Kehilat Middlesbrough Newsletter No 8 October 2000
From the Editor
It has taken some time to get the 8th Newsletter set up and hence the delay, but now we welcome you to the first of our on-line Newsletters on our very own, expanded, new website. We hope you like what you see. Our aim for the website is very simple: to become a comprehensive record of the Middlesbrough Jewish Community.
We have already made history. A Kehila has been revived and we shall carry on until you or we lose interest, for whatever reason.
But, in the meantime, we intend to give you your money’s worth. We want you to feel that you belong to Kehilat Middlesbrough – a special family for all of us who share our Middlesbrough connections.
Write to us, no matter what; send us photographs no matter what; and strengthen these M'bro family contacts – whether through us or directly with former friends and family members from ten to sixty years ago. It has been done already, it does no harm, it's so easy and the joy of renewed contacts is amazing. We have been through it ourselves and we have some unbelievable discoveries yet to be published.
We will try and contact all those readers who, so far as we are aware, do not have email or access to the internet. But in the meantime you can help us by telling all your M'bro friends and family contacts about our new website. If they have email they should make contact with us. It will help us to compile an email register of all our readers.
Finally, a suggestion to help you better enjoy the website. Why not get together and look at it with your M’bro friends. You would not only obtain maximum understanding of the material, but it might generate the development of M'bro Chugim (groups) around the world.
Happy watching and don’t forget to contact us.
My grandparents were Cissie and Aby Lazarus. Abraham peddled clothing in the mining villages along the coast. Their sons were Sydney, my father, who was a pharmacist with a business in Acklam Road, Jack, an architect who designed the shul, Leon and Lewis.
Uncle Lewis was a solicitor and a one-time Liberal candidate for Middlesbrough. He sadly was always dogged by illness and died young but he will not be forgotten by anyone who knew his amazing laugh, rolling walk and penchant for fun. Unfortunately his wild spirits sometimes got him into trouble: when he heard that he had successfully completed his bar exams, he was caught riding his bike on the pavement with no hands and no lights, so his first appearance in court was as the defendant!
My brother David and I would go for Sunday teas to the grandparents’ house. The table was always laden with heavy kuchen and other goodies which we were urged to eat until our tummies ached. We often found ourselves crouching, hands over ears, amongst the grownups’ legs under the table while arguments raged over the creation of the state of Israel and the part played by the British government.
My father was at one time President of the synagogue and my mother, Helena (Lena) was Treasurer of the Ladies’ Guild. This last position amused me because she had no head for figures and I expect Dad helped her with the accounts. My parents were keen pianists and I was often lulled to sleep as a child by their piano duets accompanied by animated arguments about tempi. Sometimes, as a further trial, old uncle Sam Smith, diminutive in his long coat, would arrive on his bicycle with his violin strapped to his back, lured by the glamour of having an accompanist for his attempts to be a second Kreisler. Lieder with Bernard Silverston or Beethoven sonatas with Theo Richardson made for more harmonious evenings while my mother gossiped with her friends Brenda Richardson and Freda Silverston.
My father took an 8mm cine film of the opening of the shul. I sent this film to someone in the community – I think it was Philip Niman - after I had been to Middlesbrough for my parents’ stone-laying but don’t know what happened to it. I do hope it has been carefully preserved and lodged in an archive somewhere, as many Jewish people would recognise the faces on it. Uncle Sam, who wrote romances which he had beautifully bound in red leather, also wrote a book about the Middlesbrough community, complete with Brownie box photos. This he gave to Middlesbrough Reference Library. I would love to know if it is still there. [Ed note: you can read it on this website]
I was interested to read about the Kindertransport in your newsletter. A six-year old boy, Pieter Meininger, lived with us for three years during the war. He was later claimed by a surviving uncle and went to live in the States and we lost touch with him,
Although I have long lost contact with the Jewish community, I have fond memories of some dear friends. Stella Broady and I were in and out of each other’s houses and she once came on holiday to Norway with us. Gillian Hush, with whom I have now made contact after she had a chance encounter with my nephew on a train and discovered they live within a few hundred yards of each other, lived at Great Ayton and I remember happy afternoons in her garden among the sweet peas. Judith Israel and I got up to all manner of mischief, including furtive hours hiding under her parents’ bed reading up horrifying facts of life in her father’s medical texts. I would love to hear from Judith and Stella sometime. Diana (Lazarus) Grace Ipswich, England
I am sure all the readers will be as disappointed as I am that you are both stepping down from editing and publishing the Newsletter.
It will be a big miss as the Newsletter has brought back memories of the M’bro community for hundreds of ex-Boro residents. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you both for what I am sure must have been very hard work and very time-consuming. Peter Niman Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Thanks for the latest newsletter which I read with great interest - especially the article from one of your more regular correspondents, namely my father!
It is the first time I have been the subject of a quiz question as well!
I am sorry to hear that you and David intend to retire from your positions. Were it not for the fact that I have an extremely busy practice and am fairly often away from the office I would be quite happy to assist in your endeavours! However, I would like to help in some way – if there is any way I can assist I will try. Paul Stock Ashton-under-Lyne, England
Thanks for the Newsletters.
I thought I'd let you know that Harry passed away last year in shul on shabbos on June 5th 1999.
The only person from Middlesborough I have seen in Manchester is Pat Jaffa.
Just to keep you up to date, Marlene married a policeman, Anthony Reubens, in Manchester in June 1992. They have a 4 year old daughter, Lauren Natalie Hayley.
My other daughter Sandra (Sandie) is also married to a policeman, Stephen Holland. They have 2 daughters, Jemma (6) and Rebecca (2). Betty Ellman Manchester, England
Rose Saville, on 14 July 2000, in Jerusalem. Survived by sons Michael and David, daughter Ruth and brother Solly Cohen