Herzl happy to listen to father

HONOURED: Herzl Hamburger, centre, with The Fed chairman Mark Adlestone and board member Leslie Kaye

AFTER four decades of dedication to communal welfare, The Fed board member Herzl Hamburger has stepped down.

And just as his late father, Sir Sidney, had overseen the 1970s construction of Heathlands Village, Prestwich, Herzl's appointment to office in 1993 led him to supervise the construction of Eventhall House, easing the demand for more residential and nursing accommodation.

Leslie Kaye, the board's longest-serving member, praised Herzl at The Fed's annual meeting for using his influence in bringing together the heads of The Fed and Heathlands Village for top level discussions regarding a proposed merger.

Leslie said: "Herzl's contribution to Heathlands Village and latterly The Fed is incalculable.

"His strength of character, high moral compass and compassionate nature, allied to his leadership and organisational skills, all added to a great sense of vision, have been an outstanding asset to this organisation for the past 40 years.

"Herzl's involvement with this organisation has been an important factor in its development into the present first-class facility which we now enjoy, and which provides a wide spectrum of care for the entire community."

Herzl, who was presented with a plaque honouring his service to Manchester's primary Jewish social care charity, recalled a conversation with his father.

He remembered: "My father said, 'Herzl you are 34. What are you going to do in the community? Which organisation do you think you are going to join?'

"After thinking for some time about it, I replied, 'Well I think I'd like to join the Blind Society'.

"'No," he said, 'you'll join Heathlands'. You didn't argue with my father."

That began his 40-year involvement with the charity, serving in every executive office on the board of what was the former Heathlands Village and subsequently, following the merger with The Fed in 2009, the board of the combined organisation.

Herzl also described how the greatest influence on his life was being a member, for many years, of the Welfare Committee, gaining an understanding of the problems of running a home and of old age.

He spoke of the pleasure of "working with wonderful, sincere people" from whom he had learned so much and named the late Monty Dobkin, Joe Zatman, Morris Gradel, Leon Eventhall and Joy Cainer, as well as Leslie, Simon Jenkins and Rodney Berkeley.

Herzl acknowledged the support and advice of his wife Rosemary, a former vice-chairman and chairman of the Welfare Committee and a long-standing volunteer.

"It was and it still is a fantastic organisation," he added.

"Now is the time to pass on the baton and to let others with new visions, different ideas, skill sets and capabilities play their role in this wonderful organisation."

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