Jewish Care resident, volunteer and members New Year’s Honours

05 Jan 2022

Henry Lewis, a resident at Jewish Care’s Wolfson Assisted Living at Sandringham has been awarded an MBE and is the oldest person to receive honours in this New Year's list, aged 102. Henry received his award as honorary vice president of the Magic Circle, for his services to fundraising and charitable causes.

Henry was born on 12 October 1919 in Hackney and grew up in a family of eight children. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and of the Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers.

He says, “It’s very nice to receive the Honour and of course, I’ll have to wait to go to Buckingham Palace.  I’ve had a wonderful life and I’ve really enjoyed being able to do my magic shows around the world as my hobby. When I was eight years old, I found a magic book in a pile of rubbish and that’s what got me interested in magic. I gave my first public show at the local Town Hall. I’ve performed all over the world, Canada, Sweden, Denmark and Israel and the USA in large public theatres. I was the President of the Inner Magic Circle and the Society of American Magicians and a gold medallist performer. My most recent magic show was to entertain my fellow residents at Jewish Care’s Anita Dorfman House at Sandringham.”

Staff and fellow residents are delighted for Henry and are looking forward to the next magic show, Registered Manager at Anita Dorfman House, Tuzani Chitsa, said, “We feel honoured to have such a pleasant, talented man here".

Freddy Berdach, volunteer and member of Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre has been awarded a BEM for his services to Holocaust education and awareness.

Freddy volunteers for Jewish Care at The Ronson Family Community Centre at Sandringham and delivers Challah to other Holocaust survivors. Freddy still talks to schools and universities about his experiences, virtually.

Freddy says, “I arrived in the UK in December 1938 after fleeing Vienna at the age of eight years old. My father managed to escape to Switzerland where he secured a visa for me and my mother to come to England for my mother to go into domestic service. I was fostered out eight times over the two years so I wouldn’t be too attached to the families. When my father arrived here, he volunteered the British Expeditionary Force in Le Havre. He was wounded and stayed in hospital for nine months before being honourably discharged and demobbed in Taunton, Somerset, where he became an enemy alien.

“Having missed two years of school, I eventually started school in Holloway. I finished my A levels and was called up for National Service and deferred my university place at Kings College.

“I served two years in the RAF during the Korean War in 1951 as part of Air Traffic Control on RAF Stradishall in Suffolk, and RAF Ringway, which is now Manchester Airport.

“After being demobbed I started working and met my beautiful wife – we were married for 63 wonderful years. I worked in the family tie manufacturing business before going on to export menswear and I have three beautiful daughters, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.”

He adds, “I want to do things for others. I was lucky, having survived when so many didn’t and I thank God everyday for my blessings. It’s important for young people to know what life was like and what good opportunities they have today.”

Members of Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre, Lily Bruml received a BEM and Frank Bright was awarded the honour of an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours for their services to Holocaust education and awareness.