Monday, November 03, 2014

Michael Sherbourne z"l

One of my heroes of the Soviet Jewry struggle in which I participated, beginning on May 1, 1964, was not a Russian Jew but an English one, Michael Sherbourne.  For many years he was the 'man on the phone', calling sometimes 6 people a night for years, perhaps as many as 6000 phone calls in all over the period he was needed, to get information, relay information and keep up spirits as well as coordinate actions.  You cann see him in the 2007 documentary "Refusnik".

I met him when we were in London during 1975-77 and kept up the friendship.  

We last met a year ago in December when I was able to take advantage of an invitation to present at Limmud UK at which he would be officially awarded recognition from the Chief Rabbi Mirvis and Natan Scharansky.

Michael was, I think, 97 when he passed away this year, clear as a bell with a memory better than mine (he remembered my wife's name) and full of feisty spirit who kept up email exchanges on the topics of the day.

On the Wednesday evening that the Temple Mount conclave took place after which Yehuda Glick was shot, I found myself attending that and another event at the home of Ron and June Daniels in Michael's memory.

Among the almost 50 guests 

were Natan and Avital

Enid Wurtman, Glenn Richter

photo credit: Judy Lash Balint (more)

Elliot Jager and his wife, Yossi Klein Halevi, Judy Balint, Laura Bialis, Yosef Mendelevitch, Silva Zalmanson, Dina Belina and Vladimir Slepak, Silvia Becker and many other former Russian prisoners-of-conscience.

From Sasha Shipov:

More of Judy's pics:

Michael's two daughters were there and at least one granddaughter that I saw.

Michael was one of the underpinnings of that campaign and I have been privileged that we were friends.

P.S.  See comments for responses I received.



YMedad said...

Thank you "Wink[ie]y".
In fact, both Norma and I had brought one grand-daughter to the Celebration, which was a wonderful event.
Norma's husband, Peter was also there (I am widowed) and the evening was recorded so that we will be able to show it to the other 4 grandchildren who missed it, as well as Michael's 6 great-grandchildren, nephews, neices and friends in England.

YMedad said...

Yisrael, Many thanks for your memories of Michael. He was an example to all of us
When I came on aliya & received my teudat my name in Hebrew was spelt with bet,
Michael said it should be spelt with 2 vavs so I went to the MoI & changed it. Later when I met
Eliezer Ben Yehuda's daughter Dolla she also said I should spell my name with 2 vavs.
Regards, Sylvia

YMedad said...

We waited you will speak!! But - you did not!
Dina Beilin

YMedad said...

the first comment was from Lana Young