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A look back at the busy month of May...

Dear members,

It has been a busy month at JHSE, both in terms of the 'hidden' routine work of the Trustees, and our public events. In the spring/summer we are able to meet in person more easily, and that is a real treat.

One of the highlights was the anniversary weekend in Brighton to mark the community's 200th anniversary. While Trustee Mike Crook was the public face of the event, I was so impressed to meet the excellent team of enthusiastic historians - not least Michelle Kuperman who curated a wonderful exhibition on weddings in the Middle Street Synagogue. Several Trustees joined the local community, as you can see below, and enjoyed a walk through 'Jewish' Brighton led by Mike. This was followed by a tasty lunch at the ~Brighton New Jewish Centre (BNJC), an impressive modern community centre, where the History of Jews in Brighton and Sussex was delivered by Mike Crook and Tony Kushner in the presence of community members young and younger. The Jews of Brighton and its region had a distinctive community, but were also embedded in commerce, culture, and as the War Tablet shows, in the darkest and toughest national struggles. The anniversary looked to the history of the Jews of Brighton with hope and interest in the future.

So did the inuaugral meeting of our New Generation Group (NGG) on Monday and Tuesday 20-21 May 2024. This was the first event in person orgainsed by the NGG, and was led by Lisa Jenkel and Cecile Guigui, hosted by the School of History at Queen Mary University of London. The School and NGG lent support to this international gathering of emergent researchers into Jewish history. The papers delivered were original, interesting, and rigorous. I learned from each of them. We hope to support another such event next spring.

Looking forward, I also invite you to join online what promises top be a very interesting lecture by Professor Olszowy-Schlanger of Oxford, about a Jewish medieval prayer book, currently displayed in Bishops' Auckland on-loan. Professor Olszopwy-Schlanger is a member of the JHSE Advisory Board and a world expert on medieval Hebrew manuscripts. The private museum that holds this lent manuscript is charging a fee of £10 for the event, alas; perhaps some of you can join in viewing groups? It will be worthwhile.

Another upcoming event is organised by the Essex Branch, and it is about the very interesting figure of Orde Wingate and his activities in British Palestine. Details are here:

Our Essex Branch, led by Richard Cohen, is a model to us all for imaginative programming and community spirit.

Wishing you a sunny June, and looking forward to hearing from you with suggestions and comments.

Your President, Miri


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