This is a copy of the Speech of Welcome at the Community's Anniversary Celebrations, given by
Mr. Brian Imber, President of the Comunidad Israelita de Alicante. June 17th 2012.
On behalf of the Board of Management I am delighted to welcome you all here today to join in our celebration of this important milestone in our history.
In particular I am very pleased to welcome the following distinguished guests. Sra. Dona Maria Angeles Valdivieso the Benidorm Councillor for Employment, Health and Development, and who is representing Sr. Don Agustin Navarro the Mayor of Benidorm. And Sr. Don Manuel Catalan Chana who 25 years ago was the Mayor of Benidorm who officiated at the opening of this synagogue. This warm and friendly relationship enjoyed with the Benidorm Council over these past years is very much appreciated.
And I am pleased to welcome Mr. Armando Azubel, President of the Comunidad Judia de Alicante Centro, our neighbouring congregation, with whom we maintain close contact,
and Mrs. Carolina Aisen, the Executive Secretary of the Federacion De Comunidades Judia de Espana.
The Federation, of which we are proud members, has been an invaluable source of advice and support.
We are delighted to have with us the past Presidents of our Community. The very first President, now living in Canada, but here with us today, Mr. Jaime Bentolila. And I am very pleased to welcome other Past Presidents. Mr. Ralph Cohen, Mrs. Lilo Plon, Mr. Charles Borenstein,, and Mr. Harvey Bourne.
It is also my pleasure to welcome Mr. Antonio Bustamante, the President of the Apartments, and I thank him, and his association for their help and understanding over these past years.
Since its formation in 1972, this Community, based in Benidorm, has been serving the needs of the Jewish people throughout a wide area. We are proud of that record. Proud of our Synagogue, and proud of our Jewish Cemetery.
There have been so many people who have contributed in so many ways through the years to ensure that we have not only survived, but flourished. To all of these people we offer our most sincere and abounding thanks. What better tribute to them, than this celebration.
And in this respect I am very happy to see amongst us today Mr. Pierre Cohen. Many of you know that the synagogue was given by the Cohen family to the community 25 years ago to use as our place of worship and without their kindness and generosity and those others whose names are on the Dedication Board in the entrance lobby, we would not be celebrating this event today. Indeed this synagogue is dedicated to the memory of their father, Mr. Alberto Cohen.
Six years ago, we purchased and then totally refurbished the premises you see around you now, and this enlarged synagogue was re-opened 5 years ago.
So we have much to celebrate here today. The Ruby Anniversary of the founding of our Community 40 years ago, and the Silver Jubilee of the opening of this synagogue 25 years ago, and 5 years ago the opening of our Social and Cultural Center.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Mr Mario Pereira for planning, arranging, and conducting, the service for us this afternoon. Mario plays a very important part in this Community as our Spiritual Leader. Thank you Mario.
And thank you to Mrs. Helena Winestone, our Vice President for reading my welcoming speech to you so beautifully in Spanish. I could not have done it better myself!
In conclusion may I say to our distinguished visitors, to our members, and to our friends, thank you for being here today and sharing in this Celebration with us. It is our most sincere wish that you thoroughly enjoy this afternoon and when you leave here today, that you take with you fond and happy memories of this visit to the Comunidad Israelita de Alicante.
Report on the 6th Annual Race Night November 2011.
At around 6.30 pm on Saturday 19th of November, an excited crowd arrived at the Synagogue's Social Center in Benidorm hoping to return home a little richer. It was the 6th annual Race Night and hopes were high for a great evening. Shortly thereafter we were sitting watching the first race. As usual the evening was compered by Brian Imber who did his best to whip us into a racing frenzy. A few minutes later a few were celebrating their first win of the evening while the others drowned their sorrows in the plentifully supplied wine.
As the evening developed an excellent meal was provided, between races, by very hard working Harvey and Carole Bourne. This consisted of an excellent soup, a refreshing lemon sorbet, a huge Shepherd's Pie (with Salmon for the veggies) and delicious lokshen pudding for desert. Very well prepared, cooked and served; it was, I am sure, enjoyed by everyone. Many thanks to Harvey and Carole for all their efforts. If we didn't go home rich at least we were full!
