supporting The Together Plan with a little book of Rabbi Jokes by Josh Leitner
Laughter has a unique ability to bring people together, transcend cultural boundaries, and spread joy. In a heartwarming initiative, Josh Leitner decided to put together a delightful book filled with Rabbi jokes, all in support of The Together Plan. But who is Josh Leitner and how did this come about? Let’s go back – 65 years….
65 years ago Mr Salamon Leitner walked into the Grodzinski* bakery in Golders Green, North London, with a unique proposition – offering a weekly laundry service. After a bit of haggling on price he walked away with a contract – the supply of 16 tea towels each week for 1 half crown (that’s old English money). He needed a name for his laundry service, so he called the new company Northfield Linen (because he lived in Northfield Road). Washing the tea towels in a sink, he gradually grew his customer base until he passed away in 1985. Since then Northfield Linen has grown to a company that employs over 100 people with its own laundry and large rental division. Over the last 25 years Northfields has been providing quality linens to the Special Events industry.
In 2011, Evertex Linen was formed as a subsidiary of Northfields, as a specialist table linen manufacturer. With customers ranging from Royal Ascot and Henley Regatta, to many of the London Livery Companies, Evertex is a one stop solution for fabric coverings for the Events and Banqueting Solutions, and Josh Leitner is none other than the grandson of Salamon Leitner who started the business 65 years ago, and today Josh runs Evertex Linen.
7 years ago, Josh walked into a BNI business networking meeting of the Chipping BNI Chapter in Hendon, North London and signed up to become a member. Debra Brunner, co-founder and CEO of The Together Plan was already an established member of the Chapter. In April 2022 Josh took on the role of Chapter President and for a year he ran the weekly meetings for the 50 business members. He became famous for closing each meeting every Friday morning with a hilarious Rabbi joke bringing the room to tears (happy ones of course) leaving everyone wanting more. At Josh’s concluding meeting of his one year tenure as the Chapter President, in April this year, he presented everyone with a copy of ‘The Leitner Side of Life’ a beautifully illustrated book of every joke he had told during the year – only asking in return for everyone to make a donation to the chapter’s charity member – The Together Plan! For three months, Josh had been secretly putting the book together with Michael Marks (copywriter, designer and illustrator) and Hak Huseyin of Absolute Print (who printed the books). All three – members of the Chipping business network had kept the silence, so when the books were presented – it was an almighty surprise to Debra Brunner (read about it here) along with the members of the group who were utterly delighted to have a copy of Josh’s jokes in their possession.
Since this first edition was such a resounding success (yes every copy flew out the door) Debra decided to team up with Josh and the production team to publish a second edition and this one has extra pages with some wonderful glimpses of Jewish Belarus for readers to enjoy.
‘The Leitner Side of Life’ serves as an avenue to support The Together Plan’s important mission of preserving and revitalising Jewish heritage in Belarus, fostering connections, supporting communities, and preserving the memories and legacies of Belarusian Jews. It is helping to spread joy while contributing to our impactful work.
Laughter knows no boundaries and has the power to bring people together. This wonderful book is a testament to the universal appeal of humor and its ability to create connections. By sharing light-hearted jokes centered around Jewish culture and traditions, the book promotes inclusivity, understanding, and a sense of community. It serves as a reminder that laughter can bridge cultural gaps, fostering a greater appreciation for diversity and fostering bonds of friendship.
Humor has the potential to uplift spirits and promote positive engagement and this amazing initiative offers a refreshing and entertaining way to support The Together Plan’s endeavours. With each chuckle-inducing joke, readers contribute to a worthy cause, knowing that their laughter is making a difference. This unique approach encourages individuals to get involved and make a positive impact in their own way, highlighting the power of collective action.
By purchasing and sharing the book, readers become part of a larger movement, contributing to the revitalisation and preservation of Belarusian Jewish communities. The Leitner Side of Life joke book exemplifies the power of humor and philanthropy in making a lasting impact and spreading joy while supporting a noble cause.
For more information and to order your copy of ‘The Leitner Side of Life’ please email us at: [email protected]
*PS Fun fact – around 1888, bakers Harris and Judith Grodzinski joined many members of the Jewish community in the Russian Empire by migrating westward from Voranava (once a shtetl near Lida, currently in Belarus) and establishing themselves in the East End of London. There, they hired kosher ovens and set out baking Bilkele (Challah), thereby beginning a business that would grow from a trading barrow to a full-scale bakery founded in 1888. Click here for more information.