A small action group is currently preparing for the launch of this exciting new venture which will benefit from the superb facilities of our recently refurbished synagogue building.
The aim is to meet once a week for social chat and a coffee or snack. As soon as the current COVID-19 pandemic permits, further details will follow about the start date, the initial dynamic program, and how to become involved.
For more information or to be added to the mailing list for future J-Club events, please contact us.
Thinking Allowed is a discussion group that meets on the last Wednesday afternoon of every month. This group is currently online. We discuss a topic or two, drink coffee and eat cake. The sessions are informal, but that does not mean it is a free-for-all: Everyone can have their say, put their point of view, or just sit and listen.
The list of topics already covered is long and varied. We have talked about advertising, humour, music, libraries, and education, and we have challenged members with such questions as:
“Do Superstitions Influence Our Lives?”
“Are You What You Wear?”
With no shortage of discussion topics, we meet on the last Wednesday of the month at 2.15 pm for about an hour and a half. If you would like to come along then please contact Howard Freeman for more details.
This group is currently online.
The Leicester Jewish Book Club had its first meeting in June 2017 and continues to meet monthly in our private homes over coffee and a biscuit, to share a love of books and set the world to rights as we forge our discussions!
We read fiction and have read a wide range of authors and genres including the human condition; war; fantasy and crime. We often disagree on how we respond to the book selection, but it is never dull. One favourite of everyone was “All The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr; this was an exception, some of our other selections had a much more mixed reception!
If you would like to come along to the Book Club, please contact Beverlie Cemmell. There is no obligation, and you may come along as often or little as you like.
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Next Selection: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton at David Leben’s, Wednesday 12th December 2020
The list of books read so far with a small comment by each is given below if you wish to look at any of the selections.
Holy Cow by David Duchovny
This was very much vanity publishing, and it was felt that if this had not been written by a big-name star it would not have been published.
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
A quirky book with a mixed reaction, some members loved the humour, but others absolutely did not.
Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
A very enjoyable book about a young woman’s journey set in the US South.
Waking Lions by Aylet Gundar-Goshen
An excellent book looking at the experience of immigrants to Israel and issues of acceptance and prejudice.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
A quirky book about Harold’s adventures following the death of his wife – very much enjoyed by the Group.
Country of the Blind by Christopher Bookmyre
Mixed reviews on this one – it is part of the Jack Parlabane series, and a generally reasonable crime thriller.
The Children Act by Ian McEwan
A rattling good story about a young man asserting his right to make decisions about their own health, raising many contentious issues.
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Set in France towards the end of the war, this is the story of a blind girl and how her life entwines with a member of the German Army. An excellent book, enjoyed by all.
Small Great Things by Jodi Piccoult
A very good book addressing racial issues in the American South, generated some very interesting discussion relating back to our own experiences.
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
Mixed reviews, most members really enjoyed this book with its history of Guernsey during WWII, others felt a bit formulaic and book-clubbish!
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gale Honeyman
Almost everyone loved this book about quirky Eleanor and how she managed to find a way to be in the 21st century.
Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
Very polarised on this one, if you are a Terry Pratchett fan this is definitely for you. Members who had read Pratchett in the past felt that this was definitely more appreciated in their youth! However, it was a well written interesting take on religions and interesting from that broad perspective.
The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
The ill-fated romance of a young Jewish girl and her family’s Japanese gardener, set in US following Pearl Harbour. The book gave an interesting description of the Japanese experience in the US at that time.
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
Very dated and very wordy, we will not be reading any more Roth! For those that got to the end of it, there was general disappointment in the denouement.
A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
A lovely but sad book following a man’s journey through bereavement.
The 342 Trust
The 342 Trust has been set up for the benefit of older Jewish people and people with familial Jewish connections. The Trust’s money is derived from the sale of Abbeyfield.
WHAT is it for? Any equipment for the home to make life easier, for example, a seat for the bath; a wet room; special aids for those with visual impairment; ramps to improve access; respite or short-term packages. The Trust cannot fund long term care.
WHO is it for? Anyone over the age of 50 who could benefit from help to make their lives easier. You do not have to be disabled or on benefits. The grants are not means-tested and confidentiality is assured.
HOW much can be requested? There is no lower limit.
WHO should you contact? Please get in touch with Anthony Jacobs for an informal chat and advice on applying. Contact him using the form on this website: http://342trust.org.uk
League of Jewish Women
The League of Jewish Women (LJW) is a national and international voluntary service organisation that provides help wherever it is needed both in the Jewish and the wider community. It is the leading Jewish women’s voluntary services organisation in the UK.
In Leicester, volunteers host regular tea-parties with home-made sandwiches and cake for people living alone. Guests are driven to and from the venues. We also visit the sick and lonely at home or in hospital and several members help to run the Shalom Club, the weekly community day centre, by being cooks, drivers and helpers.
We do not fundraise but have an occasional social event. The Rabbi’s wife, Rivkie Pink, is an honorary member. All are welcome. Contact Jacqui Coleman or Ruth Neuberg through the contact page for more details
Lives Behind the Stones
A Heritage Lottery Funded Project about the Jewish section of Leicester’s Gilroes CemeteryCompiled by Rosalind Adam
The first burial in the Jewish section of Leicester’s Gilroes Cemetery took place in 1902. Over the years, records of burials had been intermittent and so, in 2014, a team of six members of Leicester’s Jewish Community, together with 37 volunteers, set out to accurately catalogue all the graves. We created a comprehensive website with full search facilities, researched stories about past members of the community and implemented work to improve access to the cemetery. All this was made possible thanks to a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
As with many old graveyards, the early section had fallen into disrepair. We did not want the stones, or, indeed, the lives behind those stones, to be lost. It was not possible to repair each stone and so we recorded all the inscriptions from the headstones.
Unfortunately, quite a few plots had no stone and so, after considerable research using the limited information available from the written records as a starting point, we recovered enough information to have small plaques made and affixed to these plots. We replaced row markers and broken kerbstones and produced three large information boards at the site; one is a map of all the sections and the other two contain the plot locations of every grave in the cemetery at the time of going to print.
My job, as Project Coordinator, was to write the text, including the in-depth stories. We have stories about people arriving in Leicester after long and dangerous journeys escaping persecution, about inventors with copies of original patent applications, about doctors, tailors, market traders, and a complete cross-section of society covering more than a hundred years of life and death in Leicester’s Jewish Community. There is always room for more stories so please let me knowhere if you would like to contribute a story about a friend or a member of your family buried there.
The website, which can be found here, includes lesson suggestions for Key Stage 2 teachers, information on the cemetery’s history and, most importantly, a complete and searchable database of all the people buried at the cemetery. This is a permanent online facility. We hope that it will also be used as a template for other communities who are concerned about preserving their past for the future.