Ivor was born on March 15th 1939, the eldest son of Gertie and Ben Miskin, who lived in South Tottenham in North London. His brother Michael arrived four years later.
After leaving school at the age of 18, Ivor did a four-year sandwich degree course in Chemical Engineering. It was just after he had started work that he met Francine at a dance, and they started going out together soon afterwards. As it happens, their parents had been acquainted, and Ivor and Francine had gone to the same primary school. But this was quite different. They courted for three years and were married on March 22nd 1964.
Because London was so expensive, the newly-weds went to live in Southend, which was where their two sons, Stuart and David were born at home. After gaining an MBA, Ivor got a job with Parker Pen in Newhaven, and the family settled in Woodingdean in 1973 – in the house, which has been their home ever since.
Although they were both brought up in families that were affiliated to United synagogues, not long after moving, Ivor and Francine decided to join ‘the Liberal synagogue’, as BHPS was called at that time. While Ivor and Francine became very active in the Friends of the Religion School, both Stuart and David became Bar Mitzvah, and were also confirmed.
Ivor enjoyed being part of the community and was keen to help shape and guide its activities, so it wasn’t long before he was on the synagogue council, and then chairman – and then after many years of active service, became president. In recent years, both he and Francine also donated their time as volunteers in the shul L’Chayyim project, which focuses on the pastoral care of our older members
Two years ago Ivor celebrated his 70th birthday and a week later Ivor and Francine celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. I recall thinking at the Kiddush held at the synagogue to mark this double celebration, that Ivor was in the prime of his life; that they were both in the prime of their life together: radiant, full of energy and purpose.
Sadly, Ivor died of Pneumonia on 21st March – just a day before what would have been their 47th wedding anniversary, and six days after his 72nd birthday. Having been ill for several months – and in hospital for the last three – Ivor had begun to make a recovery, so his death, when it came was sudden and unexpected.
There are no words to express the loss felt by Ivor’s family, and also by his friends – not least his friends at the synagogue. As president, he facilitated and supported his fellow lay leaders; he gave advice and wise counsel, he helped sort out difficulties. He also represented the congregation; addressing the congregation at significant moments and was a wonderful ambassador for us. The loss of Ivor is also felt in the Jewish community of Sussex as a whole. As a co-chair of the Sussex Jewish Representative Council, and a member of the Sussex Jewish News editorial team, Ivor didn’t simply contribute to the effectiveness of both these concerns, his interpersonal skills, and leadership ability, enabled everyone involved in these important arenas of Jewish communal activity to contribute to the best of their ability.
Ivor will be deeply missed by his beloved family and friends, and all who knew him, and our hearts go out, in particular, to Francine, Stuart and David. Zichrono livrachah – May Ivor’s memory be a source of blessing for all our lives.
Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah