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Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade

The Jewish Lads Brigade (JLB) was founded in 1895 and remains the oldest continuous Jewish youth movement in the UK. A Brighton and Hove Company of the JLB was formed in April 1934, and by 1940 the Jewish Chroniclewas reporting that an Edward Waldman, who was training to be a flight mechanic with the RAF,… Read more »

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The Jewish Lads Brigade (JLB) was founded in 1895 and remains the oldest continuous Jewish youth movement in the UK. A Brighton and Hove Company of the JLB was formed in April 1934, and by 1940 the Jewish Chroniclewas reporting that an Edward Waldman, who was training to be a flight mechanic with the RAF, was a member of the Brighton and Hove Company of JLB, and a prominent member of the Brighton and Hove Maccabi Association.

In 1972, Brigade was restarted in Brighton and Hove for both boys and girls by Gary Samuels who was long established in the London companies of the Brigade. By 1978, Naomi Moore was its Warrant Officer. Other leaders working alongside Gary were Rosa Panto, Yvonne Ettinger and Ian Leveney for the older members and Maureen Samuels and Richard Woolfe for younger members aged between 9 and 11 years.

By 1981, it had 65 members up to the age of 18, thus becoming the largest by far of the various Jewish youth organisation in the community.

The company participated in annual parades in London at locations such as the Tower of London, Temple Gardens and Horse Guards Parade. Many members attended regularly at summer camp near Deal with several hundred members from all over the country, and at weekend camps locally. Many took part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards scheme, learning in the process many new life skills.

The Company continued to thrive until the mid-1980s, but lack of support and difficulties in finding leaders led to its closure.

Unsuccessful attempts have been made to restart the Brighton & Hove Company in 2004, and again in 2010, but when speaking to those members from the 1970s and 1980s, all agree to having had a memorable experience during their time in Brigade, learning new skills and enhancing confidence.

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