Since you received my email last Wednesday I have been arguing with the Council about the failed weekly collection of my brown food-waste bin. Every day on phoning the Council Complaints Section, we were given answers that varied from “it will be collected tomorrow” to “you didn’t leave it in the right place” (no, the place hasn’t moved from where you have picked it up for the last few years) to “you have rung too early in the day for us to do anything”. On Monday we were told that we would have to wait for the usual collection day this week, which is Thursday, and it definitely wouldn’t be collected before then. This, of course, meant it was collected yesterday, Tuesday!!
I cannot begin to describe the sense of powerlessness that this brought on and frustration with the system that wouldn’t do anything to help me. All this even though I know it is only a bin and in the scheme of things not at all important. However, the experience has made me want to reach out to those of you in our congregation who were due to take GCSE and A levels this year and who are now caught up in the Grades debacle. You must be feeling so many emotions and I just want you to know that as a community we are proud of everything that you achieve. I (we) hope that when this is over you have been given the grades that you deserve and that you can move on to whatever you want to do next. As you move on to new things, stay in touch with us, send us your news.
I hope that you have all received the booking information for the High Holydays that Lee sent out and that you are replying to Adam if you want to attend. I write with some good news. The Government has relaxed the restrictions on Choirs and so from Shabbat 5 September we will bring back a quartet for the Shabbat morning services. There will still be no choir on Friday evening. We have two Bnei Mitzvah Services on 5 and 12 September, so this is really good news.
We will also be able to have a live service with the choir and Cantor Heller on Selichot. In order to achieve this and to make it a good experience to watch on BelsizeLIVE, they will be on the Bimah with screens in front of them. To comply with the government guidelines on social distancing, we will not be able to open the Synagogue to the community that evening. Please plan to watch on BelsizeLIVE and don’t forget that before the service Rabbi Altshuler will be holding a Zoom Shiur. Please look out for further publicity.
During Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we also plan to have the choir present, although it will be smaller than usual, due to the need for social distancing. As I said, this is good news.
You may be interested to know that Friday 14 August was exactly 75 years since “The Boys” arrived in Windermere from the Camps. Individuals from our congregation were among them, namely Koppel Kendall, David Herman and Jan Goldberger. As well as Victor Greenberg – father of our member Alan Greenberg, and Zigi Shipper both of whom have spoken at events at the Synagogue.
I have been told that Limmud are organising an online tour of Britain. The tour will take place online on Tuesday evenings, from 7:30pm-10:00pm, 8 & 15 September and 20 & 27 October. Sessions will explore regional Jewish communities and history, as well as the usual Limmud mix of topics of national and global interest. Tickets are £5 an evening or with a10% discount if you book all four evenings. Go to: https://limmud.org/event/limmud-tour-of-britain/2020-09-15/ to book.
I have not been sent any more articles from members to publish but I am including below a piece from Ellen Polonsky who won joint first place in the Synagogue Cheder writing competition last term. The other first place piece by Sonny Macdonald will follow next week. There are no gardening tips this week but they will be back in September when there is more to do in the garden
Stay safe and stay well
Lock down – Day 730 6am by Ellen Polonsky
In the morning it’s time for the world to wake up. Not in Lockdown. You can either sleep in till 10am or wake up at 4am, getting ready for a day of gaming. This family doesn’t do either. Their parents make them get up at 8am and put on their school clothes and do all their work at the right times.
After school is finished, they have to do some homework their parents set them. This family is called the Browns. Family members: George Brown (Dad), Emily Brown (Mum), Jack Brown (older brother) and Ella Brown (younger sister). The second the work is set, they print it out. The children have a set schedule and if they are even one second late, it’s detention for them. This is because their parents used to be teachers; that’s where they met but, a week later, they were fired after being so horrible to the kids.
After a year of dating, they got married, and had Jack and Ella. The parents thought it was paradise, while the kids thought they were being tortured. “Mum … 5 more minutes sleep, please…” said Jack and Ella in bed in the morning.
“NO! YOU’RE LATE! DETENTION!” said their Mum. Jack and Ella had already fallen back asleep. “UP! Double detention!” shouted their Mum. Then they quickly jumped up, got dressed and stood in front of their Mum.
“Good! Now into the detention room we go!” as their Mum pushed them into the living room. “For how long?” asked Ella. “Half an hour!” replied their Dad. The kids groaned. So, the kids sat down. They couldn’t sleep because there were cameras everywhere so their parents could watch their every move. But they were smart and covered up the cameras with a scarf. In a second they fell asleep but then, when some footsteps woke them up, they quickly took off the scarf and sat quietly.
When they were getting into bed, Ella had an idea! They could challenge their parents to a role swap when the parents would be kids for a day and the children would be parents! So, when the sun rose up, at 8am sharp they went downstairs and Ella told their parents the idea. They obviously said “Yes”, after all, they love challenges!
So, the next day, they got up and went to wake up their Mum and Dad. But, when they came in expecting them to be dressed and ready for a day of learning, they were just sleeping. So, they woke them up but they just groaned and started playing on their game console. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOUNG MAN?!” said Jack. “It’s the weekend.” Said his Dad. The boot was on the other foot now! So, Ella and Jack spent the rest of the day either sleeping or watching a movie.