Friday, January 23, 2009


Over 450 people from the Leeds Jewish and non Jewish community and from as far away as Newcastle packed the hall in the Etz Chaim synagogue to hear the keynote speaker Lorna Fitzsimons.  It's a long time since we had such a turnout for an Israel event. The talk started with a message from Ambassador Prosor to the packed hall.  This was followed by a video link up to Sderot and a talk with Rob Cohen, a Leeds man now working in Sderot.  He explained the situation in the town and how people are not confident that Hamas will not target them again sometime in the future.  The speaker was introduced by Fabian Hamilton MP and we were then treated to a stimulating and enlightening talk by Lorna Fitzsimons, Chief Executive of BICOM.  There were lots of questions and the vote of thanks was given by Dan Cohen, President of the BHH Synagogue.  Lorna was given a standing ovation by the packed hall. We finished off the evening with el moley rachamim for the fallen soldiers, and a special prayer for those missing in action and especially for Gilad Shalit and a refuah shelema for the wounded. We had invited a number of city councillors who attended the meeting. We also had a large number of students from the University and the cross section of the people attending encompassed all ages.  This will go down as a major event in the Leeds Jewish calendar