The inaugural meeting of a men’s lodge of B’nai B’rith in Brighton & Hove was held in 1933, the first President was Maurice Jacobs. The lodge was created to further the B’nai B’rith ideal of providing a forum for all Jews, regardless of their background or affiliation, to meet and pursue the B’nai B’rith motto… Read more »
The inaugural meeting of a men’s lodge of B’nai B’rith in Brighton & Hove was held in 1933, the first President was Maurice Jacobs. The lodge was created to further the B’nai B’rith ideal of providing a forum for all Jews, regardless of their background or affiliation, to meet and pursue the B’nai B’rith motto of “Benevolence, Brotherly Love and Harmony”. A women’s lodge was formed shortly after in 1935. During the Second World War, members were active in assisting refugees and supporting the war effort.
After the Second World War, the lodge continued with prominent members such as Aaron Schaverien, Solomon (Sid) Crook, Gerald Levy, Herzl Sless and Joe Rubin, and held regular meetings and fundraising events, and at one time ran a very successful annual Bridge competition. A B’nai B’rith Shabbos was held at each of the synagogues in turn, and at Christmas members helped in the local hospitals. In the mid-1960s, the lodges produced a regular Brighton & Hove B’nai B’rith News Report.
Melvyn Sharpe became President in 1969, and presided at the Solomon Crook Memorial Lecture by the then Chief Rabbi Jacobovits at the Metropole Hotel in 1970, a very well attended event. Melvyn was followed by Jimmy Davids, and others involved included Freddie Harrison, Emanuel (Mac) Magrill, Alan Lever, Harry Crook and Gerald Burkeman. Events were often held jointly with the women’s lodge, and with falling attendances the lodges combined in the 1970s. Sadly, support declined further, leading to closure by the end of the decade.
A young adults chapter for those of 18+ was started in 1964 by Michael and Alison Bloom. The chapter met at the County Ground Hotel from 1965/6, with weekly meetings on Monday evenings.
There was a varied programme of speakers, debates, quizzes, and fund raising. Roger Abrahams became National Chairman of B’nai B’rith Young Adults for 1969/70, with Ann Crook (nee Oxenburgh) as National Secretary. In 1969 the President was Anthony Weinstein and after 1971, the chapter was carried on under Ken Bomzer and others until the mid/late 1970s.
A youth organisation was also formed for 13-19 year olds, and Brighton hosted Regional Conventions of BBYO in 1978, 1981 and 1983. Amongst those involved were Abigail Davis, who was on the BBYO National Committee, Joanna Cook who was Chair of the local Chapter in 1992 and others such as Alex Lasky, Jeremy Smith, Gerard Weinstein and Ben Davis.