Raoul Wallenberg Lodge – Historic Events
A Raoul Wallenberg Group visit Lincoln
Enjoy the photo record of our recent visit to Lincoln which coincided with a 1940’s weekend
Raoul Wallenberg Annual Lecture
Report by Gerald Diamond
Lord David Young of Graffham addressed the Lodge for the Annual Raoul Wallenberg Lecture Lecture, on November 20th 2014. “A Life in Politics and other matters.”
After commenting on the humanitarian role Raoul Wallenberg played in the saving of Jewish lives, Lord Young outlined his various roles in business and in government over the last 50 years, since his brief spell as a lawyer, after his father had told him study law .
Lord Young expressed doubts that Israel and its Arab neighbours would ever reach a peace settlement as too many factions on the Arab side simply do not want this. History shows that Arab leaders are under threat if they takes steps towards a settlement.
Commenting on the situation more generally in the Middle East, Lord Young said that the removal of Saddam Hussain in the way the Americans did it had resulted in complete instability as we see now, and however distasteful he was, he kept the lid on the factions. This same instability was now evident in Libya after Gaddifi and elsewhere. We were the leading democracy after 1000 years of development and this could not be imposed on countries where is had no such history.
In a lively question and answer session, Lord Young responded to questions about UKip, government computer projects, UK membership of the EU and the demography of Israel, where he expected the Arab birth rate to fall over the next 20 years or so, plus the Israeli high tech companies and where they raise their capital .
His brother in law, David Shaw gave the vote of thanks, saying that he had a daunting task as the speaker had touched the lives of so many people on so many levels, in so many ways whether they know it or not.
The Lecture raised £700.
Raoul Wallenberg Visit to Chatham Synagogue
Report by Rosalind Josephs
On 28th May 2014 fifteen lodge members went by train to Rochester to visit the beautiful Romanesque interior Chatham Synagogue followed by a walking tour of the town.
We were welcomed by Gabriel Lancaster, Life President, who showed us around and gave us a talk on the history of the Synagogue.
The Medway Jewish Community which serves a large part of Kent and is one of the oldest in the country,being nearly 300 years old. The present building replaced an earlier one one roughly the same site dated 1847. The original synagogue was of Polish timber and brick design.
It seems likely that the community assumed some importance during the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, when some members were listed as Naval, or Admiralty Agents deriving profit from the purchase of prize money shares from Royal Navy ships’ crews, when captured enemy vessels were sold off. Amongst those listed for Chatham is Lazarus Magnus and his son Simon who was the builder of the present synagogue. It was built in memory of his son, Captain Lazarus Simon Magnus who died at the age of 39. His grave memorial dominates the cemetery and it is conditional in the Deed of Trust that it shall always be visible from the High Street.
Unusually the cemetery is behind the synagogue which is thought to date back to 1700.
Following a pub lunch we went on a guided tour of the city with a guide dressed as Bill Sykes (no dog!) visiting 13 of the locations which featured in Dickens’ books including the Swiss chalet where he wrote his last words.
Report by Gerald Diamond
Our matzo ramble over Pesach this year was from Aldenham Village through the Wall Hall estate and into the Colne River valley.
We managed to miss all but one light shower, and ate our picnic in Bricket Woods, before proceeding to complete the circular route of 6 miles. An enjoyable time was had by all.