Manny Kleyman and Rodney Shears did excellent service on the tote ably assisted by their lovely lady 'runners' and Stewart Greene (who was also lovely!).
At the end of the evening an extra race was held where the horses were auctioned to the highest bidders. This was a chance to wipe out any previous losses and go home with a good profit. This was won by Verena Turney (who also managed to pick five winners from seven races) much to her delight and returned home richer than when she had left.
Prizes of boxed Cava and glasses were made to the winning horse owners who were present, Ian Imber and Mike Lawson and the others will be kept for the winners who were not able to attend. In all it was a great evening, a chance to meet with old friends and hopefully make some new ones. We are already looking forward to next year.
Many thanks to all those who helped to organise and run a very successful evening.
Reporter Bill Turney.
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The Garden Party
What date should
we return from England
to Javea? Well, we must be back in time for the Communidad Garden Party!!
That was a given – times and prices of flights were a mere secondary
consideration. And so we chose Monday 30th August, to give us enough
time to settle back into the Costa Blanca lifestyle and be ready for one of the
greatest social events of the year.
weather warnings, Sunday 5th September was a warm and wonderful day
in all respects. As we drove up to Carole and Harvey’s lovely home,which they open so frequently to us all,
with love and friendship in their hearts, we could hear and feel the buzz of
happy, excited people.
And there were all
the dear, familiar faces – the three months we had spent in the UK quickly
became a distant blur and we were home again.
This was the third
Garden Party we had attended and the overall experience was familiar, but there
were also many innovations; new games, new quizzes, a tombola with a
magnificent selection of prizes and a cake competition – all great ideas,
involving more participation than ever.
And this year the
theme was a real ‘English tea party’, down to the cucumber
sandwiches and scones with jam and clotted cream! After the judging of the cake
competition we were treated to the sumptuous cakes themselves. It was almost
impossible to choose from the truly fabulous array – I would have loved
to sample each and every one!
The annual Garden
Party is not intended to be a fund-raiser (though it is a bonus if a profit is
made). Rather it is an opportunity for all members of CIDA, as well as friends
and non-members to get together an enjoy a sociable few hours. And it certainly
achieved its goal this year, with lots of people, both familiar and unfamiliar
to me, mingling happilyin the
Bournes’ beautiful garden and enjoying their legendary hospitality.
Committee, ably led by Rona and Shirley, worked incredibly hard to achieve such
a welcoming atmosphere and such a fantastic event. Well done and a huge thank-you
to all the Committee members. There was something for everyone to enjoy, even
to two visiting Chabad Rabbis, complete with Tefillin, for any man who might
wish to avail himself of this Mitzvah.
Although we only
spend part of the year here, Stewart and I cannot thank the Benidorm Community
enough for the way they have enriched our lives. We have made many dear,
special friends and enjoyed so many wonderful social events.
I must again
mention the incredibly generous Carole and Harvey, who yet again will open
their garden to us all on Sunday 26th September for a Succah Party,
following last year’s great success. This could well become another
annual event in the CIDA calendar. DON’T MISS IT !!!
The 2008 Garden Party.
The clouds gathered over the mountains, trying to block the sunshine with darkness, and heavy rain. But the sight of the happy crowd gathered in Carole & Harvey’s garden, soon shoo‘ed them away and the sky remained a perfect blue.
The pictures tell a thousand words, well perhaps 50 or so. No need to describe the cheerful gathering at the 4th Annual Garden Party. Enjoyment abounded. From the people scratching their heads for the answers to Andrea and Tony’s baffling quiz – it wasn’t really that difficult!! Jack Grayson won with 16 points and 2nd was Jackie Class with 15 points, think there were 35 entries in all. To the games folk trying to get little coloured balls into even littler holes. Tiger Woods would never be able to putt a ball along a line of bumpy tiles and expect it to plonk into the catcher thingy! No way….. Tiger…..
Thanks as always to the fantastic Organising Teams for ensuring that over 100 members and friends of the Comunidad chatted, ate, drank and racked their brains, in the sunny surroundings of Carole & Harvey’s garden.