The Jews of Exeter was launched to a packed audience in the historic Guildhall Exeter on the author’s birthday. Hosted by BBC Radio Devon broadcaster Judi Spiers, the audience heard about some of the highlights of the book during Judi’s interview of Helen. The launch was attended by many members of the Exeter Hebrew Congregation, under whose auspices it was organised, as well as Ben Bradshaw (Exeter MP), representatives from the Board of Deputies in London, Revd Elkan Levy (Israel), Mick Catmull (BBC), Brian Aloof (Plymouth), numerous friends and many descendants of Exeter Jews from the 18th and 19th centuries. A clip of a separate interview with Helen was shown on regional ITV evening news on 24 July. The launch followed a weekend of celebrations to mark the 250th anniversary of the foundation of the synagogue in 1763. The special service on Sunday 21 was attended by many civic dignitaries and local non-Jewish religious leaders that included the Dean of the Cathedral and the Imam from the local mosque.
By far one of the most exciting highlights was to see the bringing together of people who have had family connections with the Exeter synagogue that stretched back to its foundations. They had travelled long distances to be there: from Glasgow to Cardiff, London to Birmingham. Photos below courtesy of Gary Perlmutter.