Chazonim and Ministers of the BRENTNALL ST SYNAGOGUE
If my memory doesn't deceive me there was a Chazon of this name in bygone days. I was perhaps too young to remember much about him. As I am open to contradiction the mention will suffice.
He was a man about middle height and can be described as a typical Chazon, with a clear incisive delivery and a voice round and strong. He served the Congregation many years.
Another typical Chazon who succeeded Mr Hershman. In voice and capability there was little to choose between them. Preference might go to Mr Silverston.
He was a fine type of man, conscientious in his work, one who particularly 1aid himself out to help others and do one a good turn. I know of instances where he has borrowed as much as £50 on his own recognisance to help some unfortunate member in distress out of his difficulties. I have no knowledge that he was ever let down. I hardly think so; yet had he been so unfortunate, he would have met his obligations although he was in no position to do so. No more need be said. Altruism of this kind rests "between Angel's wings and the Gates of Heaven".
For many years he resided in St John's Terrace on the Marton Road where he died, after serving the Congregation diligently and efficiently for a long time. (From 1897-1936). His wife, sincere and dutiful, who spoke ill of none and was pleased with all, survived him by a few years.
They reared a large family of boys and girls on a small income, worthy of one with a 1arge. His son Joe he put to the Medical Profession; of two others he made Dentists and the daughters married well. One is the wife of Mr Ernest Hush. So whatever luck came his way he merited! for he was a man liked by everyone and popular with all.
The Rev Levy
I have a hazy recollection of him. He was active and impetuous. He officiated in the Synagogue, lectured and taught the children Hebrew in the classes. This is the office of a clergyman
The Rev M E Davis
He was a bachelor and resided in Southfield Road, occupying one of the houses in the Terrace, the second block from Linthorpe Road on the right. His sister Ada, a young unmarried woman, kept house for him.
He was like a jovial monk, stout, with a peculiar jaunty gait and characteristic swing of the wrist as he walked. Jolly in disposition with a laugh and a smile, he was not at all like a minister usually grave and solemn, and were it not for his clerical garb would never be taken for one. He was friendly and easy to get on with.
At his Hebrew Classes we boys and girls among ourselves referred to him as "Daddy Davis", probably on account of his paternal demeanour. However it was an endearing nick-name. Devoid of stigma there was no offence. His lectures were flat. Sedatives for slumber. He carried out the usual routine of a minister for a long time until he left. Ada was very much like him in physique, features and temperament but a younger edition.
Rabbi Miller served as minister dutifully, faithfully and conscientiously for a long time. He was a scholar and learned. His lectures were impressive and forceful. He had a good delivery and an excellent command of the English language.
He was an unusual minister who mixed freely with the clergy of all denominations in the town, lecturing in their churches and institutions whenever the occasion presented and in this way was popular and highly respected by the Gentiles and their ministers. Consequently he did no end of good in fostering friendship between the two creeds; thus minimising anti-semitism, and cementing a bond of friendship which is highly commendable. Like the Rev M E Davis he lived in the same Terrace in Southfield Road for many years where he reared his two sons, who followed in their father's footsteps, and joined the Ministry.
He was dark and wore a beard, which somewhat intensified his Eastern appearance. His wife was short in stature, an active: and intelligent lady who interested herself in communal affairs quite a lot.
He continued his duties in the New Synagogue in Park Rd South until he died. He complained of ill-health over a year prior to his demise but carried on until about a week before, when he suddenly took a serious turn which proved fatal. With funereal honours he was laid to rest in the New Jewish Cemetery.