INT: So you must, you were in Britain…
INT: They were in Israel, building the, when did you see them again?
INT: So, you studied?
ED: I finished my study, then I was teaching.
INT: Oh you were a teacher?
ED: I was teaching.
INT: In London?
ED: In London, I was teaching in London? No, well I was living in London at the time, but I, it’s a long story. I met some friends, when I was in Eastbourne. And I had no money and my family were all disbanded and just scraping a living, they had to…my dad is very, he’s got such a lot of go in him, he doesn’t stand still. They had this house and a little garden, so he started, you know, to put in potatoes or courgettes, or something, to live, you know, literally off the land
INT: You were teaching.
ED: I was teaching and I went to this Jewish school in Brighton. The man who owned it, it was a private school, he was Jewish, Irish-Jewish, but all the teachers were Roman Catholic. I was the only Jewish girl there, and he was a bastard, he was a real swine. He treated me so, so badly. One of the teachers who was running the school, he was so sympathetic and I used to go and cry and he said, “I’ll go and have a, how dare he treat you like that, when your people are suffering for it, and you are here, you are working very hard”, and spoke to him. No, well that’s the way it is, he’s running a school and that’s it.
Oh that’s another really, quite a sad story, he was nasty, he was really nasty to me, very much, to the extent I’ll just tell you this. It was Yom Kippur and I’m raised not very frum, but I am Jewish, so I wanted to fast for Yom Kippur. My college were dishing out, there wasn’t even bacon at that time, God knows what it was, rabbits and all kinds of things, and I didn’t want it, I wanted to have a kosher meal. So I went to a café, would you believe it? How your mind works at that time. Went to a café and asked for two fried eggs and that was, as kosher as that was to me, to fast on. I used to work every other weekend, so that was Yom Kippur there and it was a Saturday, and I was working on Saturday, Yom Kippur, and the headmaster, and he wasn’t Catholic, he was just Church of England or something, he came up at lunchtime and he said, “Are you all right?” and he brought me a cup of tea. I said, “No”, “Not a cup of tea, glass of…?”, “No, no, that’s our Day of Atonement”, “And you are working with young children and it’s three o’clock now?”, “Yeah, yeah, that’s all right, that’s all right, that’s fine”, and he went and had a barney with the head teacher. He said, “Well, she’s Jewish, so I’m Jewish, it’s a mitzvah that she’s working with children, with Jewish children.” What kind of a mitzvah is that? I’m Jewish too, and there were other people to take over.
INT: But the children, the children were Jewish as well?
ED: The children, it’s a Jewish school. The children were Jewish, the owner, that’s the principal, Mr. Eliasuf, I’ll never forget his name, he owned the school, but he appointed, he employed Catholic, most of them were Catholic. But this headmaster who ran the school, he wasn’t Catholic but he was also not Jewish, and he was very sympathetic. He was such a nice man. So, I said, “Well I really need to leave, Mr. Kemp”. He was, kind of, nice to talk to, he said, “You don’t leave now because that’s your first year”, that’s how I remember it was my first year. “It’ll be a bad spell on you to leave after, the fault will be on you. Anyone will ask why did you leave, not finishing a year?”
So I stomached it and finished a year, and I said to him in due course, “I’m leaving”. So I’d been writing applications and I’d been asked for an interview, for Sunday. For Sunday, to go for an interview, I was to be on duty. He wouldn’t let me go to the interview. I was heartbroken, so I went, crying, to Mr. Kemp. “He can’t do that.” Well he’s doing that, what could I do, I live there, and I’ve nowhere to go? He knows I’m leaving and he knows I’m looking for a job, he doesn’t allow me to go for an interview, and Sunday was my day. Sunday was a Sunday, everybody was…So anyway, he said, “Well let’s face it”, that’s Mr. Kemp, the headmaster. He said, “Go and phone”. ( It was a head teacher owning a school, a private school), “and tell her that something happened. Make up a story,” he said, “I don’t care. Tell any story and tell her you just can’t make it, if she will see you the next Sunday, when you are off duty”. So I went to the phone, there was a phone in the school, he wouldn’t let me use the phone, “You can go outside and phone”. This telephone is a pay box telephone, To tell him that I’m cancelling my interview. It’s not so easy to get an interview and cancel it. So, Mr. Kemp said, “Well just go outside and make that phone call, for God’s sake.” So I phoned and I don’t know what I said. I said, I think, there was a teacher, I don’t know, I made up a story, who fell ill all of a sudden and I had to take over, so it sounded very good and very kosher, very sympathetic. And this is it, I went the following Sunday and I got the job eventually. It was in Surrey, near Epsom, near Dorking in Surrey. Mickleham, it’s a nice, lovely little village in Surrey, it was very nice.
INT: Do you think he was so harsh to you, especially, because you were foreign, you’d come from somewhere else, or was he like that with everybody?
ED: No, I was the only one in that position. He was strict, to be honest, I mean they all took him for what he is, and they knew how to tackle him, but he was absolutely nasty to me, he really was. And, as I say, it shows you, from what he did for Yom Kippur, I never forgave him for that, he was really nasty. For someone else, who is not even Jewish, to be more sympathetic, and after that, to not let me use a phone, to not let me. So what? Am I a prisoner there? I get notice, due notice, and he knows I have nowhere to go, I have to look for a job, and that’s an interview for a job.
INT: You were very brave.
ED: I wasn’t brave. When you are in, I was cornered, what do you do? You’re just under this kind of thing. That Mr. Kemp, he was the angel, because I didn’t, to tell you the truth, I didn’t even know how to write an application for a job. I was in Brighton, a very well-known friend asked me for a Friday night, for Sabbath evening, and she said, “Well, what are you doing?”. I said, “Well, I’ve just come from holiday, from the other place”, what was it?
ED: Eastbourne. And, “Nothing really”, so, “What, you’re doing nothing ? I said, “Yes.” “Oh”, she said, “let’s finish dinner and there is this Eliasuf, that school, he’s always looking for new teachers”.
INT: Probably he loses them so rapidly.
ED: Absolutely, they don’t last there like I did. So she picked up the phone and she phoned him up, “I’ve got a blah, blah, blah, newly-qualified, excellent, very nice young lady”, and all that, “Yes, send her to see me on Sunday.” That was Friday night, he picked up the phone and he would not allow me to pick up the phone for Saturday. But he picked up the phone.