the former

East Grinstead and District Jewish Community

East Grinstead, Mid Sussex, West Sussex




Press Reports relating to the
East Grinstead Jewish Community

Jewish Chronicle, 10 February 1978

Any Jewish families in and around the East Grinstead area interested in establishing a Reform community for Hebrew classes and occasional services are invited to contact me.—Carol Offer, Hunters Lodge, Maresfield Park, Maresfield, East Sussex [telephone number provided].

Jewish Chronicle, 21 April 1978

East Grinstead
At a meeting addressed by the Rev Malcolm Weisman, minister to small communities, at the home at East Grinstead of Mr Fred Eichner, plans were formulated for a communal seder, regular Sabbath services, Hebrew classes, the availability of kosher food at local shops and contact with surrounding Jewish communities. Mr Eichner was appointed chairman; Mr David J. Morrisoin-Wilpred, treasurer and Mrs Carol Offer and Mrs Sue Morris secretaries. Those interested should contact Mrs C. Offer, Hunters Lodge, Maresfield Park, Near Uckfield, Sussex.[(telephone number given)].

Jewish Chronicle, 13 October 1978

For the first time Hebrew classes have been organised for the 25-family community of East Grinstead under the auspices of the Jewish Memorial Council.

Jewish Chronicle, 11 April 1980

Sir, — May I correct a false impression conveyed by your short news item on the East Grinstead committee of the Reform Synagogues In my capacity as chairman of the congregational development committee of the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain, I attended the meeting referred to in the report at which the members, at this stage in their development, strongly opted for a non-denominational line "straight down the middle" (as was reported), not wishing to ally themselves to any movement which might have the effect of alienating any part of their small membership. Nonetheless, the seminar mentioned in the last paragraph is not, as will be inferred from the item, being organised by the Rev Malcolm Weisman, but by the congregational development committee of the RSGB, mainly for members of that movement, but also for unaffiliated emergent groups. Further information on the seminar may be obtained from me.
DAVID BARNETT. Chairman, RSGB congregational, development committee, 33 Seymour Place.

Jewish Chronicle, 18 April 1980

EAST GRINSTEAD: Jewish Community
— F. Eichner, president; J. Morris, chairman; L. Shamplina, vice-chairman; D. Morrison-Wilpred, treasurer; S. G. Jacobi, secretary.

Jewish Chronicle, 1 May 1981

EAST GRINSTEAD: Jewish Community
— S. Jacobi, chairman; J. Morris, L. Shamplina, vice-chairmen; D. Morrison Wilpred, treasurer and warden; Mrs R. Bennett, secretary.

Jewish Chronicle, 13 November 1981

Over 100 people attended a Simchat Torah service for the East Grinstead Jewish Community. The service was held at the home of Mr and Mrs John Offer. Mr Weisman, in his address, said that those who assumed that small communities were fading had only to visit East Grinstead to see that that was not so. After the service, a presentation was made to Mr and Mrs David Morrison Wilpred who were leaving the district. Mr Morrison-Wilpred did much to reorganise the community some three or four years ago and held the offices of chairman, treasurer and warden.

Jewish Chronicle, 1982

EAST GRINSTEAD: Jewish Community
— M. Godfrey, chairman; L. Shamplina, vice-chairman; Mrs Sue Morris, secretary; T. Diamant-Miller, treasurer; D. Morrison-Wilpred, warden.

Jewish Chronicle, 9 July 1982

Philip Michaelis of Bromley Reform Synagogue conducted a service for the East Grinstead Jewish community, which was attended by over 50 members and followed by a kiddush. Another recent event was a cheese and wine social, held at the home of the community's chairman, Manny Godfrey, and his wife.

Jewish Chronicle, 1 October 1982

The East Grinstead Jewish Community, which was formally established in 1978, continues to grow in size and now has 33 families, representing some 100 people. Among them are 25 children, who attend the religion classes on Sunday mornings at a local language centre which is run by the synagogue's president, Mr Fred Eichner. At a recent committee meeting of the synagogue, it was decided that the time has come to look for synagogue premises. At the moment services are held about once a month at a local hall hired for the occasion. For the High Holy-days, the services were held at the local Friends Meeting Hall and were conducted by the warden of the synagogue, Mr David MorrisonWilspred. The religion classes held their first session earlier this month and a call has been extended to parents in. the area to contact Mr L. Shamplina for information particulars. The children are taught by Rabbi I. Sufrin, the Lubavitch director for small communities, and also by a member of the East Grinstead community itself.

