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4 Tishrei 5778 - 24 September 2017

Latest Community Events

This page shows our recent community events. See The Diary to find out about upcoming events.
You can see larger versions of the photos by clicking on them. You can see the photo titles by hovering your mouse over the photo.

Purim 2017

The Purim lunch at the BHC was a great success. Attended by some 100 congregants with was great fun for everyone. Special thanks go to Angela and Barry Sklan for organising the entertainment as well as to those who took part.

Photos courtesy of Tony Rose, Marilyn Dexter and Barry Sklan.

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Thelma’s 80th Birthday Lunch

Here are some photos from Thelma Cowan’s 80th birthday lunch held in the Menorah Suite on 12 February 2017.

Photos courtesy of Josie Lipsith.

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Chanukah Challah Bake at BHC

The 2016 Chanukah Challah Bake organised by the Rebbitzen was attended by some 40 eager congregants and a good time was had by all.

Because making dough from scratch requires a lot of time to allow the dough to rise, the bakers used pre-proved dough which they plaited and then took home to bake.

Stephen White and grandchildren Sophie and Benjamin Woodward made a video for the Challah Bake showing how to bake challot from the basic ingredients. It is available on YouTube at the following link:

Here are some photos from this event courtesy of Anne Ozdamar.

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Emunah Afternoon Tea – The Green Park Film

On Sunday 11 December 2016 the Green Park Hotel was remembered and celebrated with a film and afternoon tea in the Murray Muscat Centre. 130 people watched a private screening of the film ‘The Green Park’, directed by Justin Hardy, written by Jack Fishburn. The film’s producer Marsha Lee is a member of the extended Marriott/ Richman family who owned and ran the Hotel from November 1943 until its closure in October 1986.

During this era Bournemouth was acclaimed as the South Coast’s premier holiday destination, and the Green Park stood out as a leading Kosher hotel, which offered a luxurious fully inclusive family holiday experience in a modern hotel offering service and comfort, good and plentiful food with a silver service dining room, together with entertainment which included many of the ‘A list’ performers and celebrities of the day including Ray Ellington, Eddy Calvert, Lionel Blair, Tommy Trinder, Ted Rogers and Larry Adler, to name but a few. The Hotel, which was located on Bournemouth’s East Cliff, boasted state of the art facilities including a large garden and sun terrace, with tennis courts, a children’s playground and a swimming pool; there were also regular golf tournaments and card evenings. The Hotel offered a personal service, meeting and greeting its guests by name, many of whom returned year on year (always staying in the same room). The owners were also innovative employers who took a personal interest in their staff, investing in staff training and welfare; they were particularly proud of the Italian waiters who received their training at the Hotel.

The film was very well received by the guests, with a standing ovation at the end. Not only does it give a nostalgic flavour of a Hotel of its era, but it is also a very successful social documentary of 20th century British Jewry.

The audience brought together people to share their memories of the Hotel. The event was attended by some of the stars of the film – one of the owners of the hotel, Miss Judy Richman (now 92 years old), staff members Betty Traves, Mimmo Zacchia and Nino Benedetto.  Also present were many local people who had held celebrations at the Hotel, including Maurice and Helen Kaye (now 104 and 103 years old respectively) who held their Silver Wedding celebrations at the Green Park Hotel in August 1959, and who more recently celebrated their 82nd wedding anniversary in a quieter way.

Rochelle Selby paid tribute to her late mother Hilda Marks; not only are the Marks and Richman families great friends, but Hilda was also a longstanding patron of Emunah, a worldwide charity which helps disadvantaged children and their families in Israel, providing therapies and counselling appropriate to the needs of each individual, and helping them integrate back into society. This event raised £2,000 for Emunah; proceeds will go towards the Hilda and Sam Marks Counselling Centre in Naharia, Israel. A presentation was also made to Judy Richman in memory of her late sister Ray Richman, with a donation going towards a grant for one of the students of an Emunah home to train in the hospitality industry – a fitting end to a nostalgic afternoon of reminiscing and celebrating the Green Park Hotel.

Text by Anne Ozdamar, photos by M. Ozdamar

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Remembrance Sunday in Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s Jewish community played its part in today’s Remembrance Sunday service at the Bournemouth War Memorial. This year’s service was very well supported by the people of Bournemouth, thousands turning out to take part in the service, including many faces from our congregation. Among the dignitaries taking part were Rabbi Adrian Jesner, Cllr. Lawrence Williams and Eta Weiner.

For me it was particularly poignant to see the flag of AJEX (The Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, Bournemouth Branch) flying alongside the other flags representing the men and women who put their lives on the line for the freedoms we take for granted today.

After the Last Post, followed by 2 minute silence, and under the heading of ‘Listening for the word from G-d’ Rabbi Michaels of BRS read Psalm 23 in English followed by Rabbi Jesner who read the psalm in Hebrew. It was truly incredible standing there with thousands of Bournemouth residents in total silence listening to Psalm 23 in Hebrew and wondering why our synagogue services could not be as quiet.

The service concluded with the laying of wreaths by various dignitaries including the mayor, members of parliament and the military.

(M. Ozdamar)

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Communal Havdalah at HLH

Another way the congregations of Bournemouth celebrated Shabbat UK was by coming together for a joint Havdalah ceremony at the Hannah Levy House (HLH) after Shabbat went out. Rabbi Adrian Jesner from BHC, Rabbi Maurice Michaels from Bournemouth Reform Shul and Rabbis Yossi and Ben-Zion Alperowitz from Chabad came together to conduct the Havdalah ceremony in the presence of the HLH residents and other guests representing the Jewish congregations of Bournemouth.

