Chairman’s Report

Roger Abrahams, Ralli Hall Chairman

A Message from the Chairman (November 2018)

I should like to thank Maxine for standing in for me last month during my absence abroad. I was particularly happy to see that she included the fabulous photo of the first Mothers’ Meeting of the New Hove Parish Hall in 1913. You will, of course, have recognised this as our own Ralli Hall, which, now being Grade 2 Listed, has been lovingly cared for since the building was purchased by the B&HJYC (now the B&HJCF) in 1976.

In fact, apart from the stern faces of the members of the Mothers’ Union, with their heavy Edwardian outfits, the more formal uniform of ‘Mr. Plod’ and the recently painted number 81 (Denmark Villas) on the two pillars – to prevent confusion by the delivery persons, there have been no changes whatsoever to the main front elevation of the building.

Running through the highlights of our Community Activities during the last year, one of the most important updates has been the installation by the Community Security Trust (the CST) of an extremely powerful Transmitter and Receiver unit, together with the most up-to-date walkie-talkies, so as to allow communication by the various operatives not only locally, but direct to their London Headquarters. This installation is for the benefit of the whole of the Brighton & Hove Jewish Community and we are very happy to be able to help, not only our own building and those persons using it, but also all the other Communal Jewish buildings around the city.

Also included is a CCTV installation comprising no less than sixteen cameras around the building, both inside and out, again with a direct link to the CST in London and the local Headquarters. It is very sad that such equipment is so necessary but unfortunately, we live in potentially dangerous times. We are therefore, very fortunate to have such an organisation as the CST helping to keep us safe, with the added bonus that the organisation is being funded by extremely altruistic Jewish businessmen.

We were also very happy to have been chosen to host most important Community meetings addressed by the Chief Rabbi and the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, and also to host the first Israel Independence Day Celebrations for a number of years. Fortunately, we are licensed to hold meetings and simchas with up to 200 persons in our Great Hall, and are considered by the Community as “neutral territory”, with Rabbis from all four of our local congregations attending when appropriate.

Ralli Hall Magrill Lounge

We have also noted that we are being used more and more for simchas, funerals, stone settings and the like, which is why we are now concentrating on upgrading the facilities in the Great Hall, the Magrill Lounge and the various kitchens, so as to make Ralli Hall the building of choice for the whole community.

Funding permitting, you should see a number of changes for the better in the coming months and the Board is most excited at the prospect of the planned improvements – watch this space.

Finally, I should like to wish you all a Happy Chanukah and look forward to many more of you showing your commitment to our unique Jewish Community Centre, by renewing, or taking out, membership of B&HJCF when you receive the renewal forms during the next month or so. If you have never previously been members, or have not been members for many years, so do not receive the forms in the post, please contact the office by phoning 01273 202254, or emailing using rallihallcentre@gmail.com and you will be sent the appropriate form, together with a pre-paid and addressed envelope for your kind response.

For 2019, membership per Adult, (from 18 years) including Single Parents, will be £30.00, with Family Membership, including children under 18 years, at £55.00. Children will also be included with Single Parent Membership (but not one of a couple). Students from 18 years of age in full-time education will be offered free membership.

I look forward to seeing you at Ralli Hall.

Roger 😉