Jewish Kent - Events

Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage

The next big Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage event will take place on Tuesday 1st April at the Comfort Inn, formerly the San Clu Hotel.  Joseph Mirwitch, architectual historian and member of both the RMH and the Pugin Society, will be talking about his latest research findings on David Mocatta, the architect of the Montefiore Synagogue. Joseph’s talk promises to be interesting and thought-provoking and will include findings throwing light on the conundrum of who designed the Montefiores’ Mausoleum.

Please click here to view the flyer.

Previous Events

Jewish Kent Beach Day

In July 2013 after coffee in Thanet Reform Synagogue of group from Jewish Kent spent an enjoyable afternoon on the beach in Ramsgate.

Montefiore Day Concert

Jewish Kent were pleased to promote a concert arranged by Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage on 16 June 2013 featuring Eliot Alderman and the choir of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews’ Congregation in a concert of Sephardi liturgical music.

Kent Council of Christians and Jews

On Wednesday, 9 Septemeber 2009, the Kent branch of the Council of Christians and Jews held their annual meeting at Chatham Memorial Synagogue.  An address was given by the Right Reverend Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester, entitled “Can the Spiritual and the Moral be Accommodated in Public Life?” We were extremely fortunate that Bishop Michael was able to join us, just 3 days before his Farewell Service in Rochester Cathedral. Bishop Michael has been a good friend to the local Jewish community during his tenure in the Rochester Diocese and we wish him and his family well for the future.

Maidstone Mela

On Sunday 13 September 2009, the Kent Liberal Jewish Community again had a stall at this popular multi-cultural event. Part of the stall was in the form of a Succah, designed and built by the late Colin Rutter who was very much missed at the event where in reecent years his was the cheery face handing out a slices of apple and honey. The tradition was carried on by members of Colin’s family.

Chanukah at Chatham

Members of the Jewish Kent communities welcomed in Chanukah with the lighting of the first candle and tea at Chatham Memorial Synagogue on Sunday 21 December 2008.

This was preceded by a discussion the “The Miracle of Chanukah” led by David Herling of Chatham Memorial Synagogue and Rabbi Cliff Cohen of Thanet and District Reform Synagogue.

Helene Cohen assisted our younger members oon making Chanukiot from paper plates and lollipop sticks.

Anniversary service at Chatham Memorial Synagogue

In the true spirit of Jewish Kent, Rev Malcom Weisman, Minister for small communities and Rabbi Cliff Cohen of Thanet and District Reform Synagogue took part with members of the Chatham Community in a service to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the election of Lazarus magnus, in whose memory the synagogue was built, as mayor of Queenborough. The mayors of Medway, Queenborough and Ramsgate attended the service.

Here Rabbi and Mrs Cohen are seen with the Mayor and Mayoress of Ramsgate before the service.

Lazarus Magnus was a great example, in the mid-19th century of how it was posssible even in those days to combine a Jewish way of life with public office.

Kent has been at the forefront of Anglo Jewry with prominent figures such as Sir Moses Montefiore and Sir David Salomons, the first Jewish Lord Mayor of London.

The Mayor of Ramsgate can be seen wearing his chain of office which was presented by Sir Moses Montefiore to the town of Ramsgate.

‘Thanet Synagogue Trail’

Sunday 14th October 2007

On Sunday October 2007, members of the Jewish Kent communities had the pleasure of visiting three shuls in one day. Staring at Thanet and District Reform Synagogue with coffe, cakes and an interesting talk, followed by a visit to the Montefiore Synagogue in Ramsgate and then on to Margate Hebrew Congregation’s shul by the sea in Cliftonville for an excellent lunch.

By knd permission of Bromley Reform Synagogue’s Highlight magazine, please click here to read Toby Allin’s excellent and comprehensive report on the day’s event.

“The value of prayer”

This Jewish Kent event with Rev. Malcolm Weisman took place on Sunday 10th June at Chatham Synagogue.

Rev. Malcolm Weisman is the Minister for Small Communities as well as Jewish Chaplain to HM Forces and was recently named by the Jewish Chronicle as one of the 100 most influential personalities in the British Jewish community. In his Forces role he travels the world and in his Small Communities role the country and can summon up a group of Jews anywhere from Penzance to Thurso. 

There was a very lively, interesting and open discussion on “The value of prayer” led by Rev. Malcolm Weisman which left much food for thought and many questions unanswered. Malcolm has the ability to make the time fly by and the session could easily have gone on for another hour.

After lunch, those present were captivated by Isaac Bashevis Singer’s fascinating short story “Menashe’s Dream” which was told by told by David Herling in his usual excellent manner.

