It is well known that the Leeds Lodge has two sections, the Main Lodge and the Music Society both of which meet regularly. All meetings are open to the wider community and the Music Society in particular is supported regularly by a substantial number of non-members. Like many other Jewish organisations, we have arranged talks concerned with various aspects of the Holocaust. In the past year Martin Kapell spoke about his experiences, before coming to England on the Kindertransport, Berta Klipstein narrated her journey from Poland to Yorkshire via Uzbekistan and Eva Fox-Gal related the story of her father, the composer Han Gal who after fleeing to Britain was interned and then proceeded to compose “Music behind barbed wire”. In a joint meeting in April with the Leeds Jewish Historical Society, Malcolm Miller, a musicologist from London discussed in general the composers who found refuge in Britain in the 1930s.
At the past presidents’ memorial meeting in November Professor Derek Fraser gave a fascinating illustrated account of the Suez crisis of 1956 when Israel, Britain and France were in collusion against Nasser.
In December, January and February we moved meetings to the afternoon because of the winter weather. The majority of our members welcomed the change. In December Barry Abis gave a most enjoyable audio-visual programme on Al Jolson, Danny Kaye and Neil Sedaka.
Our musical film this year was Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Gondoliers” which was enthusiastically received by a large audience including many non-members.
Social events included a July visit to the beautiful Bowes Museum in Durham, built in the 19th century in the style of a French Chateau and containing paintings by Canaletto, El Greco and Goya and also examples of decorative art. We also had our annual dinner in December.
We were delighted that our Warden, Jeff Brownhut received the MBE in the New Year’s honours list for his contribution to tourism and leisure facilities in Nothern Ireland over many years
Shirley Casdan and Michael Cohen – Joint Presidents