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Hebrew teacher presented with ping-pong ball to celebrate 100 Bar Mitzvahs
4:00am Wednesday 16th October 2013 in Top stories
A former researcher who has taught Hebrew to 100 Jewish children in the run up to their Bar Mitzvah has been thanked during a special service, writes Robert Potter.
A table tennis ball, presented to Robert Markless, during a Sunday ceremony at the Kingston Liberal Synagogue, was thanks for a table tennis table he donated last year, due to be replaced this year by the synagogue.
The 63-year-old was honoured by about 200 parents and former pupils for his voluntary work over 18 years.
He said: “I’m very proud and very pleased with the recognition. People ask how long I will keep doing this and I say as long as the response is positive.
“It’s part of offering something back to my community and I’m grateful to the Rabbis who supported me.”
Joshua Allston, 17, a former pupil, said: “I don’t think I would have done Jewish studies for GCSE without his influence.
“It comes down to how well he prepares his lessons. He will know what to do and gives a lot of one-to-one tuition which is a massive help.”
Alison Simmons, 16, said: “It was his patience and kindness that stood out.”
The service included Rabbi Danny Rich giving a sermon about the Tower of Babel, readings and a rendition by Emma and Tammy Rich of the Crosby Stills Nash & Young song Teach Your Children.
Mr Markless, of Deacon Road in Kingston, was an administrator at the Institute for Fiscal Studies for 28 years until he retired.
He is governor of Kingston Hospital, a trustee of Kingston Voluntary Action and treasurer of Kingston Race and Equalities Council.
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