The “Jewish Life in the Medway Towns” exhibition (recently open at the Rochester Visitors’ Centre) was at Chatham Shul for the event and will also be there for the open days in September.

Jewish Kent Heritage Trail launch

The launch of the Jewish Kent Heritage Trail took place on Sunday 29 October 2006 at the Beacon near Tunbridge Wells

Following coffee and welcomes from the chairman of Jewish Kent, Jon Weiner, and the organiser of the event, Janet Naim, we were able to look at the exhibition commemorating the time whe the Beacon was a home for Jewish girl refugees during the Second World War.

The second venue was the Salomons Estate which had been the home of Sir David Salomons, the first Jewish Lord Mayor of London. The house contains the Salomons museum with various artifacts from the Salomons family. For further details visit the Salomons website.

There was sufficient time at this venue to hear a talk about the history of the Salomons family, to visit the Salomons Museum and to have lunch in the dining room

The third venue was Tudeley Church near Paddock Wood. All of the windows in the church were created by the artist Marc Chagall.

In the church we were able to look in wonder at the the beautiful windows on a bright sunny afternoon.

We were given a talk about how Chagall came to create the windows in this Kent country church.

These are just two examples of the Chagall windows at Tudeley.

Chagall did not start painiting windows until he was in his seventies

Further details of the windows plus images of all the windows are available on the Tudeley Church website.

Jonah and the Whale

20 children from 4 communities took part in a drama workshop at Chatham Memorial Synagogue on Sunday 26 march 2006. In the morning, the children helped paint the excellent set designed and built by Colin Rutter of Kent Liberal Jewish Community. The children also helped paint masks and complete some of the props. After lunch the children rehearsed a play which told the story of Jonah and the Whale. The play was directed by well known TV actress Juliette Kaplan who is a member of Margate Hebrew Congregation.

An audience of parents, grandparents, friends and community members then enjoyed the performance of the play, performed by all the children from the Chatham, KLJC, Thanet and Bromley communities. Children of all ages from 2 to 17 were able to take part in the proceedings, from sticking scales on the fish to providing the musical accompaniment. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed a day which showed what can be achieved when our communities work together. Our thanks go to Colin Rutter for his hard work in designing and building the set and making the wonderful puppets.

Please click here to see more of the photos. In this picture, Juliette Kaplan is directing the children who are playing the inhabitants of Nineveh. Thanks to Juliette for her contribution in organising the children and directing the play.

Maidstone Mela 2005

Maidstone Mela, on Sunday 11 September 2005 was a celebration of food, dance and music from the many diverse cultures within the Borough and County. The Mela had a truly International theme with stalls preparing, cooking and selling their national and regional cuisine; stalls displaying crafts and displays of national dress. In the arena there was a full programme of multi-cultural entertainment including music and dancing.

The Jewish Kent stall was organised by members of Kent Liberal Jewish Community and the above photos show Roger and Colin manning the stall. As in previous years the apple and honey was very popular with visitors to the stall as was the delicious honey cake and apple cake.

Jewish Way of Life Exhibition

Provided by the Board of Deputies and organised by the local SACRE, the exhibition took place at Woodlands Primary School Sports and Community Arts Centre in GillinghamJewish Kent is proud to be associated with this important educational project.

Jewish Kent Community Day at Chatham

The second Jewish Kent Community Day took place at Chatham Memorial Synagogue on Sunday 12 June 2005. This was an afternoon event with activities as varied as a kosher wine tasting, a music workshop and an amusing talk by TV star Juliette Kaplan.

Click here to read the report in the Jewish Chronicle.

Click here to read the report in the Bromley Reform Synagogue magazine “Highlight”.

This followed the first Jewish Kent Community Day which took place on Sunday 31 October 2004.

As well as enjoying a lunch of chicken soup, viennas and latkes, those attending heard talks by the Rev Malcolm Weisman, Minister for Small Communities and Mark Negin a well known theatre designer. There was a quiz and a raffle which raised £90 for Magen Dovid Adom. After lunch we were entertained by Isaac Bashevis Singer’s story of “The Lantuch” told by David herling and the event conclued with traditional Jewish folk music sung by Nina Maraney (assisted by the younger children).

This event was organised by all the local communities represented in Jewish Kent.

Holocaust memorial Day 2005

Please click here for a comprehensive report of the Holocaust Memorial Event which was held at the Corn Exchange, Rochester on 27 January, 2005

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Jewish Kent - Website last updated 18 March 2014