Roger Abrahams, Ralli Hall Chairman
A Message from the Chairman (May 2018)
The Ralli Hall AGM was held on Wednesday, 13 June and a detailed report to follow…
As you can well imagine, I was very proud to read in the April edition of SJN, the excellent article by Yael Breuer, our local JC correspondent, about my son, Darren, and Kate McAllister. They are co-founders of Crisis Classroom, a social enterprise based in Brighton aimed at supporting displaced refugees in Europe, to bring them education and skills of various kinds. I understand that they have been selected for the semi-finals stage of the WIZO 100 Commitment Awards and I will be even more proud if they progress further. If you have not yet read the article, I urge you to do so – not that I am biased in any way.
The 70th Anniversary Celebrations of the Founding of the State of Israel took place at Ralli Hall on 18 April with the accommodation donated by the Centre. The celebrations were very successful, with well over two hundred visitors filling the Great Hall, looking at the numerous stalls, sampling the tasty food and watching the live entertainment, including a number of songs sung by our talented singing Rabbi, Samuel de Beck Spitzer, amongst other talented entertainers. This was supplemented by an art exhibition in the Magrill Lounge, mainly of original pieces of art, all submitted by many talented artists from our local Jewish Art Society. There were also children’s activities in the Youth Lounge, situated on the lower ground floor. I am sure that great fun was had by all and I congratulate the organisers, with the hope (and expectation) that the celebrations are repeated at Ralli Hall next year, and for many years thereafter.
We have also just hosted the latest talk organised by the local Jewish Historical Society, a fascinating and unfortunately very downbeat research paper on the deteriorating situation of the Jewish community in Germany and Eastern Europe between 1933 and 1938. My wife (whose paternal family escaped from Dresden in 1933) and I came away quite distressed, but with more knowledge of those terrible times.
On a lighter note, I would like to welcome John Gaffkin (opposite) to Ralli Hall as our Senior Caretaker Manager. As well as having what I call a ‘sunshine disposition’, John continues to impress us with his technical skills, energy and enthusiasm. Happy to have you aboard and part of the RH Team, John!
We are hoping to expand the number of activities held regularly by our community at Ralli Hall, but this will depend a great deal upon members of the community wishing and willing to run them. The accommodation will be made available to you, but the success of the activities will depend on you. I look forward to seeing you at Ralli Hall.
Until my next report…