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The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

Les­lie Kay, 85, was made a BEM, af­ter more than six decades look­ing af­ter el­derly peo­ple in the Jewish com­mu­nity.

Mr Kay, who is hon­orary sec­re­tary of The Fed wel­fare group in Manch­ester, helped im­prove the stan­dard of care at Heath­lands’ Care Vil­lage — the Jewish com­mu­nity’s largest home for the el­derly.

“It was a big sur­prise when I got the let­ter in­form­ing me, but a very pleas­ant one,” he said.

“I’ve been with the or­gan­i­sa­tion for 60 years and I see it as a great mitz­vah. Aside from my fam­ily it is the most im­por­tant thing in my life.”

The hon­ours com­mit­tee said Mr Kay was “a stal­wart vol­un­teer” who was “not fright­ened to roll up his sleeves and be­come in­volved in es­tab­lish­ing the best qual­ity of care”.

Jill Todd, chair of Leo Baeck Col­lege and a for­mer chair of West Lon­don Sy­n­a­gogue, was also made a BEM but her first thought when she re­ceived the let­ter was, “oh no what have I done?”.

The 71-year-old, who chairs Tower Ham­lets Schools Fo­rum, re­ceived the award for de­vot­ing hours to im­prov­ing education in the East Lon­don bor­ough.

“I sort of knew some­thing was go­ing on be­cause peo­ple kept ask­ing me all sorts of de­tailed ques­tions about when I did this and that,” she said.

Ms Todd runs a com­mu­ni­ca­tion agency but in her spare time helps schools in the bor­ough with their gover­nance. She also raised funds for the Calde­cott Foun­da­tion, a char­ity which gives ther­a­peu­tic sup­port to some of the most vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren and young peo­ple in the UK.

San­dra Mat­low, who was made a BEM for ser­vices to the com­mu­nity in South Manch­ester, has worked in a vol­un­tary ca­pac­ity for more than 50 years.

She re­cently had open heart surgery. On open­ing the let­ter that her daugh­ters brought to her hos­pi­tal bed, she burst into tears.

When her anx­ious daugh­ters read the let­ter from the palace them­selves, they too started cry­ing.

Mrs Mat­low told the JC she had en­joyed “an in­cred­i­bly fas­ci­nat­ing life” and was “shocked” to re­ceive the hon­our. As a founder of the Manch­ester branch of the Na­tional Child­birth Trust, Mrs Mat­low suc­cess­fully cam­paigned for fa­thers to be present at the births of their chil­dren.

She was also in­stru­men­tal in set­ting up the first HIV/AIDS clin­ics in South Manch­ester. She was a coun­cil­lor at the Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau, a JP, and has vol­un­teered for Wizo since 1989.

Ber­nice Pearl­man, who worked at the Ziff com­mu­nity cen­tre in Leeds for more than a decade, and has held ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tions on the Jewish Rep Coun­cil in the city, was made a BEM for her ser­vices to the com­mu­nity.

She told the JC her vol­un­teer­ing in­cluded en­sur­ing hot meals were pro­vided for el­derly mem­bers of the com­mu­nity and or­gan­is­ing wait­ress­ing ro­tas.

Mrs Pearl­man also or­gan­ised Chanukah par­ties and events for the wider Jewish com­mu­nity, as well as vol­un­teer for Macmil­lan Can­cer Sup­port.

The hon­our came as a “com­plete sur­prise”, she said.

I sort of knew some­thing was go­ing on’ A Jewish back­ground has been an in­flu­ence on my work’

RE­PORT­ING BY DANIEL SUGARMAN, ROSA DO­HERTY AND EL­LIE JA­COBS

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

Lloyd Dorf­man

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

Fenella Field­ing

San­dra Mat­low

Les­lie Kay

Ber­nice Pearl­man

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