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The Hull Reform Synagogue - Ne've Shalom

 

 

 

CHAIR'S REPORT TO THE AGM 2017

 

 

We never usually publish the Chair's report in full, but as it's the last one our new Honorary Life President would be giving to the AGM, we thought it deserved a wider audience.

 

I would now like to give my report on the Shul's activities between last year's AGM up to this year's AGM.

 

Firstly, I would like to thank the Council, the members and the friends of the Shul for their support of my chairmanship over the past 12 months. It is really appreciated

 

The year was full of ups and downs, but thankfully more ups due to a series of successful Festival Services, two amazing Open Friday Night Services – one in November and the other in April, one of best Simchat Torah's we had for a long time, 250th Anniversary celebrations, an 80th birthday celebration, a Shul visit to Auschwitz and finally Hull Limmud. More importantly, we were delighted to welcome Andrew Percy MP as a member of the Shul, after going through his recent Admission to the Faith ceremony.

 

Unfortunately, we also had three deaths in the Shul over the past 12 months. We lost Geoff Annis in December, Ron Harris in February and just last month, we had the loss of Thelma Kelsey. All will be sadly missed and we wish the families "Long life". The loss of Geoff hit me hard, as not only was he a mentor to me, he was one of the most friendly and supportive people I have ever known. I know that we, here at Ne've Shalom, will always remember Geoff as a 'Mensch'.

 

As previously mentioned, the Hull Jewish Community Care's monthly Friendly Circle continued throughout the year, being held alternatively at our Shul and at Pryme Street. Those attending belonged to both Shuls and it's good that we can hold such joint events.

 

The 250th Anniversary of the settlement of Hull Jews was also a regular feature during the year and we were actively involved in the Celebratory Service last June and in a number of other events.

 

Student Rabbi Danny Newman led our High Holy Day Services in a competent and confident manner and I'm certain that he will go far. Attendances at all Service was very good, especially Rosh Hashanah. It was also pleasing that we again received such a generous response to our High Holy Day Appeal. I'd especially like to thank Andy Harbert for organising the buffet and for him and Helen for covering the cost of the Student Rabbi. The Shul is very, very appreciative. I would also like to thank, our Warden, Phil O'Driscoll, for all his work and effort in organising the readings and the mitzvot.

 

This year's Simchat Torah Service was amazing. The turn-out was staggering and I know that your attendance at the Service made it an extra-special evening for our Chatan Torah and Chatan B'resheet, Mark Huntington and Phil O'Driscoll. Luckily, our caterer David Eastburn had made allowances for a large turn-out and was more than able to "feed the masses".  During and after the Service, the Shul had a great fun atmosphere and it does show that when our community does pull together a good time is had by all. Can I thank all those who helped with the preparation and brought the sweets for the young (and not so young) participants in the procession.

 

Due to the previous successes of our Open Friday Night Service, we organised one in November and then another one in April. These events always generate a fabulous atmosphere and a 'feel good' impression on the wider community. I would like to thank John Friend for his assistance during the November Service and for all his work, support and effort on behalf of the Shul over many years. Unfortunately, due to ill-health, John is having to reduce all his commitments to the Shul and we all wish him well.

 

As well as Sukkot, we have held Services and Kiddushim for Chanukah, Purim and Shavuot.  Our Communal Seder, which was held in April, corresponded to the first night of Pesach. I would like to thank Ann Bush for the organisation of the Seder and to all those who prepared the food for the Seder. I understand that there was plenty of fruit salad. We also held a Tu B'Shevat Seder, which was a very fun night with healthy eating options, as well as a Purim Social which piloted the new quiz show 'Family Broygus'. I'd like to thank Aimi and Elaine for all their help and support with both events.

 

Our Hebrew reading and conversion classes are still continuing and I'd like to thank Deborah Wrapson for giving up every other Sunday morning to help those wanting to learn to read Hebrew. Tony Sevilla-Harland is continuing to run his monthly Torah classes. Speaking of conversions, it has given me a great source of pride and pleasure over the past few years to see how committed our converts have been to the Shul. I am very grateful to you all, not only for your support and dedication, but also for your enthusiasm and willingness to become involved in a range of Shul activities. You make our Shul much better with your presence and I hope that you stay with us for a long time.

 

We continue to be well represented in the media, especially on Radio Humberside, who regularly request our members contributions to their Sunday morning "Paper Review" and "Pause for Thought", the weekday "Over to You" feature, as well as our comments on current religious events and national newspaper articles. I'd like to thank Jackie Lukes, Aimi and Sarita for helping to represent our Shul so admirably.

 

At this point, as I always do, I must mention a number of people who quietly carry out a range of important duties which allows our Shul to run and to be maintained, as well as being known and well respected by the wider community. I know many of them don't do this for the thanks, but for the good of the Shul, but I'd like to thank them anyway. Firstly, to Henry Goldstone for all his time, commitment and effort into ensuring the security of the Shul and the up-keep of our lawns and hedges. To Deborah Wrapson, Joanne Kearsley, Chris Lilley, Andy Harbert, Phil O'Driscoll and Peter Altoft for undertaking school visits and talking to a wide range of groups and organisations about Judaism. To Jim Lightowler for co-ordinating our building maintenance and ensuring that we have a secure, dry, warm and well-lit building to come into. To Audrey Sugarman, for organising the rota, and to all those other ladies, and some gentlemen, who prepared many of the Festival and special Kiddushim, especially Lesley Annis, Gillian Smith, Ann Bush and Gill Drummond. To Elaine Winetroube for ensuring that the telephone messages left are received by the right people.

 

Finally, I would like to thank all the members of the Council who have ensured the smooth running of the Shul. At this point,  I feel that it should be recorded that Aimi, our Treasurer, has been very busy carrying out a wide range of legal activities for the Shul which she had done free of all charges. This has saved us many thousands of pounds and, on behalf of the Council, I would like to thank her for her commitment and enthusiasm. I know that she has valued the excellent support of Malcolm Rosenberg, especially with 'late payers'.

 

As most of you know, I'm stepping down as Chairman to give other members an opportunity to lead the Shul onward and upward. It has been an honour to serve the Shul as Chairman these past 12 years and I wish my successor all the best and good luck.

Amen .........and thank you.

 

 

 

Ne've Shalom
Great Gutter Lane
Willerby
Hull
HU10 6DP

 

 

 
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