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Merrill Dresner and Bebe Jacobs - Hachama Meirosh

Yom Zeh M'Chubad
Hachama Meirosh

Bebe Jacobs“These songs come from a variety of sources, mostly from our father, Rev Leonard (Len) Sober. He was born in the early 1920s East End of London in Bow, and his father, Jack, was born in Lvov in Poland. His mother, Jane, was English and for a while they lived in Eastbourne before moving back to Bow where my father attended Coopers Grammar School. He also attended Redmonds Road Talmud Torah, and Yeshiva Etz Chayim, before studying chazzanut at Jews College in the fifties.

Mum - Fay Sober - was born in Ilford and both her parents came originally from Lemburg in Austria. She still lives in Westcliff–on–Sea in Essex and is very active in the Jewish community there.

Merrill Dresner and mother - Fay
Dad was an army chaplain during the war and this led him to discover his love of leading services and of chazzanut. He became a chazzan - he started his professional life as a chazzan in Barking and Becontree, then he went to Coventry Road Federation shul in Ilford and finally moved to Westcliff–on–Sea.

The songs are from our time in Barking and Becontree, where we had friends round to lunch every single Shabbat afternoon, for singing, walks and Monopoly games.

Rev. Leonard (Len) Sober. Merrill Dresner's fatherHe gave chazzanut concerts and performances of Israeli songs wherever he went, often including Yiddish songs, to which he gave a special flavour. He followed the well–loved Rabbi Shebson in the late 1970s, and found a community that exactly suited him - traditional and welcoming.

We don’t actually know whether our father inherited these songs from his father or whether he learned them at Jews College. We supplemented our knowledge of songs by attending Jewish Youth Study Group (JYSG) winter and summer schools.

This Tsur Mishelo comes from the Rosen family – four brothers, one of whom was Chief Rabbi of Ireland, one head of Yakar and one head of Carmel College School. We learned them at the Jewish Youth Study Group summer schools in the sixties.

Hachama Meirosh was composed by Susan Lindsey Lewis, who was a Study Group friend and chairperson.

This version of Yom Zeh M’chubad was composed about six years ago by my (Merrill’s) eldest son Asher Dresner.”

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