Too Many Hats to Wear – Shirley Lane – 5775
I sometimes think that I am dancing as fast as I can …. Too much to do, not enough hours in the day … too many different hats to wear!
While I enjoy being on the Ladies Guild and I enjoy being involved with Loughton Synagogue my favourite hat … my special hat has to be the one I wear for the JLGB. You see without the JLGB hat at the beginning I don’t think my journey would have led me here.
At the tender age of 11 my mother schlepped me off to Palmers Green JLGB with my two sisters and told us that we would have fun! I don’t recall if I had fun that first evening, but I do know that I stayed with the JLGB, becoming a Sgt and then a Warrant Officer when I was 18. That is when I first met Lewis, another Warrant Officer and we became firm friends.
We had so much fun and then, as often happens, life moved on and we went our separate ways, I started travelling and was to abandon the UK for many years. When I returned to the UK in 1990 it didn’t take me long to hook up with many of my JLGB friends of the past, and eventually at a JLGB reunion dinner Lewis and I met once again. The friendship was still there and I suppose the rest as the say is history, we have now been married for over 18 years.
And the JLGB …. Still going strong! I am proud to still be involved with it, still helping the young people of today to become great leaders of tomorrow. However, times have changed, the youth have changed and the JLGB has changed. It used to be playing group games, cleaning uniforms and marching (and oh I remember it well). Camp used to be organised sports in the morning and free time in the afternoon, a far cry from what our camps are today!
Today we are still about teaching leadership skills, respect and self-confidence but we do it in a very different way … you see we are sneaky … the young people come along and have fun and don’t even realise they are learning these invaluable skills!
At our summer camp this year we had over 400 young people come together from all over the world. Jewish youth came together from Israel, Russia, USA, Canada, Wales, Scotland and England, yes times have changed! Winter camp will be starting on 26th December so if you have a young person over the age of 11 that would like to join in the fun just call the JLGB on 0208 989 8990 and mention my name.
We also have weekly groups in the area, juniors start at 8 years of age and seniors from the age of 11. We have regular groups that meet and have fun and a band that meet (and have fun). If you don’t play an instrument but would like to learn … then join the band!
I hope that the JLGB will play an important part in the future of the next generation, I know I have a lot to thank them for.