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Houses

In September 2022, 4 new houses were introduced. They were:

 

Bader-Ginsberg

Ramon

Sacks

Szenes

 

They were named after Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, Ilan Ramon, Rabbi Johnathan Sacks and Hannah Szenes.

Bader-Ginsberg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg March 15, 1933 – September 18, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an American lawyer and judge who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death in 2020.

 

Her father was a Jewish emigrant from Odessa, Ukraine, and her mother was born in New York to Jewish parents who came from Kraków, Poland.

 

As a baby Bader Ginsburg was named Joan Ruth Bader but her mother found out there were lots of other children called Joan in her class at school so her parents decided to call her by her middle name Ruth to avoid confusion. 

 

She was born and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Her older sister died when she was a baby, and her mother died shortly before Bader Ginsburg graduated from high school (X). She studied for a degree at Cornell University

 

She married Martin D. Ginsburg and had a baby before starting law school at Harvard in the autumn of 1956.  She was one of only 9 women in a class of about 500. When she joined Harvard, the dean of Harvard Law, Erwin Griswold, invited all the female law students to dinner at his home and asked, "Why are you at Harvard Law School, taking the place of a man?”

 

At the start of her legal career, Bader Ginsburg found it difficult to get a job because she was a woman. Bader Ginsburg spent much of her legal career as an advocate for gender equality and women's rights, winning many arguments before the Supreme Court. She fought gender discrimination against men as well as women as she wanted to show that gender discrimination was harmful to both men and women.

 

President Bill Clinton nominated Bader Ginsburg as an associate justice of the Supreme Court on June 22, 1993. She was the second female and the first Jewish female justice of the Supreme Court. She eventually became the longest-serving Jewish justice.


Key points

 

  • She was the daughter of immigrants
  • She was one of 9 women in a class of 500 at Harvard Law School
  • She fought for gender equality and women's rights
  • She was the second female judge on the Supreme Court
  • She was the first Jewish female judge on the Supreme Court

 

What we can learn from Ruth Bader Ginsburg

 

 

  • To work hard 
  • To be persistent
  • To stand up for what is right even when it is difficult
  • To be fair we must listen to all points of view with respect
  • To know that your opportunities are limitless

 

Ramon

Ilan Ramon 20 June 1954 - 1 Feb 2003

 

Ilan Ramon אילן רמון was born Ilan Wolfferman אילן וולפרמן . He was an Israeli fighter pilot and later the first Israeli astronaut. 

 

Ilan Ramon was born in Ramat Gan, Israel, to Tonya and Eliezer Wolfferman. He grew up in Beersheba. His father was from Germany, and his family fled Nazi persecution in 1935. His mother and grandmother were from Poland, and were Holocaust survivors. They emigrated to Israel in 1949. His first name, Ilan, means "tree" in Hebrew. Ilan changed his surname from Wolfferman to Ramon, a more "Israeli" name, when he joined the Israeli Air Force (IAF) after he graduated from high school in 1972. In 1987, he graduated from Tel Aviv University with a B.Sc. degree in electronics and computer engineering.

 

Ilan Ramon was a Colonel and a fighter pilot in the Israeli Air Force, with thousands of hours of flying experience. He served during the Yom Kippur War. In 1981 he was the youngest pilot taking part in Operation Opera, Israel's strike against Iraq's unfinished Osiraq nuclear reactor. He served in the 1982 Lebanon War.

 

In 1997, Ramon was selected to train for a space shuttle mission as a Payload Specialist (A type of astronaut with a particular role on a spacecraft - normally to perform some sort of scientific experiments) with a payload that included a multispectral camera for recording desert aerosol (dust). In July 1998, he reported for training at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, where he trained until 2003. He flew aboard STS-107, logging 15 days, 22 hours and 20 minutes in space.

 

Ramon observed Jewish traditions while in orbit: "I feel I am representing all Jews and all Israelis." He was the first astronaut to request kosher food, and mark Shabbat. 

 

The STS-107 mission ended when Space Shuttle Columbia was destroyed and its crew died during re-entry, 16 minutes before scheduled landing.

 

Key points

  • Born to parents who had survived the Holocaust
  • Served in the Israeli army as a fighter pilot
  • He was the first Israeli astronaut
  • Observed Jewish traditions in space
  • Died on reentry to Earth

 

What we can learn from Ilan Ramon

 

  • If we work hard we can achieve our goals
  • To be be proud of our Jewish identity 
  • To be true to ourselves where ever we are
  • To recognise our influence within our communities and beyond

To know that your opportunities are limitless.

