Sutton Combined Charities - "Question Time" Event May 2011

Sunday, 15th May 2011
- Sutton Combined Charities
"Question Time" Event
SCC put together a most impressive panel for this year's Question Time Event which was in aid of
Nightingale and Sutton Synagogue:
- Mr. Tom Brake - MP for Carshalton & Wallington
- Mr. Jonathan Arkush - Barrister / Senior Vice President of the Board of Deputies
- Baroness Susan Kramer - Liberal Democrat politician & former MP for Richmond Park
- Dr. Simon Hochhauser - President of the United Synagogue
 - Prof. Stuart Stanton - leading Urogynaecologist & Chairman of Hadassah UK
Chairing the Evening:  Adrienne Fresko CBE 
Question Time Evening at Sutton & District Synagogue raises £1,000 for Nightingale House in South London
Detailed report of this event -

Sutton Combined Charities - Question Time Evening

Report by Barbara Saunders


On Sunday 15 May, 90 people attended a stimulating and interesting evening of Question Time hosted by Sutton Combined Charities. This was the 4th Question Time held at the shul with Nightingale House as the main beneficiary of the fund raising event receiving £1,000.  Nightingale is a well known provider of quality care for older members of the Jewish community on a long-term or respite basis and needs as much financial support as possible.


We were very fortunate to have such an eminent, well informed, and influential panel comprising Jonathan Arkush, Tom Brake MP, Dr Simon Hochhauser, Baroness Susan Kramer and Professor Stuart Stanton.


Jonathan Arkush is Senior Vice-President of the Board of Deputies and chairs its Defence and Group Relations Division. He is a barrister with a part-time judicial position in the Chancery Division of the High Court.


Tom Brake MP has been the Liberal Democrat representative for Carshalton and Wallington since 1997. He is co-chair of the Liberal Democrat Backbench Committee on Home Affairs, Justice and Equalities. His shadow ministerial portfolios included Transport, Communities and Local Government and the Home Office. He has also been the Lib Dem spokesperson on the Olympics. He holds a degree in physics.


Dr Simon Hochhauser is President of the United Synagogue. He has a doctorate in mathematical physics and has performed post-doctoral research at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. His career in venture capital has included setting up and running a number of telecommunications and IT companies.


Baroness Susan Kramer was elevated to the House of Lords last year. She was Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park for five years. In her political career, Baroness Kramer has held shadow ministerial roles in International Development, Trade and Industry and Transport, serving on the Board of Transport for London.  She had a successful business career as co-founder of International Capital Partners.  She studied PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) at Oxford and an MBA at the University of Illinois, after which she worked for Citibank in Chicago.


Professor Stuart Stanton is Chair of the South London Israel Forum and a  Urogynaecologist who, during the course of his long and eminent medical career, has authored 13 textbooks and over 220 papers.  He served as Professor of Urogynaecology at St George’s Hospital and is a Fellow of many Royal Colleges or their equivalents in England, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. He has also recently taken on the Chair of Hadassah UK.


Here is a taste of questions which stimulated such a lively response from the panel and audience that there wasn’t time for all the questions:

Henry Knorple: Does the panel think that the recent upheavals in Arab lands  (the ‘Arab spring’) will eventually prove beneficial or disadvantageous to Israel?

Paul Sarfaty:  Is the pact between Hamas and Fatah to be welcomed... after all it marks the end of more conflict in the world? 


Barbara Saunders: Many members of this community rely on the NHS to provide high quality, responsive, safe care free at the point of delivery.  How confident can we be that the NHS is safe in the hands of the coalition given the apparent fiasco brewing over proposed changes to the health service? 


David Perl: A recent independent poll, has suggested that the government has failed to convince the public that coalitions are good for the country, and more than two thirds of people now believe the government is weaker, less decisive and "confused" about what it stands for.  What does the panel think? 


Michael Simons:  We have heard a great deal recently about the power of Twitter – for social networking.   If you could send an anonymous tweet,  that would be widely followed, what would it be?


Our chairman, Paul Sarfaty then invited Dr. Simon Hochhauser to present June Lewis with a token of appreciation in recognition of her longstanding contribution to the community and especially as Editor of ALON Magazine.


Acting on behalf of the SCC committee, Rica Infante thanked the panel members, who were presented with flowers and kippot.  She also thanked Adrienne for her very professional chairing of the evening.


We then drew the raffle and withdrew to the hall for a lovely spread of refreshments.


In her message to thank everyone who helped make the evening a success, Rica says: “The evening was a shining example of how much good comes from getting together as a team to organise a shul event”.


This is what some of our panellists said:


Susan Kramer:

 ‘Just to say that I had a really lovely time yesterday evening. Congratulations to all on such an excellent event. Yours, Susan Kramer’

Tom Brake:
‘Adrienne, thank you for inviting me. It was as good as the real thing. Congratulations on the fundraising. Tom’


Stuart Stanton:

‘Rica - Congratulations on an excellent turn out on Sunday and good choice of panel.  I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.  Regards   Stuart’.


And an email received today from Nightingale House:




Subject: Re: Nightingale House Donation

Dear Rica

Thank you so much for this most generous donation of £1000, I hope the event went well.

Everyone at Nightingale is most grateful for the wonderful support shown to the Home from the Sutton Combined Charities.

Thank you for your help and support of our work here at Nightingale.

Kind regards

Ruby Fernandes

Head of Fundraising

Nightingale House



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