WHO WE ARE - Meet the Executive

Interview by Ernest Simon

First impressions on meeting Eve are that this is a cheerful, friendly person who smiles a lot; and this impression does not change with time. Until recently she was President of Yad b’Yad Lodge, probably the fastest growing lodge in England during the last two or three years. This growth was undoubtedly due in no small measure to her very positive, cheerful leadership style which welcomed newcomers.
Eve’s background is very typical of many Jewish families in London. Her ancestors were immigrants in the late 19th century, the paternal side from Poland and her mother’s family from Amsterdam – she has been able to trace her Dutch roots back to the late 18th century. Following her secretarial training she worked briefly in this field before marriage but then chose to stay at home while the children were young. Later she moved into the field of Adult Education which was to be her professional life for about 20 years.

Eve married Tony in 1966. He was Head of Management at the University of Westminster and continued as a consultant in the area of Human Resources after his retirement from academia.
Both Eve and Tony have been and still are involved in a wide range of voluntary activities, in World Jewish Relief, in adult education, in League of Jewish Women, in environmental matters. “We love the theatre, visiting art galleries and travelling” she tells me, “but above all, we love walking. This started 25 years ago and since then we have had numerous walking holidays.” They introduced rambling to their lodge and they have already had three rambling holidays as a lodge.

Eve and Tony were founder members of Yad b’Yad Lodge in 1988 and since that time she has been a regular member of the Council, with two stints as President. When asked why she joined B’nai B’rith she replies: “My specific objectives were personal rather than altruistic. I wanted to meet a new circle of people in the Jewish Community and become involved if I liked what I saw. We both became involved from the outset, making many friends and enjoying the activities.” She went on: “Now is the time, using the experience gained from my lodge, to give something back to the wider B’nai B’rith organisation.”
When asked about her ideas and plans for the rejuvenation of B’nai B’rith in England and for increasing the membership, she replies: “It’s important for members to welcome newcomers in an active way, and avoid any cliqueyness. We need to have a wide choice of activities for small groups as well as a good range of speakers for main meetings. The main body of our members must talk about our lodge’s activities with enthusiasm and invite their friends to come and give it a go. They must also work to raise awareness of B’nai B’rith in the wider Jewish community.” Eve is also enthusiastic about continuing the work with the newly formed BB2545 group.

Eve Swabe is a very balanced and pragmatic individual who will always try to see both sides of an argument. Above all, she says: “I am hard working and will give 100% to any job I undertake.” Nobody can ask for more than that.