 

Sacks

Rabbi Sacks 8 March 1948 - 7 November 2020

Rabbi Sacks was an English Orthodox rabbi, philosopher, theologian, and award-winning author.  He was an international voice of morality, with his wisdom often sought by world leaders, royalty and politicians, as well as many thousands of people - Jewish and non-Jewish alike.

 

Jonathan Henry Sacks was born in 1948. He was the son of Polish textile seller Louis David Sacks and his English wife Louisa. He had three younger brothers, all of whom made aliyah. He was married to Elaine for 50 years and they had three children.

 

Rabbi Sacks earned a first class honours degree in Philosophy at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, a masters degree from New College and a PHD from King’s College.  Whilst a student at Cambridge, he travelled to New York City,  which led to life changing encounters with Rabbis Soloveitchik and Schneerson. He later wrote, "Rabbi Soloveitchik had challenged me to think, Rabbi Schneerson had challenged me to lead." In 1976, he received his rabbinic ordination from the Jews’ College, London and London's Etz Chaim Yeshiva.

 

Rabbi Sacks served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991-2013.  At the time he became Chief Rabbi, he called for a decade of renewal, and he shared five values for British Jewry to work towards. These were: love of every Jew, love of learning, love of God, a profound contribution to British Society and a firm attachment to Israel. 

 

Rabbi Sacks was knighted in 2005 in recognition of his services to the community and to interfaith relations by the British establishment. In addition to this, he was awarded a large number of  honorary doctorates and awards. He was awarded the 2016 Templeton Prize in recognition of his “exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.” Described by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales as “a light unto this nation” and by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as “an intellectual giant”.

 

He was a frequent and sought-after contributor to radio, television and the press and he wrote 35 books, regularly contributed to BBC radio’s Thought of the Day, wrote a column in The Times, and delivered TED talks. He was a hugely inspirational and charismatic leader and teacher, highly respected by people across the world for his wisdom, intelligence and moral values.

 

Key points

  • Born to an immigrant parent
  • Was Chief Rabbi from 1991 - 2013
  • Was knighted in 2005
  • Developed great leaders for the next generation
  • The voice of morality and ethics

 

What we can learn from Rabbi Sacks

  • To value and love Judaism
  • To value education and work hard
  • To be good Jewish British citizens
  • The importance of good leadership
  • To know that your opportunities are limitless

Szenes

Hannah Szenes 17 July 1921 – 7 November 1944 

Hannah Szenes was a poet and a Special Operations Executive member. 

 

She was born on July 17, 1921, to a Jewish family in Hungary. Her father  died when she was six years old. She lived with her mother, Kathrine, and her brother, György.

 

Szenes graduated from school in 1939 and decided to emigrate to the British Mandate of Palestine in order to study in the Girls' Agricultural School at Nahalal. In 1941, she joined Kibbutz Sdot Yam and then joined the Haganah, the group that would become the Israel Defence Forces. Szenes kept a diary and was a poet and playwright, writing both in Hungarian and Hebrew.

 

In 1943, she enlisted voluntarily in the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force. Later the same year, she was recruited into the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and was sent to Egypt for parachute training.

 

She was one of 37 volunteer Jewish Special Operations Executive recruits from Mandate Palestine and one of 3 women parachuted by the British into occupied Europe during the Second World War. She wanted to help anti-Nazi forces and to rescue Hungarian Jews.

 

In March 1944 she was parachuted into Yugoslavia. She wanted to attempt to get in to Hungary, saying that even if she was not successful news of her arrest would warn the Hungarian Jews. Szenes was arrested at the Hungarian border. She was imprisoned and tortured, but refused to reveal details of her mission. She was eventually tried and executed by firing squad at 23 years old. She is regarded as a national heroine in Israel. In Israel her poetry is widely known and the Yad Hana kibbutz as well as several streets, are named after her. Perhaps her most well known poem is ‘A walk to Caesarea’  which is more often called Eli Eli, she wrote it in 1942 while living in the kibbutz and it was put to music in 1945. It is the most commonly played song on Yom Hashoah in Israel.

 

Key points

 

  • Emigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine
  • Joined the Haganah and the the Special Operations Executive
  • Was a poet and playwright
  • Was parachuted into Yugoslavia to help the anti Nazi forces and rescue Hungarian Jews
  • Was arrested and tortured but never gave up the secrets of her mission

 

What we can learn from Hannah Szenes

  • To help those in need even when it might frighten us
  • To use our experiences and emotions in the art we create
  • That our individual bravery can have a huge impact on others
  • To remain loyal to the causes that you believe in
  • To know that your opportunities are limitless

 

 

 

 

 

 

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