JFS was privileged to have been selected as one of the 80 locations in the UK to honour the 80th anniversary of the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) as well as be part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. Each location has its own unique link with AJR members – some of them offered a place of safety to the refugees when they first arrived, others may be where a significant number of refugees chose to settle and make their home.
For some, like the Rubner family who donated the JFS tree, it was their strong family link to our JFS family, stretching across the generations from Bell Lane through Camden Town to Kingsbury.
Representatives from the Rubner family, the AJR, Kingsbury Synagogue, Brent Council and selected JFS students were present and a special memorial prayer (Kel Maleh Rahamim) was recited by Rabbi Sam Taylor of Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue. Our Headteacher, Dr Moody, welcomed everyone and drew parallels with what we are trying to achieve at JFS, “We want to build a school for generations to come and I hope that the green shoots we are beginning to see will be ones that blossom and bear fruit.”
The dedication plaque reads:
“This cherry tree (Matsumae-fuki) was planted in 2022 by the Association of Jewish Refugees in honour of our 80th anniversary and all the people in Britain who helped refugees from Nazi Europe, and in loving memory of Leslie Rubner, who survived the Holocaust and escaped from Hungary during the 1956 revolution.”