First Unity Lodge was the first joint men’s and women’s Lodge in the world. It was formed over 45 years ago from a nucleus of young people who had previously been members of a B’nai Brith Young Adult Lodge.
We are a friendly group of around 90 people and meet fortnightly on Sunday evenings in members’ homes.
We’ve had a busy year. Fortnightly Sunday evening programmes are usually packed out. We occasionally use the communal lounge at Frances & Dick James Court where tenants are also invited. Afternoon meetings offer an alternative to those who prefer daytime attendance. Monthly Bridge sessions also feature.
Our Annual Unity Lecture was this year given by Lord Finkelstein. We also enjoyed a New Year’s Eve party, a Strawberry Summer Party and our Walter Hoffman outing which took us to Tudeley Church with its Chagall windows and the Salomons Estate. Barry Twigg spoke to about life at Buckingham Palace. A discussion on Israel included the Tricycle Debacle by Neil Nerva and Rabbi Jonathan Hughes spoke of his journey into Judaism. We have plenty of homegrown talent and programmes included poetry, contribution and discussion meetings pluse a review of historic 2015 anniversaries. Geraldine Auerbach dipped into the history of the Jewish Music Institute and we even had an evening devoted to Dad’s Army.
As our Lodge is drawn from all over North West London, we experimented by dividing our membership into area groups which would meet independently to give people an opportunity to get to know each other better – our Sunday meetings tend to be large and packed out. This initiative will, we hope, help shyer members to become more active and maybe offer their homes for smaller meetings. This is still a work in progress.
The Fundraising Committee events included a Jazz Evening and an evening of music from the Glen Miller era. Both events raised money for BBUK projects.
We continue with our Quartet of Presidents, each tackling three months of the year. It works well for us.
Registered Charity No 1075516
Sunday, 12th February – Cupids Collection an evening of music, history, prose and poetry presented by Hilary Sinclair
Wednesday, 15th February – Bridge Evening
Sunday, 26th February – Talk by Louise Heilbrun The First Woman Rabbi Or Was She?
Sunday, 12th March – Talk by Professor Max Stern – Inspiration In The Desert
Wednesday, 15th March – Bridge Evening
Sunday, 26th March – AGM and Installation
Wednesday, 19th April – Bridge Evening
Sunday, 23rd April – Talk by Elissa Bayer Life After Brexit