Some London Notes
This is Jubilee Year as every one must know by now. Every corner of the far-flung British Empire is celebrating the twenty-fifth year of the reign of George V and Queen Mary. London is beginning to take on a holiday appearance for the great jubilee events early next month.
To one unfamiliar with the British it is not easy to comprehend the intangible bond uniting even the lowliest and unhappiest British citizen with his sovereigns. But a strong tie is there, binding East End and Mayfair, Tanganyika and Scotland in this remarkable common link.
Preparations for the Jubilee threaten to overshadow the Stresa conference in public interest. Newspapers are full of suggestions for means of honoring the royal pair. Every one talks of the Jubilee plans. Every organization, every group of citizens is preparing some form of observance from the tiniest hamlets to the greatest cities. Chief Rabbi Hertz has prepared a special prayer for the King and Queen to be recited in all the synagogues of the Empire. Souvenirs are being designed, manufactured and rapidly sold. Medals have been struck honoring the royal couple. There has been public rejoicing that the expression of fealty and love of the sovereigns is improving the business of British manufacturers and craftsmen.
And then comes the Nazi fly in the ointment.
Medals and plaques in the officially approved design are being cast by the thousands in Germany and are being offered for sale at prices below those of the native manufactures. The patriotic Briton is in a dilemma for the German medals are not stamped with the name of the country of origin as would be required in the United States and unless the purchaser has expert knowledge, he is not able to distinguish between the inferior Nazi product and that of the British craftsman. And even the man in the street is resentful at the “chiseling in.”
CATS AND KINGS
Some time or other I remember being told that even a cat may look at a King. But the story didn’t say that the cat had to have a lot of money to pay for the look. I don’t know how much money Londoners and visitors to London are going to pay to see the King in the formal Jubilee procession to St. Paul’s Cathedral on May 6, but it’s going to be a lot. The procession will pass through historic Fleet Street. Window space from which one can witness the procession and see His Majesty, is selling from $35 to $100 per person, depending on the desirability of the location and the amount of comfort it offers for the investing spectator.
NEW CLOTHES FOR MEN
Joseph Good, better known as Moshe Ovyed, the erratic genius, is dissatisfied with men’s clothing, thinks it is designed all wrong. To put things aright, he has designed a new style and has had a suit made up in it which he wears .A friend of mine met him near the British Museum last week, and Moshe Ovyed lectured him about clothes, unbuttoned his ulster (England’s Spring is somewhat delayed this year) and revealed his creation.
As I understand it, the jacket is cut square, without collar lapels and the ornamental button hole; the vest is in pullover design, with two pockets at the bottom, and the trousers are cut along the lines of a sailor’s. My friend was unconvinced and unconverted.
MISSIONS TO JEWS
One of the things about London that must interest the Jewish visitor is the number and activity of the missions seeking to convert Jews to Christianity. It is really amazing to note the number of people and organizations devoted to this type of work and the extent to which it is carried on.
The other night, walking home through a Bloomsbury street, I noticed a poster in Yiddish and English before an imposing church announcing that Christian services were to be conducted there in Hebrew.
And an attractive-looking lass, Miss Olga Levertoff, who recently quit a career as a revue-dancer, was hailed last week as the first Jewess to deliver a sermon from the pulpit of an Anglican church. She is the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Paul Levertoff, who abandoned Judaism at the age of 18 to spend his life trying to bring Jews into the Christian fold.
There is a terrific amount of missionary work being attempted in the teeming Jewish sections in the East End. While the social service work of the missions, I understand, is accepted, the success of the proselyting activities has been disappointing.
Lord Melchett, who divides his time between an active interest in Jewish affairs and extensive business interests, has become a full-fledged yachtsman with his purchase of the yacht Izme III. He has changed the vessel’s name to Amy Gwen and is expected to take a prominent part in yachting activities. He was not expected, however, to return from the Maccabaid in Tel Aviv on time to take part in “Cowes Week,” the great yachting event of the year.
Back in the days when Hitler was newly come to power, the Marquess of Reading resigned from the Anglo-German Association of London in protest against Nazi persecution of the Jews. Last week the association dissolved because its counterpart in Berlin no longer existed and there was consequently no reason for the continued existence of the London body.