TRAVEL PLAYED a major role in the life of Jack Farber. As manager of Manchester’s Farber Travel Services, he saw some of the world’s most exciting places and became a legend in the industry. He came from a Manchester travel dynasty dating back over 120 years.
Jack’s grandfather Jacob Maurice Farber, who came from Lithuania where his family had the mail coach concession between the large towns, founded the Farber steamship and railway ticket office in 1887.
When Jewish immigrants fled the Russian pogroms in the late 19th century, Leeds, Manchester and Hull were just stopping off places for many en route to the USA, land of their dreams.
Jack was proud that the ‘greenhorns’ turned to his grandfather, the first Jewish shipping agent in England, for advice and guidance.
Jacob spoke Yiddish to them and not only changed their roubles into dollars, but loaded the families onto horse-driven carts with their brass candlesticks wrapped in their duvets, and took them to Liverpool.
It was there that Jacob deposited the immigrants into steerage class with their precious possessions. With his black jacket, striped trousers, topper and rolled umbrella, he became something of an icon as well as a friend.
Jack first met his wife-to-be Esther in July 1939 at a Manchester dance and it was love at first sight – although whenshe saw Jack dance, she said: “that boy has no sense of rhythm”. When war was declared on September 3, 1939, Jack joined RAF bomber command.
The couple married the day that Pearl Harbour was attacked on December 7, 1941. Travelling to Llandudno for their honeymoon the next day, they heard that America was in the war.
Jack was stationed in the Yorkshire town of Newton-on-ouse, where Esther would often travel to visit him.
After being demobbed, Jack, who joined the business in 1946 aged 25, remembered the first commercial flight to New York on a converted Lancaster Bomber. The journey took some 14 hours – a huge breakthrough.
With the post-war boom in cheap travel, holiday deals and group bookings were soon introduced. The Farber travel agency prospered and Jack and Esther became known for their kindness, care and consideration in arranging travel for their clients.
In 1961, together with the famous Italian Arpesella family, the Farbers began their famous trips to the Riccione Lido Mediterraneo and Grand Hotel. On offer were two weeks full board with extras for 50 guineas. Because of the huge amount of tourism he brought to Riccione, Jack was honoured and made freeman of the city twice, in 1963 and 2001.
In the early Sixties, Jack was one of 400 entrants from the north of England who won a round trip of 13 days on the inaugural 10,000 mile trans-polar flight to Tokyo, made by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
This was the first ever commercial flight over the North Pole. The competition asked entrants to compare the pros and cons of a flight to Tokyo over the North Pole to the normal route via India, Manila and Bangkok.
In the early 1970s Jack sold out to Peltours, which retained him as managing director.
In 1987 the couple relocated to Leeds to be nearer their children and grandchildren. They were members of the Beth Hamidrash Hagadol synagogue.
Jack is survived by his wife, son Jeremy and daughter Philippa, brother David and sister Thelma Rose. He had six grandchildren and one great grandchild.
ADETERMINATION to rebuild the Vishnitz dynasty following his escape from the Holocaust, was the life work of the fifth Vishnitzer Rebbe, Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, who dedicated himself to a traditional, yeshiva-based education. Having headed the Vishnitz yeshiva in Grosswardein since the age of 20, he found, on settling in Israel in the mid 1940s, that there was no Vishnitz presence at all.
His father Rabbi Chaim Hager set up a Vishnitz neighbourhood in Bnei Brak and until 1972 was the major force in keeping Vishnitz alive. On his death, Moshe Yehoshua took over and established the successful Young Vishnitz.
In 1977 the Agudat Yisrael, for which he served as the head of the Gedolie Hatorah, entered the government under Menachem Begin. Moshe Yehoshua used the opportunity to advance his ideas through his representative, Rabbi Shmuel Halpert. He received funding for his educational institutions, without government interference in the content of the cur-
Jack Farber: legend in the travel industry
Vishnitzer Rebbe: liberal yet dedicated chassid