Yom Sheini, 17 AdarI 5781
Monday, 1 March 2021
Jean honoured for lifetime of service in Birmingham

22 March 2016

Words by Joe Seager
Picture by Peter Noons

A special kiddush was held at Birmingham Progressive Synagogue (BPS) to honour member Jean Bonner for her many years of outstanding service.

The community made Jean the guest of honour over Shabbat, with warm tributes paid to her by prominent BPS figures including president Frank Maxwell and Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi. Members also filled in a ‘memory book’ for Jean to keep.

Jean has filled many key roles for BPS, always putting herself out for others. Despite recently curtailing her activities, due a period of ill health, Jean pledged to continue to show how much the synagogue had benefited her life.

She said: “I feel blessed to have been shown so much kindness and affection. It was a very moving and humbling experience.”

“Young people from the BPS vocal group sang for me, the shul choir gave me another surprise treat by taking part in the service and I was overjoyed to see many of the members I have come to know as an extended family.”

Speaking during the Shabbat service, Rabbi Margaret said: “Jean has provided the perfect example of living a good life. She has always been generous with her time, willing to welcome people into her home, visit people who were unwell and always send cards to remember birthdays.

“Jean is one of the most spiritual people I know, in her quiet modest way.”

Corinne Oppenheimer and Henry Cohn, vice presidents of Liberal Judaism and former presidents of BPS, represented the national movement at the event.