WHERE SHALL WE PRAY?

When I was in Liverpool, the Jewish population of that city was mainly concentrated in the Childwall area, and the Childwall Synagogue, although built in 1938, was still situated in the middle of the Jewish area. Since I lived in Childwall and Childwall Synagogue was the nearest Synagogue to me, I took up membership there. The Liverpool Youth Minyan held its services in Childwall Synagogue and I became the Honorary Rabbi of the Minyan. When I did not daven at the school and a particular service was not held by the Youth Minyan, I would daven at Childwall Synagogue, although I did on occasion daven at the other Liverpool Synagogues, (with the exception of Princes Road, which I never went to).

When I arrived in Liverpool towards the end of 1971, there were in addition to Childwall, the following Synagogues in Liverpool. The big Synagogues – Greenbank, Allerton and the Old Hebrew Congregation (popularly called Princes Road where it is located). There were also three smaller ones - Ullet Road, Nusach Ari, and Fairfield. I shall begin this chapter with my reminiscences of these Synagogues and afterwards write about Childwall and the Youth Minyan.

Greenbank Synagogue was opened in 1937 and is situated just on the edge of the Childwall area. This was the Synagogue where many of the lay leaders of the community davened and on a Shabbat morning one would see many of these people in top hats.

When I arrived in Liverpool they did not have duchaning in Greenbank. I understand that Henry Lachs who was a member, had tried to have it introduced but was unsuccessful. A few years later, it was necessary to appoint a new Rabbi and many candidates would not come to a Synagogue where duchaning was “off the agenda.” Also, one of the main opponents in the past, I believe he was a Cohen himself, was now in favour of duchaning. He proposed the motion at a Greenbank meeting of members and Henry Lachs seconded it, quoting the Rambam in support. The motion passed and duchaning was introduced into Greenbank! I suggested to Henry Lachs that this was surely not a matter for the congregation to vote on. It was a Rabbinical matter for the Rabbi of the Shul to rule on. But sadly that is what happens in some Shuls in England.

Another area where Jews lived was the Allerton area and the Allerton Synagogue, established in the 1950s, was situated there. Its Minister was then Rev. Malcolm Malits, who also gave Barmitzvah lessons in the King David High School. A more modest and unassuming man it would be difficult to find. This Shul had a very long Shofar, probably from the horn of a koodoo antelope, the type used by Yemenite Jews. The only problem with it was that the donor had stuck a plaque on the Shofar! I suggested that the Shul remove the plaque since such adhesions could possibly disqualify the Shofar.

The second Purim I was in Liverpool occurred on a Sunday and so there was no school that Purim. Allerton asked me if I could read the Megillah, to which I agreed. On the Shabbat afternoon I walked to Allerton for Minchah, which was followed by a Seudah Shlishit, at which they asked me to speak. Following Ma’ariv, I read the Megillah. On the following morning a Rolls Royce driven by Mr. King the gabbai rolled up to my house to take me to the Shul. When one asked which “King” is he was amongst many kings in the Liverpool telephone directory, one would be told “the last one - Z. King.”

The families of the pupils at the Liverpool Youth Minyan, worshipped at Childwall, Greenbank and Princes Road, but in the main lived in the Childwall area. By contrast, the families who worshipped in Allerton Shul lived in the Allerton area. Thus periodically the Allerton youth had their own Youth Minyan in their Shul. I would sometimes walk down to Allerton, attend their youth service and address the participants.

At that period, a certain concrete which the government had once authorised was found to make buildings unsafe. All over the country checks were being made on buildings to find out whether they were built using this concrete. Even though the government had authorised its use, I understand they did not compensate anyone who had the misfortune to have listened to the government and used it. One of these places was the Allerton Synagogue’s Communal hall and I seem to remember it being filled with scaffolding to secure it. I don’t know what finally happened there.

The Princes Road Synagogue is situated in the middle of the city and today is miles away from the Jewish community. It was consecrated in 1874 and is said to have one of the most beautiful interiors of any Synagogue in Europe. It has a mixed choir and for this reason, many of the observant Jews in Liverpool will not go there. When Rabbi Plitnick was appointed as Communal Rabbi of Liverpool, the inauguration took place in Princes Road. For that occasion, a completely male choir, made up of choir members of the various Synagogues in Liverpool was utilised. It is said that after his inauguration, he never again davened in Princes Road.

