Wartime spirit as shul aids bomb evac­uees

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS - BY LEE HARPIN

THE SPIRIT of the Blitz was re­vived in Brondesbury Park af­ter a 500lb un­ex­ploded wartime bomb was dis­cov­ered on a build­ing site.

For pupils of North West Lon­don Jewish Day School, it meant a Fri­day at home. For many of the 63 el­derly ten­ants of Young Court, a nearby jLiv­ing prop­erty, it re­quired evac­u­at­ing their ac­com­mo­da­tion.

But Brondesbury Park Sy­n­a­gogue came to their aid, open­ing its premises as a refuge.

“Our im­me­di­ate con­cern was for the mem­bers of Young Court,” Rabbi Baruch Levin ex­plained, par­tic­u­larly with Shab­bat ap­proach­ing.

Food for Fri­day lunch and Shab­bat din­ner was or­dered from a Gold­ers Green caterer and, fol­low­ing a roundrobin email, 40 Brondesbury mem­bers vol­un­teered, some of­fer­ing to ac­com­mo­date jLiv­ing ten­ants over Shab­bat.

“It was truly spe­cial to see that mag­i­cal sense of com­mu­nity spirit,” Rabbi Levin said.

“Some of th­ese peo­ple did not have too much spare space in their prop­er­ties. But when they opened their hearts, their homes grew big­ger.”

jLiv­ing’s Lori Burke said that al­though many ten­ants de­camped to the shul im­me­di­ately, “oth­ers who find it more dif­fi­cult to move around had to wait for the emer­gency ser­vices to help them. There were a few who were adamant that they were go­ing nowhere.”

Min­nie Marsh, 90, in­sisted: “I man­aged to sur­vive the war so I wasn’t go­ing to leave my home over one bomb!”

At 6pm, the cor­don for Willes­den Lane was lifted and the ten­ants were able to re­turn to Young Court.

A male ten­ant later joked: “I knew it would take the Ger­mans to get me into a shul on a Fri­day night.”

The bomb was neu­tralised on Fri­day evening and de­stroyed in a con­trolled de­mo­li­tion by Royal Navy ex­perts on Saturday af­ter be­ing trans­ported to Shoe­bury­ness Range, near Southend.

PHOTO: LAURA GRANDITER

Rabbi Levin serves the jLiv­ing guests

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