League Update 29

6th November 2020

LJW Update – No. 29


Hetty is a member of Fylde Group in the NW Region

Well it happened again! Tears flowed. Whilst watching the BBC news on Monday morning, they had an article on Paul Harvey, who I featured last week. BBC invited him onto the programme to speak to the two charities he is supporting, Alzheimer’s Society and Music for Dementia. What he didn’t know was that Sir Tom Hunter and his wife were watching the original clip and were so moved, that they decided to donate £1M from The Hunter Foundation for the two charities to share. The spokesmen for the charities were unaware of this and everyone started to cry when this was announced, even the BBC hosts. The man who gave the money said “he didn’t want to be the richest man in the cemetery” and had decided to give money to deserving causes.


260 years ago, on November 3rd 1760, shortly after the ascension of King George III to the throne, seven representatives (or Deputados in Portuguese) of England’s Sephardi Jewish community, met together to discuss the pressing communal issues of the day. The challenges that the fledgling Jewish community faced, included Jews being banned from many professions and universities, and an inability to become naturalised citizens due to the need to swear a Christian oath.

These seven Deputados, or Deputies, were the forerunner of what eventually, with the involvement of England’s Ashkenazi community, became today’s Board of Deputies.

Over the past 260 years, the Board of Deputies has played an active role through many dramatic changes in Jewish history. However, they have never played a more crucial role than over the past few years.

Fighting Antisemitism
Last week, the publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission report into antisemitism in the Labour Party marked a watershed moment for the Board. Together with communal allies, they had spent years waging a battle they never wanted to have to fight, including the significant #EnoughisEnough demonstration in Parliament Square which marked a turning point in this difficult period. As they were particularly pleased to see the EHRC report reinforce their Ten Pledges on how to tackle antisemitism, they had persuaded Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner to sign up to it when they were standing for Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party respectively. Now, as the work to clear out the problems in the Labour Party begins, the Board of Deputies will continue to provide its support to all those striving to drive out hatred and racism from society. This started when they led a communal delegation to meet Keir Starmer to talk about where we go from here.

Supporting Our Communities During Coronavirus
Since the UK went into lockdown nearly eight months ago, the Board of Deputies has played a critical role in ensuring that the needs of the Jewish community are represented to the Government, ensuring that religious freedoms are always considered, and wherever possible, safeguarded, during these unprecedented times. From the Coronavirus Bill, where they were able to secure a legislative change to prevent Jews and Muslims being cremated against their will, to the collection and publication of accurate data on deaths in the community due to the virus, they have been on the frontline throughout.

Promoting Racial Inclusivity
Following the racist murder of George Floyd in the USA, the Board of Deputies was quick to recognise that, while the outpouring of solidarity with the Black community from many Jewish institutions was heartening, to effect lasting change it needed to be matched by a willingness in the community to learn and strive to become a more welcoming environment for its own Black members. They swiftly announced the launch of their Commission on Racial Inclusivity in the Jewish Community, chaired by eminent journalist Stephen Bush. The Commission’s report will be published in early 2021.

As an independent charity, the Board of Deputies relies solely on communal funding to exist. In order to continue to advocate for a sustainable Jewish future in the UK, they need your support.


A REPORT RECEIVED FROM CHEADLE & GATLEY GROUP IN NW REGION (sent before recent lockdown regulations)
“Just a few words to say our group had our 50th Anniversary Zoom event last month. A former member now living in Israel, also attended.
We reminisced nostalgically about our early days and the rotas we did, and how things have changed so much in the later years. It certainly raised a few laughs. We remembered how, in the days when we all had small children, we took them with us and in the hospitals the patients loved to see them. During the ensuing years, driving rotas became many and varied and it was notable that volunteers were now undergoing specialist courses related to the rota being undertaken. We even had a few members who had taken skills, gained as a volunteer, into a vocational arena and as a result had greatly enjoyed the jobs they’d done. The meeting was successful with a very good attendance.

The inability to be able to volunteer is upsetting for many but they are finding other ways of volunteering where they can: collecting for food banks or helping distribute parcels, for instance. One member put a food bank collection box in the hall of her block of flats. Another helps with driving jobs for a local GP surgery. The recent entry into Tier 3 in our area will no doubt have an impact. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Our next meeting will be our annual Chanukah party sometime at the end of this month, when we’re hoping to have as many attending as the last time.”

Thank you for your update and if any other groups would to share their activities, please let us know.


At the first Book Club meeting, we discussed the rules of the club – there has to be rules!
As we hadn’t read the first book, we discussed all the books we had read and these are the titles. You may be looking for some inspiration.

The Confession by Jessie Burton
The House of Glass by Hadley Freeman
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
One night in Winter (Triology) by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Translation by Brian Friel
The New Woman by Charity Norman
Arthur and George by Julian Barnes


If you would like to attend another Group’s Zoom meeting, please contact who will put you in touch with the relevant Group Chairman who will confirm your attendance. This procedure is purely for safety reasons so that only League members will be able to attend.

Coombe & Surrey

  • Wednesday, 11th November 2020 at 4pm to hear Trisha Brummer who is a Puppeteer and has worked on many productions such as Dr. Who and many other children’s TV programmes.
  • The 2nd December meeting’s speaker will be Julian Khon, one of the members grandfathers, who travelled from the Polish/German border to Rangoon where he became a Jade merchant and married a Shan Princess in Burma.


  • Tuesday 17 November at 8pm – Robert Green on ‘From the Lions’ Den’.
  • Tuesday 15 December at 8pm – Virtual Chanukah Party. Ian Hardman (who entertained the Pinner group before and was their Bingo caller) has kindly agreed to sing.

Tuesday 12 January at 8pm (to be confirmed) Simon Gurevitz on ‘Why You Can’t Believe The Numbers’.

Newbury Park

  • Wednesday, 10th November 2020 at 7.30 pm – Dr. Dennis Wilkes from the REDBRIDGE PUBLIC HEALTH COVID 19 SUPPORT. Whilst this is Redbridge public health, the support is the same for all boroughs.

If your Group is having a Zoom meeting and you would like to have other League members attend, please let us know.

Please note that emails and phone calls will only be dealt with on Tuesdays and Thursdays

6th November 2020