A few years after I had left Liverpool, I read in the newspaper that a vandal had set fire to the Ark in Princes Road and 16 Sifrei Torah had been destroyed. One of my reactions was, why does a Synagogue need 16 Sifrei Torah? There are so many Shuls in new communities in Israel where they are searching desperately for even one Sefer Torah. Perhaps Shuls who have more Sifrei Torah than they can possibly use, could distribute the excess to communities in Israel and elsewhere who need them.

Ullet Road (which has since closed) had as its Minister, the Mohel Rev. Harris. It was situated a few minutes beyond the “Jewish area” of Liverpool. When I first arrived in Liverpool, Michael Rothbard was its Ba’al Koreh. Once during the summer vacation, when Michael Rothbard was on vacation, I was asked to lein on Shabbat morning. On the following morning there was a ring at my front door bell. I opened the door to see the gabbai on my doorstep and he asked me my fee for leining. I told him I don’t lein for money (and I am pleased to say that until this day, even though I have leined the entire Torah numerous times, I have never done it for money). A minute later there was another ring at my bell. It was the gabbai again, this time with a bottle of whiskey.

On one Shabbat, the Lubavitchers came to Liverpool and many of them slept in my house. One of those who came was Rabbi Shemtov (who was later run over and killed in Israel). That Shabbat, he davened at Ullet Road. After Shabbat he asked me to accompany him to speak to their Minister, Rev. Harris. The purpose was to ask him to make the mechitzah between the men and women higher, to which Rev. Harris readily agreed. As we were leaving his house, Rev. Harris whispering to me asked whether he had come to ask for a donation. I whispered back that he had come solely regarding the mechitzah.

The Nusach Ari Synagogue (which has also since closed), whose origins date back to 1908, held its services in the Yeshivah. It was run by the well known head of a firm of solicitors in Liverpool. As the name implies, it followed the Nusach Ari, although I don’t know how many of the worshippers davened Nusach Ari! I remember once it was pointed out to the chazan that he had deviated slightly from Nusach Ari - I think it was when benshing Rosh Chodesh.

I only once went to the Fairfield Synagogue and this was on a Sunday morning. It had both a Beth Hamidrash and a largish Synagogue. It was established in 1925, to be the first Synagogue in East Liverpool. But, by the 1970s, if not earlier, it was a dying Congregation, because of the area it was situated in. Suddenly, in 1977, without any warning it closed its doors. I immediately used the opportunity and contacted its President to ask if one of its Sifrei Torah could go to the High School and one to the Youth Minyan. That very day I went to Fairfield with the Headmaster, looked at the Sifrei Torah and picked out two of them. Since it was raining that day, we took big covers to wrap them up well. We did not delay in taking the Sifrei Torah - by the next day others might have snapped them up! They told us that from a legal point of view we could not have ownership but only a long term loan. The difference is in fact pedantic. I drafted out a letter of thanks for the gabbai of the Youth Minyan to send, in which I wrote: “... I should like to convey our best thanks and appreciation to Fairfield Synagogue for the long-term loan of a Sefer Torah to our Minyan. I feel certain that it will be used well by our youth of Liverpool.”

The Yeshivah, which owned the premises where the Nusach Ari Synagogue met, did not hold its own services. However on fast days they would have a Minchah Minyan there since there were only a few individuals in each Shul in Liverpool who fasted. Hence there were not enough people for any individual Shul to hold its own fast day Minyan, and therefore all the people fasting would assemble together at the Yeshivah for Minchah. It would be held at about 4.30 to enable any boys from the school who were fasting to attend. On the fast of 10 Tevet, due to the shortness of the day, the service had to be held earlier. Until my last year in Liverpool, this fast had occurred only during the December holidays, or on a Sunday or a Friday. However, in my last year at the School, it occurred during the week and on a day when there was School. I therefore obtained permission from the Headmaster for the boys who were fasting to leave school early and go with me to the Yeshivah for Minchah.

Whilst Rabbi Rogosnitzky was in Liverpool, there would also be a Shacharit Service in the Yeshivah on Tisha B’Av. In 1975, after reciting a number of Kinot, Rabbi Rogosnitzky gave a suitable reading in English. We finished the Kinot after midday and just a few minutes later followed with Minchah. I can almost say that I “enjoyed” the Kinot service that year.

However, as mentioned above, I became a member of Childwall Shul and attended services regularly there. My first morning at Childwall Shul was a day when they leined. Seeing a new face the gabbai gave me an Aliyah. He obviously only learned who I was after the service since he then came up to me and apologised for not calling me up “Harav”. This was really unnecessary - I’m not a person who runs after honours!

