Organisers of an event held in memory of beloved Jewish educator Maureen Kendler had to change venue and move to a university to meet demand for tickets, after 250 people turned up.
The effervescent teacher and broadcaster, who taught at the London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS), passed away after a brief illness last February, leaving the Jewish community in shock, mourning someone whose knowledge, enthusiasm and humour had such a lasting effect on so many.
Such was her impact in the UK and beyond that the event on Sunday after, organised by LSJS, had to move to nearby Middlesex University to meet demand for tickets from the many students, friends and colleagues she had.
Lectures were given by two of her friends, Jerusalem-based educators Judy Klitsner and Gila Fine. Participants then chose between ten shorter break-out sessions, including one by New York-based educator Sarah Robinson, before the day concluded with a “bittersweet” panel which reflected on “Maureen’s wit and wisdom”.
Since her death, fellow educators set up the Maureen Kendler Educational Trust, which recently published its first book – ‘All Spoons and No Elbows’ – a compilation of her Radio 2 ‘Pause for Thought’ contributions. The money raised will help provide bursaries for Jewish women to undertake advanced studies in Judaism.
LSJS Dean Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum said the sessions “were packed and the atmosphere was electric,” while LSJS director Dr Tamra Wright said the programme was “designed to reflect as many of Maureen’s interests as possible, as well as showcasing brilliant educators, many of whom she mentored”.
“This was such a wonderful event for celebrating Maureen,” said participant Sharon Ish-Horowicz. “It was an inspiring way to remember her teaching, her warmth and how much she touched so many people.”