At the beginning of the war the need was shown for a ladies’ society which would be able to deal with all matters of comforts, charity and entertainment of soldiers. Accordingly there was convened a meeting of the Jewish ladies from the three existing ladies’ societies and there came into being the Middlesbrough Jewish Women’s War Fund, with Mesdames M. Simon and B. M. Marks as joint presidents. During the war years nearly £1000 was raised through various functions, the proceeds of knitting teas, coffee mornings, card afternoons and individual donations, and this was distributed amongst scores of war charities including Hospitals, Institutes for the Blind, W.V.S., Ma.yor’s Relief Fund. Red Cross, United Polish Relief, Jewish Fund for U.S.S.R., Balfour Services Club, Missions to Seamen. Any Jewish soldiers coming into Middlesbrough were entertained by the ladies of this society, especially at the time of Passover and the High Festivals, all soldiers who could not get home were taken into various ladies’ homes and entertained as family guests.
Tribute must be paid to the strenuous efforts and hard work of the Presidents and Treasurer, who, with a very small band of friends were responsible for raising all the funds, and warm thanks are also due to the ladies who held the knitting teas in their own drawing rooms and made the Monday afternoon gatherings the social event of the week.
On a suggestion from Mrs. Halson it was decided to “adopt” a prisoner of war and parcels were sent to him each week through the Red Cross.
A most memorable occasion was when Sir William Crosthwaite, J.P. (who at the time was Mayor) before a distinguished gathering of the town’s citizens, formally handed over a mobile canteen, sent by the Lord Mayor of London and originally presented by the Jewish ladies of Bulawayo to be worked and staffed by members of the Middlesbrough Jewish Women’s War Fund.
We have been gratified to receive numerous letters in appreciation of the help we were able to give and we wish to extend our thanks to all those who have worked so hard to make this good work possible.
Communal Hall Building Fund of the
Middlesbrough Hebrew Congregation
ChairmanN. J. Marks.
Hon. SecretaryNat. Craster
An appeal was made some time ago to the members of our community for contributions towards the cost of erecting a Communal Hall. Approximately £1,350 has been collected to date. This amount includes over £400 raised by the Social Section and £250 by the Ladies Guild.
We wish to thank those who so generously responded, and to appeal to those members who have not yet contributed to make this your thank-offering for our victory and ensure that this most necessary project will not be jeopardized by your lack of support.