Jewish Chronicle, 11 March 1983

EAST GRINSTEAD: Jewish Community
— M. Godfrey, chairman; J. Lamont, vice chairman; Mrs Myra-Lyn Vyner, secretary; T. Diamant-Miller, treasurer; Laurie Rosenberg, warden.

Jewish Chronicle, 1983

Mr Laurie Rosenberg conducted a service for the East Grinstead Jewish community at Gatwick Airport Interdenominational Centre. The service, the first of its kind at this venue, was well attended. It was followed by a kiddush. Further such services are planned.

Jewish Chronicle, 23 September 1983

Rabbi C. Wallach, of Brighton Progressive Synagogue, attended a meeting of the East Grinstead Jewish Community, held at the residence of the president of the community, Mr Fred Eiehner, to aid the congregation in the reconstruction of its Hebrew classes. Mr Manny Godfrey, chairman of the community, welcomed new members and informed the 50 people present that Hebrew conversation, Israeli dancing and Bible reading would be introduced to the communal programme.

Jewish Chronicle, 13 January 1989

Deep in the heart of the Sussex countryside lies the small but proud East Grinstead Jewish community. Founded 10 years ago by the late Fred Eichner at a meeting convened by the Rev Malcolm Weisman, minister to the small communities, East Grinstead now has 25 member families. They come from a wide catchment area, incorporating Crowborough and Forest Row in Sussex and Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Edenbridge in Kent. Indeed, the community's president, Mr David Morrison-Wilpred, commutes from his home in Shoeburyness, Essex. What encourages such long distance involvement, say East Grinstead members, is the "relaxed" atmosphere of the community, which embraces all shades of Judaism and conducts services in Hebrew and English. The services are mostly led by the chairman, Mr Manny Godfrey, or other community members and held at the East Grinstead Friends' Meeting House. However, members occasionally host services in their homes, in addition to East Grinstead's social activities. The community boasts an active cheder, which is led by Ronnie and Ninet Sapir, an Israeli couple who are studying at the local agricultural college. Kosher meat is not hard to come by, as some London butchers will arrange deliveries. What is difficult is attracting new members, as any loss is deeply felt in such a small community. Three families recently moved to Brighton, the nearest major Jewish centre. Vice-chairman, Mr Michael Goldin, explained that there were many potential members within the catchment area, including a number of Israeli students. In the past, the community has advertised in the local press with some positive recruitment results.

Jewish Chronicle, 14 April 1989

In his president's report, Mr David Morrison-Wilpred told the annual meeting of the small East Grinstead community that a full programme of activities had been maintained under the able and dedicated chairmanship of Mr Manny Godfrey. Celebrations of the festivals had been well supported while the cheder was a source of pride, despite a number of venue changes. Membership was on the increase, the president added.

Jewish Chronicle, 22 June 1990

The small East Grinstead community has signed an agreement with the Jewish Joint Burial Society - administered by the North-Western Reform Synagogue, Golders Green - giving members full access to the society's burial facilities. East Grinstead's president, Mr David Morrison Wilpred, said the agreement "will fill a major gap in our membership services. It is what everyone who joins expects to be provided".

Jewish Chronicle, 1991 series of adverts promoting membership

EAST GRINSTEAD JEWISH COMMUNITY (independent) serving Sussex/Surrey/Kent borders.
Ordinary annual subscription £29 including burial rights. For details of Services phone David Morrison [telephone number given].

Jewish Chronicle, 6 September 1991

"Getting people to come to the services at all is our main concern," warden Mr Manny Godfrey acknowledged. "I remember there being "a minyan on only one occasion — and I've been here 10 years." The East Grinstead congregation has 35 members.


Return to congregation page

Page created: 6 October 2022
Page most recently amended: 9 October 2022

Research by Steven Jaffe
Formatting by David Shulman



Explanation of Terms   |   About JCR-UK  |   JCR-UK home page

Contact JCR-UK Webmaster:

JGSGB  JewishGen

Terms and Conditions, Licenses and Restrictions for the use of this website:

This website is owned by JewishGen and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain. All material found herein is owned by or licensed to us. You may view, download, and print material from this site only for your own personal use. You may not post material from this site on another website without our consent. You may not transmit or distribute material from this website to others. You may not use this website or information found at this site for any commercial purpose.

Copyright © 2002 - 2024 JCR-UK. All Rights Reserved