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Simon returns from Prague

posted 20 Sep 2016, 19:33 by Lodzer Shabbat-Bulletin

Simon returns from Prague  (Welcome back!)

The Nazis hoped to return to Prague after the war. It’s lucky for history, that they didn’t.


The Old-New Synagogue is the oldest site of Prague’s Jewish Town and the oldest extant synagogue in Europe. It has been the main synagogue of the Prague Jewish community for more than 700 years.

Originally called the New or Great Shul, it was not until the establishment of other synagogues in the late 16th century that it came to be known as the Old-New (Altneuschul).

The Jewish Town Hall in Josefov, Prague, was constructed adjacent to the Old New Synagogue.

The town hall was built by Jewish ghetto mayor Mordechai Maisel in 1586. It's worth noting for its clock tower, which has one Hebrew face where the hands run 'backwards', as Hebrew script does.


Acknowledgement of the association of the veterans of the Haganah to Czechoslovakia, in Prague.

Israel Honors Czechoslovaks Who Trained Haganah to Fight

“We want to thank Czechoslovak friends who helped the State of Israel to be born and to survive,” Israeli Ambassador Yoel Sher told a group of retired generals, colonels and other officers who trained the pilots, parachutists and other soldiers of what would ultimately become the Israeli army. The training was done on Czechoslovak soil.

Story of the Haganah by Smoky Simon

The Haganah was the largest underground military organization of the Yishuv in Eretz Yisrael from 1920-1948.  The Arab riots in 1920 and 1921 strengthened the view that it was impossible to depend upon the British Authorities for the defense of the Yishuv, and that an independent defense force completely free of foreign authority had to be created, and in June 1920 the Haganah was founded.


British Sir Nicholas Winton receives the Order of the White Lion

Winton arranged trains to carry children from Nazi-occupied Prague to Britain, battling bureaucracy at both ends and saving them from almost certain death — and then kept quiet about his exploits for a half-century.

For almost 50 years, Winton said nothing about what he had done before the war. It only emerged in 1988 when his wife Grete found documents in the attic of their home.
“There are all kinds of things you don’t talk about, even with your family,” Winton said in 1999. “Everything that happened before the war actually didn’t feel important in the light of the war itself.”


Winton was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003 and also honored in the Czech Republic. A statue of Winton stands at Prague’s central station, while a statue commemorating the children of the Kindertransport is a popular sight at London’s Liverpool Street Station. He continued to attend Kindertransport events in Britain and the Czech Republic well beyond his 100th birthday.


Franz Kafka's Life (1883-1924)

Franz Kafka was born into a middle-class, German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, the capital of Bohemia, a kingdom that was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

(read the full Bio at the link above)

His body was ultimately brought back to Prague where he was interred on June 11, 1924, in the New Jewish Cemetery in Prague-Žižkov.

How literature teaches us to be human

One day in 1904 the young Franz Kafka wrote a letter to a friend defining the books that are worth reading. “I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound us,” he wrote. “If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write?

“We need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.”

Kafka was expressing, in the most extreme form, a favourite idea of literary people: books form us. They make us who we are. We look back on key titles and wonder whether or not we would have turned out as we did if someone – a parent, a librarian, a teacher – hadn’t put a certain book in our hands at a certain moment?

Thank You Simon for those “very relevant” pics.

Spreading the Good News

Simon and Marie Jackson are proud to announce that their grandaughter, Rachel, will be awarded the title of CBE, (Commanders of the Order of the British Empire,) this December.


Rachel Hopcroft CBE | Deputy Director - Cabinet Office on Whitehall London

The Cabinet Office supports the Prime Minister, and ensures the effective running of government.

Rachel Hopcroft, principal private secretary to the Cabinet Secretary, was appointed a CBE for public service.