I took on a project of contacting each of the 33 Council of Christians and Jews Branches to find out what events & happenings they were having and to encourage them to put them on the National CCJ Website. It turned out to be a serendipity for me as I got to know many of the branches. When I called the Sheffield branch and introduced myself to the Chairman, Katherine, I shared with her that I have a connection with Sheffield – although my mom spent most of her life in America she was originally from Sheffield and I still have relatives living there that I visit regularly – we both got excited. After a long conversation we decided that it would be a good idea for the Sheffield CCJ branch to come for a visit to Lincoln.
We both took the idea to our committees and the planning began. We had the Leeds CCJ branch visit us last year and it was a successful event, so we had much of the plans in place for the Sheffield visit. We agreed that a tour of the Lincoln Cathedral and the Jewish Heritage Trail in Lincoln would set the foundation for an educational and interesting visit. We included time for some shopping in the Bailgate area, lunch and a stroll down Steep Hill.
Just two weeks before Sheffield’s visit to Lincoln, Steve & I were in Sheffield at the synagogue for Shabbat services to attend my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah. My Aunt Jackie was also there and when she saw me she said that Katherine, the Chairman of the Sheffield CCJ Branch, would like to meet you. We found her in the crowd and were introduced to each other with a welcome hug. It was so nice to meet her in person as she told me how excited the group was about their upcoming visit to Lincoln.
Two weeks later I was greeting the twenty-eight members as they got off of the coach and to my surprise my Aunt Jackie got off of the bus too. We gave each other a big hug and we told everyone that we are related and began our walk to the Lincoln Cathedral.
Three of my committee members volunteered to help me host the Sheffield group for the day. Rev’d Mike Mason took care of the logistics, Dorothy Moss was their guide for the Jewish Heritage Trail and the Cathedral, and Doug Horn made sure that lunch time went smoothly, whilst I filled in throughout the day to make sure that everyone was taken care of and that we stayed on schedule and took time to talk with many of the people from Sheffield.
As we said goodbye we felt a connection between Sheffield and Lincoln and that CCJ brought us together. They thanked us and told us how much they enjoyed their visit to Lincoln. We told them how much we enjoyed sharing this experience with all of them.
They are a wonderful group of people and it was our pleasure to have them visit us in Lincoln.