Harvey and Anita's Campaign Dinner Speech 2022

04 Jul 2022

Good evening, my name is Harvey Frankle, and this is my dear mum, Anita. 

Like the people in the film, we are just one the of thousands of families that Jewish Care helps every single day all year round.

Jewish Care is the glue that holds the Jewish community together at the most difficult times and, for my own family this has certainly been the case.

Mum was a proud Jewish Care volunteer for over 30 years and is now a resident at Vi & John Rubens House.

Our relationship with Jewish Care started much earlier than mum’s own journey. My grandfather Markie Cohen, a Kosher butcher in Petticoat Lane, was also, cared for lovingly at Vi & John Rubens House just after Jewish Care’s formation in 1990. Even today he is fondly remembered by some of the staff who cared for him, and continue to care for residents including my mum. The picture you see behind me proudly sits on the wall opposite where mum likes to sit.

Mum’s own journey with Jewish Care began when she started volunteering at Redbridge Jewish Community Centre shortly after my dad passed away in his 70s. This was a devastating time for mum, her closest friend Phillipa suggested they volunteer together to keep her busy and distract her from the loss of her soul mate.  This marked the start of a special journey between mum and Jewish Care. Together with Phillipa, she ran the centre’s shop selling kosher food to members. Quite simply mum loved it, and they loved her. 

When mum turned 85, she decided that after 30 years, it was time to hang up her volunteer shoes, and become a member at the very centre where she herself had helped thousands of people over the years. 

But then came the pandemic, like so many, mum was isolated at home, but the ‘Jewish’ care never stopped – she received special packages during the festivals and Jewish Care’s staff and volunteers picked up the phone and stopped by to show her a friendly face on her doorstep. 

We all want our parents to live in their own home surrounded by everything that is familiar to them, but for some, there comes a point where it is simply not possible. For us that moment came when mum had a terrible fall in the night and, my brother and I discovered that she had spent the entire night on the floor unable to move or call for help.

Mum was then cared for in hospital but one Friday morning, we were told that they needed mum’s bed back that night. but with Mum’s mobility issues her home was no longer safe for her to return to. 

Thank g-d for Jewish Care. who were there every step of the way, From the moment we phoned them, explaining the urgent situation we found ourselves in, they made it happen and mum was admitted to the home within just hours of our call to them.

We knew straight away that mum wasn’t simply going into a care home. She was joining a community. I can now sleep at night knowing my mum couldn’t be in safer hands, seeing her so happy, so loved, where the incredible staff treat her like a member of one of their own families. 

On behalf of my mum, my whole family, and the many thousands like us, I want to thank all of you. as without your support there would be no Jewish Care. 

I know that these continue to be challenging times for Jewish Care, and it is why when your table hosts give you your pledge cards that I ask you to please be as generous as you can. 

Thank you