Darlington Hebrew Congregation’s oldest and longest-standing member Doris Jackson celebrated her 90th birthday at the start of July 2015.Her family travelled to Darlington from Israel, the USA and various places in the UK to be with heron this very special occasion. Doris, who came to England as a young child from Poland, has been a committed and active member of DHC since 1947 when she moved to the area from Leeds with her husband, Norman z”l . Her family were most insistent that attendance at a Shabbat service should form an essential part of the birthday celebrations. DHC were only too happy to bring forward their monthly service by a week to coincide with the family’s visit as it meant that the community could also mark the occasion.
Thus on Saturday 4th July community and family came together to fill the synagogue. The service and the atmosphere were joyous from start to finish. Very grateful thanks are owed to DHC lay leader, Ray Honeybourne, for all his efforts to make the service extra special and personal when appropriate, particularly for his thoughtful d’var Torah which included some humorous references to our matriarch Sarah and her laughter not to mention a talking donkey and even Shrek! Doris very much appreciated the occasion and DHC was delighted to be able to welcome 4 generations of the Jackson clan including her children, Lorna, Louise and Graham, her grandsons Daniel and Neil and great-granddaughter Phoebe, most of whom received mitzvot. The singing was marvellous thanks to Lorna, who is a member of Maidenhead shul’s choir. She very ably led the congregation towards the correct notes as well as singing some prayers as solos. Doris herself had a fine voice which is much missed in shul now she is less able to get out.
DHC chair Bess Robertson presented Doris with a plaque in celebration of her 90th birthday and her faithful commitment to DHC since 1947. She then read out a congratulatory message from DHC rabbi DrBarbara Borts who regretted being unable to attend. The plaque will be placed on the wall behind Doris’s usual seat.
At the magnificent Kiddush, Lorna presented DHC with the Ladies’ Guild minute book that Doris had written for many years which contains much information about the history of the shul during the latter part of the 20th century. After Happy Birthday had been sung the community tucked into a birthday cake made by social club secretary, Estelle Solomon.. Doris took the remains of the cake to her care-home for the other residents to share.