Monday, 19 April 2010
Yesterday concluded what surely must have been an unusual weekend and highly interesting one. It isn’t often that one gets the Board of Deputies in town, the last time was ten years ago. That occasion was a little eclipsed by the opening of the new Shul, the new Sefer Torah and a different style of leadership. This time things were warmer and I enjoyed numerous conversations with some very interesting people. There was the President Viviane Weinman who’s easy manner conceals a sharp understanding of communal politics and by the way he spent time in Yeshiva, Jonathan Arkush – Vice President - who looked far too young to have a married son and davened Shacharit beautifully (what a pleasant change to have lay leaders lead the service), Flora Franks who’s Biblical knowledge outdid my own and her zest for learning was a breath of fresh air, (why do local women not seek learning like that) Dr Beverly Bergman who is a colonel in the army would you believe and knew an awful lot about families in Sheffield from which she is descended, Mr Krause with whom I shared a lengthy walk through Endcliffe Park and woods and others who’s names escape me.
The weekend got off to a good start with a visit to the Cutlers Hall. Some months ago when arranging this weekend Frada and I realised that with Shabbat not out till 9:00pm we could not repeat the visit to Chatsworth House of last time. It occurred to me that since this year we have a Jewish Master Cutler then maybe he would host a visit so as his Chaplain I would try and arrange it. As he was due to go away over the weekend the best time was Friday afternoon so over twenty deputies and myself made our way to the Hall and he kindly took us round. There are many fascinating exhibits at the hall which I have never seen despite attending the Cutlers Feast on at least 15 occasions. We had to pose on the steps of course and this picture was taken.
Friday night service was in the big Shul to accommodate the bigger crowd and this was followed by and excellent meal in the Kingfield Hall.
A word here about Frada as I have to take my yarmulke off to her. She didn’t stop the whole weekend with a steady stream of food, meals and entertainment. Yasher Koach Frada you looked after the Deputies with distinction.
Shabbos day we had a lovely davening from VP Jonathan Arkush, layning was almost perfect and the sermon not as long as usual! This was followed by a Kiddush and meal which my wife and family attended together with myself as guests of the Board. Then we went for a walk which took up most of the space between meal and Mincha and continued with Se’udah Shlishit. It was nice to read the Ethics of the Fathers at Mincha as each person present read a portion and here and there discussion ensued. After Ma’ariv and Havdalah we listened to a very entertaining talk about the buffer girls of Sheffield AND FINALY WENT HOME.
Sunday was the Board’s plenary meeting at the Town Hall which I did not attend as I was over in Manchester to participate in the unveiling ceremony of the late Mrs Halpern mother of (ylt) Ronnie.
I hope all got back safely