The Jewish community paid tribute on Remembrance Sunday 12th November to honour the war dead.
Jewish Care’s residents, tenants, and members were amongst those remembering the soldiers who fought and lost their lives.
Residents Leslie Bernard and Phyllis Burnley laid wreaths at The Betty and Asher Loftus Centre and Sandringham respectively as part of the Remembrance Sunday commemorations across the charity.
Leslie said, “I went to war as Leslie Lubovich from Leeds and came back as Leslie Bernard from Blackpool!” He was awarded the Legion of Honor, the highest French decoration and the most famous in the world, for his excellent military conduct.
Phyllis Burnley, 98, a veteran of the Women’s RAF and resident at Jewish Care’s Rosetrees care home said: “I volunteered in the Women’s Royal Air Force and served for three and a half years. I served as a Leading Aircraft Woman and at the end of World War II, when the boys came back from overseas, I went from being a flight mechanic to being an administrator in the office until the end of my service, but I was proud to do my bit as a Jewish woman.”
Jewish Care’s chief executive, Daniel Carmel-Brown, said: “The members of our community who are ex-servicemen and women, and the number who are able to share their stories with us is decreasing. It is so important that we pay tribute to the courage shown by those who served during the wars and since, so that we can live in freedom today. We continue to be inspired by their stories and honour them and the memory of those who have sadly, over the years, lost their lives.
“We continue to think of all those caught in conflict in Israel, Ukraine and around the world, and hope for peaceful days ahead.”
Five representatives of the Jewish community of Canvey Island also came to pay their respects.
Joel Friedman director of public affairs at the Pinter Trust, the public-facing organisation providing a credible voice for Britain’s Charedi Jews told Jewish News: “This Sunday, we collectively honoured the sacrifices of the brave men and women who gave their lives for our freedoms. We must never forget their ultimate sacrifice.
“Democracy and freedoms are hard-fought values, and as a society, we must cherish them. I particularly appreciate the leaders of Castlepoint Council and Rebecca Harris MP for their unwavering support during this challenging time for the Jewish community.”
Across the country, branches of AJEX, the Jewish Military Association took part in events including Remembrance ceremonies and prayers on Shabbat.
AJEX National Chair Dan Fox said: “105 years ago, the guns fell silent on the Western Front. The Great War had left nearly 900,000 Brits dead and countless others wounded and traumatised. The Jewish contribution can be found in every story on the road to the allied victory. Which is why this time of year is such a special and sacred moment for our community within our nation. May one day we know war no more.”
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