The rabbis discussed the significance of the Havdalah (which means separation) ceremony, how the mundane days of the week are separated from Shabbat by this  ceremony and the symbolic meaning of the items used such as the braided candle, the spices, etc.

This is the second year the joint Havdalah ceremony has taken place at the HLH and it was enjoyed by all. We look forward to many more events that bring together the Jewish communities of Bournemouth in joyous occasions.

(M. Ozdamar)

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Shabbat UK 2016

What a busy weekend it has been… Chief Rabbi’s Shabbat UK and Remembrance Sunday have made this weekend very busy and interesting.

The service in Shul was excellent and very well attended. It was all the more special because some of our ex-servicemen attended the service in uniform, proudly wearing their medals under the AJEX flag.

At BHC we had a wonderful communal Shabbat lunch which was supported by some 140 people. The three course lunch, catered by the Ladies Guild, was delicious as always. The star attraction was Alex Brummer, the City editor of the Daily Mail, who spent the weekend in Bournemouth with his charming wife Trisha.

Alex gave a limmud in the Shul after the service during which he discussed the work done in Israel by the Abraham fund of which Alex is a director. The tag line of Abraham Fund is ‘Building a shared future for Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens’. The fund does a lot of work with the minorities in Israel, encouraging mutual understanding through education, ensuring that the Israeli Arabs can access the high quality education available in Israel’s universities and that they can participate in the prosperity of the country. After all, only through education, tolerance and cooperation will the seeds of lasting peace be nurtured.

Alex spoke a second time during lunch. This time his theme was the political scene following the unexpected victories of the Brexit campaign in the UK and Donald Trump in the US. What will the world be like post Brexit and Trump? What would it mean for Israel and the Middle East? What would it mean for the rise of the far right and antisemitism? Alex gave us interesting insights into these questions and more derived from his years of experience as a prominent journalist and a Washington correspondent.

We look forward to welcoming Alex and Trisha in Bournemouth in the near future.

(M. Ozdamar)

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Bournemouth Golda Emunah Dinner

The Bournemouth Golda Emunah dinner took place in the Menorah Suite on Sunday 3 April and raised more than £2,200 for Neve Landy, one of the children’s homes supported by this charity. The dinner was attended by more than 140 guests including Deborah Nathan from Emunah head office.

The guests enjoyed a 3-course meal prepared by the Thelma and her team. The work that Emunah does in Israel was summarised in an emotional 10 minute film. The main attraction of the evening was entertainment by the A-Sharp Trio, the siblings Anoushka, Amos and Aviva who played a varied repertoire of classical and contemporary pieces to the delight of the audience. It was wonderful to see the progress they had made since their last visit almost exactly two years ago.

We look forward to welcoming this delightful and talented family back to Bournemouth in the near future.

(Photos courtesy of M. Ozdamar)

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Purim Seudah 2016

The Purim Seudah at BHC was great fun, attended by more than 85 people. After the evening service and the reading of the Megillah the guests were treated to a tasty dinner of soup and salt beef with all the trimmings, organised by Thelma and her hard working crew.

After dinner there was entertainment provided by the members of the congregation, compared by Valerie Millin. Marilyn Dexter and the security team provided the ‘Israeli Dancing!’, Angela Sklan showed us some oriental moves with a fan, there was magic from the maestro himself Chris Woodward, a funny number from Lorraine and Stuart to the tune of ‘Food glorious food’ and traditional Purim songs from the Rabbi.

At the end of the evening the winners of the fancy dress competition were announced as follows:

Male winner: Rabbi Jesner;

Female winner: Rebbetzen Jesner;

The best headdress winner: Judith Adda;

Best home-made costume winner: Anne Ozdamar

(Photos courtesy of M Ozdamar)

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Yavneh College Visits BHC

We were privileged to host sixth form pupils from Yavneh College from Friday 4th March to Sunday 6th March here in Bournemouth. Led by their President Benjamin Perl MBE, Headteacher Spencer Lewis and Head of Jewish Studies Rabbi Andrew Davis some 75 young men and women joined us for the weekend services. It was also a pleasure to welcome once again Gordon Coleman whose late wife Dena was the first headteacher of Yavneh College and led it for 7 years to help make it the hugely successful institution that it is today. We fondly remember Dena who was a member of our Congregation and look forward to having Gordon in our midst for many years to come.

The Friday night service was very special, led by members of Yavneh College with plenty of singing and dancing. All present enjoyed welcoming Shabbat with joy and youthful energy.

Shabbat services were an enjoyable mix of members of our Congregation and visitors taking different parts of the services. After the morning service there was a kiddush organised by the Congregation in honour of our visitors during which Rabbi Adrian Jesner and BHC President Brian Lassman welcomed the teachers and pupils of Yavneh College.

Shabbat was concluded with a very special Motza’ei Shabbat Havdalah ceremony organised by the pupils in the Menorah Suite which was also attended by members of the Congregation.

Speaking of their visit to the Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation, Headteacher Spencer Lewis said that the welcome had been exemplary and that they looked forward to returning to Bournemouth in the future. We wholeheartedly share that wish.

(Photos courtesy of M. Ozdamar)

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