Stories of Refugees, so close to home

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Stories of Refugees, so close to home

This year for Refugee Week, we decided to ask some of the Nisa-Nashim women to share with us their personal stories. We have many women in our network whose families came as refugees to Britain and who have made a life here. These are wonderful stories, tales of real life which need to be told.

Here is Judy’s story, the proud grandchild of refugees.

Judy tells us: ‘All four of my grandparents were refugees. My paternal grandmother came to the UK on the Kindertransport aged just 9 years. She was housed with a secular Jewish family but ran away because she wanted to keep kosher and observe Shabbat, as she had at home.

My paternal grandfather came here with the Schneider yeshiva, which was given permission to re-establish itself in London from Frankfurt in 1939.
My maternal grandparents were both concentration camp survivors and were sponsored to come here after liberation by mutual relatives, who had moved to London before war broke out.
All four of my grandparents built successful businesses from scratch, learned English and raised beautiful families. Grandpa Jack ran a textiles factory with his two brothers in Seven Sisters. The building is still there with the words ‘Kahan Brothers’ faintly visible from the exterior. My Bubbie (grandmother) had a fine jewellery stall in Gray’s Antique Market and was proud of serving many celebrities of the day, including Princess Margaret.
Whenever we succeeded academically or later on, professionally, Zeide (my grandfather) would say proudly ‘not bad for the grandchildren of refugees’.  
But it is I who is proud of them’. 
2019-06-20T15:26:27+01:00June 20th, 2019|