When I arrived in Liverpool, Childwall Shul had no Rabbi and I was asked to give the Derashah on my first Shabbat Hagadol. For my Derashah, I went through portions of the Hagaddah with explanations. I hope that some of the listeners used some of these explanations at their own Seders. Again in 1976, when the Shul again had no Rabbi, I gave a similar Derashah.

I was asked to give a sermon on the first Shavuot I was in Liverpool. I utilised as the theme the campus on which stood the Childwall Shul, the two King David Schools, Harold House Jewish Youth Centre and the telephone exchange. I asked why on a purely Jewish campus there should be a telephone exchange. My answer was that a telephone exchange indicates contact between different bodies and likewise the Shul, the school and the Youth Centre had to remain in contact with each other. During my stay in Liverpool, I gave several sermons in Childwall Shul.

On my first Rosh Hashanah in Liverpool, the new Minister, Rabbi Turk arrived from Israel and I put him up in my house until after Yom Kippur, when he then returned to Israel to celebrate Sukkot. Sad to say, the marriage between him and Childwall Shul was not a happy one and as soon as his contract expired there was a peaceful divorce.

That was the year of the Munich Olympics, with the brutal murder of the Israeli sportsmen. That Fast of Gedaliah, the Liverpool community held a memorial service at the Childwall Shul. All the Rabbis and Ministers including myself participated in the service. Just before the service we all entered and sat in the front row. Since it included Minchah, it should have started at least an hour and a half before the end of the fast. Instead it started much later and by the time we said the Amidah at Minchah it was virtually dark, which made it very questionable whether it was too late to daven that service. By the time the service ended, the fast had been over nearly three quarters of an hour. I asked Rev. Abenson, the assistant Minister of Princes Road, what would happen if a week later they were to finish the Yom Kippur service three quarters of an hour after the end of the fast. He answered that once they had finished Yom Kippur four minutes late and there had been a big fuss!

One year, Rabbi Roberg (who followed Rabbi Turk, as the Minister of Childwall Synagogue), in his Kol Nidrei sermon at that Synagogue, said that Rabbi Simons had to work alone for the Jewish Studies at the High School. After the service, some of the Foundation members, or possibly Governors, who were in the congregation, went to him and complained that it was not true that Rabbi Simons had to work alone. Let the reader of this book judge who was right!

Arba’at Haminim could be ordered from the Childwall Synagogue, but one would have to take what came. I like choosing my own Arba’at Haminim, and so each year I was in Liverpool, I went specially to Manchester a few days before Yom Kippur to pick them out. Aravot one has to get fresh just before Sukkot since they don’t keep. Where was I to find aravot in Liverpool? My wife telephoned the Childwall Synagogue and asked whether they would have aravot. The woman who answered the telephone did not understand what she was asking for. After she explained to the women, she suddenly said “shainos.” She really did not know what my wife wanted since just before Sukkot, the Shul told me that they had a set of Arba’at Haminim for me. I explained that I had not ordered a set, but just wanted aravot. They did not pursue the matter. I discovered that in the garden of one of my pupils there was an aravot tree and they were very happy every year to let me take from this tree.

The Manchester supplier would, in addition to the three required hadassim, include a spare one which was kasher but of a lower quality. When, one year, on the first day of Sukkot, I took out my three hadassim, which were really beautiful that year, all the leaves fell off one of them. How fortunate that I had a spare one.

At least one year, the supplier sent a whole bundle of these spare hadassim to the Childwall Synagogue. That year, one of my pupils, had his own set, but when I saw what should have been the hadassim, they looked more like privet to me. I asked him from where he had obtained them and he answered me from Calderstones Park. I explained that hadassim don’t grow in Liverpool and that there were spare hadassim in the Shul which people could take.

The Sukkah of Childwall Synagogue was inside one of their rooms. The roof could be raised in three almost adjoining sections and schach would be placed in these areas. These panels only covered part of the room and therefore one would have to look carefully to see if one were in the Sukkah. I would often see people during the Kiddush given by the Shul in the Sukkah, eating outside the area of the Sukkah. However the problem was far more serious. I was worried that the solid ceiling between these three sections was too large and would thus disqualify the Sukkah. I myself would therefore not use this Sukkah. Since I was not the Rabbi of this Shul, I did not feel it was for me to rule on this matter. I did however mention my doubts to the Rabbi of the Shul, who measured it and found that my suspicions were correct and thus the Sukkah was not kasher. He therefore put up certain partitions to make the Sukkah kasher. The gabbaiim decided however that this made the Sukkah too small and they moved them, thus making the Sukkah once again not kasher!

