Lancaster and Lakes Jewish Community
Secretary’s report AGM Feb 2008

Since the last AGM in November 2006 I have sent out monthly email lists to around 40 people each month, and activities have been attended by anything between 8 and 88 souls (the difference between a small Saturday morning service, and our first Klezmer dance held last September).

As well as our own events, our email newsletter has included information about Lancaster Univesity Jewish Society events, and Jewish-related cultural activities in the area, information from Lancaster’s anti-fascist campaign keeping us updated on BNP activity in the region, information about Manchester’s Centre for Jewish Studies activities, Manchester Jewish Museum talks and events, and occasional news from other organisations such as the Jewish Genealogical Soc of GB, Jewish Historical Society of Great Britain, and Manchester Liberal and Progressive community.

Our own events have included:

– Chanukah party
– a Havurah in March at the home of Adrienne Wallman and Simon Gershon, when we discussed our ‘Sparks’ bid (see below)
– A community seder
– A Havurah in May at the home of Gillian and Brian Sawyer, when Stanley Henig talked about the local elections
– A Havurah in June at the home of Marie and Don Padgett, when we heard from John Cowell about the history of the Preston Jewish Community
– A trip to Liverpool in July when we were shown round Princes Road and the new Reform shul in Liverpool and treated to a wonderful home cooked lunch
– an Apple and Honey New Year’s party at the home of Fiona Frank
– an incredibly successful Klezmer Dance in September
– a Havura at the Sultan Gallery in November where we talked about ‘Jewish Culture’
– a Havura at the home of Jackie and David Kinsley in Clapham, on “being the only Jew (s) in the village.

Our Chanukah get together didn’t happen; and some of our Havuras only had 3 households present; but others had 10 or 12 people.

We held family services led by Adam and Melanie Feldman in January, February, March, April, May, June, August, October, and November, a Rosh Hashanah morning service in September and a Kol Nidre service

Several of us went to the national Limmud conferences in 2006 and 2007 and attended various Small Communities events, and we hosted Malcolm Weisman, Minister for Small Communities, on two visits.

We were represented at the Local Strategic Partnership consultations by Adrienne Wallman. We have been invited to attend Lancaster’s Community Leaders’ group and a newly formed North West Regional Jewish Council.
We put together a partnership project with a number of Lancaster cultural organisations to put on linked Jewish activities, and applied, with NCBI, to the Sparks Fund, for funding for this. Despite not being funded this time, all the partner organisations were keen and interested, and we have had support and encouragement from the Board of Deputies’ consultant, Jonny Weinberg, to apply to other organisations for this project to go ahead in the future.

We were very visible at the Holocaust Memorial Day events in Jan 07 and 08 organised by NCBI.

Fiona Frank talked about ‘being Jewish’ in a NCBI ‘Faith Share’; and was on Diversity Radio talking about ‘what Jews do at Christmas’. Gillian Sawyer talked about Judaism in a Religious Studies class at Our Ladies’ School.

. Sadly Josie Dunne passed away during the year: she had prepared a talk that she very much wanted to give us, on ‘Jewish and mischlinger soldiers in Hitler’s army’
We welcomed new arrival Mia, daughter of Anat Caspi and Kim Kaivanto.

Judith Keshet and Adi Kuntsman left us for Liverpool in September; and the Feldman family left us at the end of the year: Cornwall’s gain is our loss.

Fiona Frank Feb 2008.