.