Poignant re­minder of WWI con­tri­bu­tion

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS - BY YAEL BREUER

FORCES PER­SON­NEL and a JLGB mem­ber were among a group of 20 peo­ple who vis­ited First World War sites in Ypres.

The trip was or­gan­ised by We Were There Too, a Lot­tery-funded dig­i­tal re­source on the con­tri­bu­tion of Lon­don Jews to the war, both in bat­tle and on the home front.

Rabbi Reuben Liv­ing­stone, se­nior Jewish chap­lain to HM Armed Forces, was among the group. He said it was im­por­tant to re­mem­ber how Jewish im­mi­grants to Bri­tain vol­un­teered to fight in 1914.

“And most of those fight­ing when Bri­tain first went to war were vol­un­teers be­cause con­scrip­tion had not kicked in yet.”

The pres­ence of the JLGB’s Jack San­ders, 19, recog­nised the wartime ser­vice of mem­bers of JLB, as it was then known. More than 500 died in ac­tion.

Wreaths were laid at JLB graves and the group also vis­ited the burial places of Jews who fought for other na­tions.

“I know Bri­tish Jews serv­ing across the world in HM Forces are hugely in­spired by the her­itage of those who served be­fore us,” ob­served Ma­jor Danny Sharpe of the Royal Army Med­i­cal Corps, who chairs the Armed Forces Jewish Net­work.

A SOLOIST with the New Is­raeli Opera has hit the right note with the Hove He­brew Con­gre­ga­tion, where he takes over the pul­pit this week­end.

Rabbi Sa­muel de Beck Spitzer, 44, is a pro­fes­sional bari­tone who has per­formed prin­ci­pal roles in five dif­fer­ent lan­guages un­der the ba­ton of con­duc­tors in­clud­ing Zu­bin Me­hta, Jus­tus Frantz, Christoph Pop­pen and Daniel Oren. He has also served a Lis­bon con­gre­ga­tion as min­is­ter.

Born in north Lon­don to French and In­dian par­ents, he stud­ied mu­sic be­fore and after achiev­ing his rab­bini­cal qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

For the Hove con­gre­ga­tion, the rabbi “em­bod­ies ex­actly the cre­den­tials we were seek­ing and ful­fils our chal­leng­ing ex­pec­ta­tions”, said Stan­ley Co­hen, its chair.

“I am de­lighted we have a for­ward­think­ing rabbi with the en­thu­si­asm and es­sen­tial com­mu­nica­tive ap­proach to grow a vi­brant con­gre­ga­tion. He is keen to es­tab­lish the ideal in­fra­struc­ture to en­cour­age young fam­i­lies to [join] our mem­ber­ship.”

Rabbi de Beck Spitzer said he in­tended “to cre­ate a wel­com­ing haven for those near and afar. In this era of glob­al­ism, I feel it es­sen­tial that we think be­yond con­ven­tional bound­aries.”

The 180-mem­ber shul was pre­vi­ously served by Rabbi Vi­vian Sil­ver­man from 1995 to 2016.

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