In 1975 (and I believe also in subsequent years), Bnei Akiva built a Sukkah in the courtyard of Childwall Shul, which was unquestionably kasher. I remember it had a pole in the middle and I heard them tell people not to lean on it, since this pole supported the Sukkah!

Immediately following Sukkot is Simchat Torah, the day when one sings and dances with the Sefer Torah. This singing and dancing is not just some revelry, it is a specific Mitzvah in the Torah - Rejoicing on the Festival, and the more one sings and dances the more one observes the Mitzvah. The Yom Kippur War had not yet finished when Simchat Torah arrived. During times of trouble, the Jewish people need to intensify their observance of Mitzvot and it was reported that the Lubavitcher Rebbe sang and danced more than ever that Sukkot and Simchat Torah. The gabbaiim of the Childwall Synagogue thought otherwise and didn’t want to have any dancing that Simchat Torah. Normally I would daven in the Youth Minyan, where I was its Rabbi, but by tradition the youth would daven on the night of Simchat Torah in the Childwall Synagogue to give the service more life. One of the gabbaiim tried to stop us dancing but we refused to listen to him. On the following morning when we had our Minyan, we of course sang and danced. This gabbai suddenly appeared, saw his son dancing and took him out.

On that Yom Kippur when war broke out in Israel, word was passed around the Shul during the short break between Mussaf and Minchah, that the Egyptians and the Syrians had attacked Israel. From the following day onwards, during the course of the war, I arranged for all the Jewish pupils in the High School, to assemble in the main hall, during every morning break time, for the recital of Psalms, which I led.

Every year, a few days after Simchat Torah, the Childwall Synagogue (and I believe the other Liverpool Synagogues as well) would have a “Simchat Torah party.” There would be a dinner and speeches and believe it or not this was followed by a mixed dance. For this reason I would never attend such a party. How can you use the word “Torah” for a party which is so diametrically opposed to Torah? Better to call a spade a spade and call this party a “Halloween Party”! One year, a number of members including myself, wrote to the Shul suggesting a celebration more in the line of Torah. The Shul rejected this and said or implied that people who objected to mixed dancing could leave before the dancing took place.

In the summer it doesn’t get dark at night until after eleven o’clock. Ma’ariv, the evening service, has to bear some proximity to nightfall and in the middle of summer the earliest time was one minute before eight o’clock. However, when I arrived in Liverpool they were davening Ma’ariv at seven o’clock. When I inquired I was told that to daven later would interfere with various meetings and other communal activities held in the evenings. In fact it is better not to pray Ma’ariv at all than to pray it before the permitted time. When I discussed this with Rabbi Rogosnitzky, he told me that he once counted how many times one said the Divine name in vain when one davened before the permitted time. I told Dr. Marcus Goldberg, an “elder statesman” of the Shul, who was there for every service, that if they continued Ma’ariv before the permitted time I would go along and interrupt the service, He said that I would get myself into trouble if I did this. I don’t know whether he passed on what I said to him. However the gabbai then came to me and asked me to write out a timetable for Minchah and Ma’ariv for the summer months. Thus from then on, Ma’ariv ceased being prayed at a non-permitted time.

A similar thing arose for the night of Tisha B’Av. Sunset, the commencement of the fast occurred at about 9.30 in the evening. However Childwall Shul fixed Ma’ariv and Eichah at 8.00! Although on another night, one could daven Ma’ariv at this time, this was not so on Tisha B’Av night. I asked what would happen if the Mashiach were to come at 9.00? (When the Mashiach comes Tisha B’Av will become a Festival.) Rabbi Rogosnitzky arranged Ma’ariv and Eichah in the Yeshivah at the proper time and we read it as is customary by candlelight. After a few years, Childwall Shul changed the time of Ma’ariv for the night of Tisha B’Av to after the start of the fast.

A number of disagreements arose between Rabbi Roberg and the gabbaiim of the Shul. One occurred on the first night of Shavuot. In order to count 49 complete days of the Omer, one may not make Kiddush (and some say not even daven Ma’ariv) until nightfall. Incorporated in Ma’ariv is Kiddush. Rabbi Roberg thus told the Chazan, before he began Ma’ariv, not to say Kiddush during the service. The gabbaiim however told the Chazan to say it. The Chazan therefore refused to take the service. I understand that the gabbaiim met in the Shul immediately after the service to discuss this matter. I don’t know what they said to the Chazan but I do know that they went to his wife and told her how serious the matter was.

