Our Monthly Meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month at the Union Church and Community Centre, Weston Park, N8 9PX
Attendance numbers are limited. Advance registration is essential
Meetings start at 10.30 a.m. with u3a notices, followed by our invited speaker at 10.45 a.m. Meetings end at 12 noon
Tea and coffee are available from 10 a.m. Members are asked to bring their own cup or mug
Members are kindly asked to arrive on time to avoid causing disruption to the meeting. Members who do arrive after 10.30 a.m. will be asked to access the venue via the entrance to the right of the main door (up the ramp)
Members are asked to observe essential guidance in place at the venue such as the one way entrance and exit system, social distanced seating, use of sanitising and so on
Members should not attend CEDu3a monthly meetings if they or a close contact have recently been diagnosed with or shown any COVID-19 symptoms, are awaiting test results or are self-isolating under Government guidance applicable at the time of the meeting for which they have registered
Thursday 9 June 2022
Anita Peleg : Glimmer of Hope – The story of Naomi Blake 1924-2018
Naomi Blake, neé Zissi Dum, was born in 1924 in Mukacevo, Czechoslovakia to a large Jewish family within a thriving Jewish population. This all changed under the German-backed Hungarian regime and by 1944 the Jews had all fled or been deported.
In April 1944 Naomi and her family were transported in the notorious cattle trains to Auschwitz concentration camp where many of her family members were selected for the gas chambers. She and her sister were chosen to work and sent to Brahnau concentration camp. There while working in a munitions factory, they learned how to sabotage the bombs that they were tasked to build. In a bid to flee the Russian armies, their Nazi captors forced the prisoners to march but Naomi managed to escape and finally make the long journey home. She returned to Mukacevo in July 1945 to find that her home was in ruins and 17 family members, including 10 young nieces and nephews had been murdered.
Her journey then took her to Palestine where she rebuilt her life and then finally to London where after attending the Hornsey School of Art, her career as a sculptor flourished. Today, her work promotes understanding between faiths and stands in many places of worship and public spaces such as Norwich Cathedral, St James Church, Muswell Hill, All Saints Church, East Finchley, New North London Synagogue, Leeds Synagogue, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Fitzroy Square.
Her story is told by her daughter Anita Peleg using audio testimony of Naomi, historical photos and photos of Naomi’s sculpture that demonstrate the strength of the human spirit to survive against the odds and provide a positive legacy for the future.
Anita Peleg is a University Lecturer and National Teaching Fellow with a doctorate specialising in Business Ethics, and the daughter of sculptor and Auschwitz survivor, Naomi Blake, about whom she has published two books. She is Chair of Trustees for Generation 2 Generation, a charity that enables descendants of Holocaust survivors tell their family stories, and a trustee of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. She is committed to Holocaust education and presents her mother’s story to a range of audiences in educational, civic and community organisations.
Past monthly talks
Peter Cox : Growing up in London
Tiago Mata : A History of The Economist
Estelle Lovatt : Fun and irony in art
Katy Ghahremani : Plans for Hornsey Town Hall
Haringey First World War Peace Forum presentation
Robin Lustig : A Life in broadcasting
Graham Bennett : Serge Diaghilev and his legacy
Alexander Zhuravlyov : The Rise and rise of Vladimir Putin
Louise Stewart : Plans for Alexandra Palace
Carl Parker : What is terrorism?
Luke Alder : The Estorick Collection of Modern Art
Margaret Greenfields : Britain as a nation of immigrants
David Hunter : Guillaume Apollinaire and the First World War
Francine Bates : The Golden age of the music hall
Elizabeth Woodcraft : Hi-heel sneakers – growing up in the 60s
Peter Cox : The History and development of John Lewis and Waitrose
John Withington : Living to 100 – The secrets of the centenarians
Sandra Clark : Singing witches, authenticity and innovation: Macbeth on the Victorian
John Hinshelwood : Crouch End and District: a photographic record from 1860 – 1920
Jayne Forbes : A Solo traveller’s tales
Roger Hamilton : Climate change – where are we now
Jan Marsh : The Pre-Raphaelite sisters
Hugh Hayes : A Park for Finsbury
Ian Christie : Rescuing a pioneer: Britain’s forgotten creator of cinema
Oonagh Gay : The Pioneer women MPS
Dave Clarke : Untangling the Web – demystifying spiders at ZSL London Zoo
Andrew Ellis : Art UK: democratising access to the Nation’s art
James M. Taylor : Brilliant British humour in the Forgotten art of the picture postcard, 1840-1950s
Graham Bennett : Our wonderful West End
Pete Paphides : Broken Greek
Andrew Whitehead : Curious Crouch End