Incidentally, in my opinion, one could have said Kiddush during the service since it is not said as Kiddush but as part of the Ma’ariv service, and I told Rabbi Roberg my opinion on it. In the Youth Minyan we said it. However a different point is at issue. Rabbi Roberg was the Rabbi of the Shul and in these matters his word is law. If, for example I had been due to take Ma’ariv that night in Childwall Shul, I would have accepted his ruling, even though I held otherwise, and not included the Kiddush in Ma’ariv.

Another disagreement which arose was regarding the full repetition of the Amidah at Minchah. Until then, the Shul was reciting the shortened repetition, but when Rabbi Roberg came, he insisted on the full one. On one occasion there was an argument doing the service but he said quite firmly, “The Rabbi has decided.”

Whilst I was in Liverpool, to encourage the youth to come to Shul on Sunday mornings, they would make a breakfast after the service which was also open to older members. The girls would prepare the breakfast whilst the davening was taking place. During the breakfast, I would give a short Shiur and I took as my subject a practical demonstration of the laws of Shabbat. For example, on a large sheet of paper I drew a gas top which was covered by a metal sheet, and placed it on a table. I would then stand, for example, a kettle on it and illustrate laws such as the making of a cup of tea on Shabbat, or how one can be permitted to return things to the metal sheet on the gas stove. I also brought along various objects to illustrate the laws of selecting on Shabbat, and also a large number of models to illustrate many more laws concerning Shabbat.

For a number of years I used to give a short Shiur in Halachah every weekday either before Minchah or between Minchah and Ma’ariv. One of the subjects was the laws of prayer. I remember when I talked about the law of spitting in a Shul, some members were horrified. In our western society, spitting anywhere is repulsive. However in some societies it is accepted to spit and the Halachah is that one must then rub out the spit with one’s foot!

During my entire stay in Liverpool, I would regularly talk at the Seudah Shlishit held on Shabbatot during the winter months. Often at the end of my talk, I would in a good humoured way point out something in the Shul which was not in order. On this the gabbai said, I was “the conscience of the Community.”

Sometimes, particularly on Festivals, the Ministers of the various Shuls in Liverpool would exchange pulpits for the day. I recollect Rev. Malits of Allerton Shul coming several times to Childwall Shul. In one of his sermons, he said that if the Ba’al Koreh were to read the Parashah in Chinese, most of the worshippers would not notice. Maybe if they looked carefully, they would observe that instead of his head moving from right to left, as is done when reading Hebrew, it would be moving up and down, as when reading Chinese!

If you think this example is ridiculous, let me tell about a true incident which happened in America. A person was asked to be Shliach Tzibur at a Shul on Rosh Hashanah. That year, the First Day was Shabbat, and therefore he did not blow the shofar. After he returned home after taking the service on the Second Day, he suddenly realised to his horror that he had forgotten to blow the shofar! The amazing thing was that not one worshipper had noticed this!!

One of the Jewish Ministers in Liverpool would go around town wearing a “clerical dog-collar.” He once related that just as he was returning to his parked car, he saw a policeman putting a parking ticket on it. When however, this policeman saw the dog-collar, he immediately removed the ticket and said, “I’m sorry Reverend!”

The Liverpool Youth Minyan held its services in Childwall Synagogue. When I arrived in Liverpool, the Youth Minyan only had services on Shabbat morning and these were held in one of the classrooms. I would attend, with very few exceptions, every week and acted as its Honorary Rabbi. Many weeks I would give a sermon just before Mussaf, usually based on that week’s Parashah. When a pupil had failed to prepare his leining or if they had not been able to find somebody, I would fill in at the last moment, I remember that once on the double Parashiot Vaykhel and Pekudai, which is about twice as long as a normal Parashah, the gabbaiim came to me and said because it was so long they could hardly find anyone to lein. They therefore wanted to have no service that morning. I objected and said I would lein anything that they did not manage to allocate. From time to time, the Youth Minyan would take the entire service and do the leining in the Childwall Shul.

The Youth Minyan started their service on Shabbat morning at about a quarter to ten, which is a reasonable time in England. On two occasions when I was there we had to start much earlier - erev Pesach was on Shabbat. We announced the starting time as seven o’clock and on both occasions we had a good Minyan. On the first of these occasions we had a Barmitzvah and there was even time for me to give a short address to the Barmitzvah boy. We finished on both these occasions at about nine o’clock which gave sufficient time for people to eat before the hafsakah, without having to rush. Incidentally the Childwall Shul started only at seven thirty and this caused the worshippers to have to hurry home after the service and “gulp down” their food.

Many Shuls in Britain read the prayer for the Royal Family in English. At first the Youth Minyan did likewise, but I didn’t like it. I therefore decided that it would henceforth be read in Hebrew, except for the Royal names in this Prayer. I also decided, that unlike in Childwall Shul, the Cohanim during the duchaning would stretch out the tune.

After a time we added a service on Friday night. We would go the Shul to daven Minchah on Friday afternoon and then as the Chazan was walking up to take the Kabbalat Shabbat service, we would have a mass walk out to the Youth Minyan!

Later we also had Minchah on erev Shabbat and in the summer months an earlier Minyan than the Shul had, for Minchah on Shabbat. We sometimes followed it by a Seudah Shlishit.

In the short days in the winter, the Shul minyan was not very strong on Friday nights and one of the gabbaiim wanted the youth to daven instead in the Shul. One Shabbat morning one of the gabbaiim came into the Youth Minyan and announced this. I asked him which Rabbinical authority he had consulted about this. When he told me none, I said his decision on this was worthless. I even said that I would take him before the Beth Din on this matter. Before the following Friday night, I spread the word round that they might try to stop us from conducting the Youth Minyan and I wanted a full turnout. Had we found the Beth Hamidrash locked we would have davened in the corridor in view of the worshippers coming to the Shul. The room in fact was not locked and we had a full turnout. In the middle of service this gabbai came in, looked around, and went out without saying a word. We never had any further trouble regarding our Friday night service. It was wonderful to see how the pupils would fight for their own Youth Minyan.

Whilst I was in Liverpool, the Shul built a beautiful Bet Hamidrash, which on weekdays was used by the Shul, and on Shabbatot by the Youth Minyan who made a collection and with the money bought a mechitzah. Girls were then able to attend the services.

For some strange reason, this Shul was built, that when one prayed, one faced Canada rather than Eretz Israel. When they came to build the Bet Hamidrash, they had two alternatives, according to the contours of the building. Either be like the Shul and face Canada or turn completely around and approximately face Eretz Israel. It was decided that it would be a bit odd for two minyanim in the same building to pray facing completely opposite directions. So the Bet Hamidrash was also built facing Canada. At least when one said “Bo’ee V’shalom” on Friday nights one faced Eretz Israel!

When the Bet Hamidrash was about to be consecrated, it was decided to have Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schonfeld open it. However there were certain people, chiefly from the Liverpool Zionist Council, who strongly opposed this choice. There had recently been publicity about Rabbi Schonfeld and the Hasmonean School, concerning Yom Ha’atzmaut. The Liverpool Zionist Council was even talking about boycotting Childwall Shul. As the gabbai then commented, “They need us more than we need them.”

The opening went as planned. A number of the Rabbis, including myself took part and Rabbi Dr, Schonfeld gave the address. The opening was fully reported with a photograph in the “Jewish Chronicle.” However, the “Liverpool Jewish Gazette” totally ignored the event, it would seem, because of the presence of Rabbi Schonfeld. I spoke to the gabbai and asked him what he was going to do about it and he said he would not react.

In my opinion, if that paper wanted to be Liverpool’s Jewish paper, then it was bound to report all Jewish news whether or not the Editor liked it. The Editor could then write an Editorial saying why he thought Rabbi Schonfeld should not have been invited but he would also be bound to publish any letter criticising the content of his Editorial.

In a sermon to the Youth Minyan at that time, I praised the decision of the Childwall Synagogue Committee in having invited Rabbi Dr. Schonfeld. Throughout his life he had done wonderful work for children, first by bringing children to England at the beginning of the war in the kindertransports and then with the Hasmonean Schools.

In the following edition of the Liverpool Jewish Gazette, a three line mention at the bottom of a column was made of opening the Bet Hamidrash, but Rabbi Schonfeld’s name was omitted.

When I left Liverpool, the Youth Minyan presented me with a very nice inscribed set of books. One of my last contributions to this Minyan was to collate a list of its various customs throughout the year.

I considered the Youth Minyan to be one of the best voluntary activities in Liverpool. No one was forced to go, yet the attendance continually increased.

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