Streatham women who spent her life connecting faiths dies in Surbiton

Joan Rich lived most of her life in Streatham

Joan Rich lived most of her life in Streatham

First published in News by

A Jewish woman who dedicated her entire life to building links between faiths has died.

Joan Rich, who suffered with dementia died on June 26, aged 92, after four years at Kimberley Nursing Home in the Avenue, Surbiton.

She was the aunt of Kingston Liberal Synagogue rabbi, Danny Rich.

As a 10-year-old Miss Rich attended the opening of the South London Liberal Synagogue in Lambeth in 1929.

Her parents had been founding members of the synagogue.

Following in their footsteps Miss Rich became one of the founding members of the South London Inter Faith Group dedicated to advancing understanding and friendships between people of different faiths.

During her lifetime she was also a branch member of the Council for Christians and Jews and the United Nation’s Association.

She lived in Streatham for most of her life and had worked for electrical company Phillips.

Miss Rich, the oldest of four children, had never been married or had children.

She studied for a degree in history at Royal Holloway University.

Rabbi Rich said: “She was a great narrator and storyteller. She loved young children. She was quite a person for details, so you had to get things right when you were dealing with her.

“She was a community person. We got on very well.”

A card received from a family friend Andrew Freedman read: “She totally understood young people.”

Miss Rich enjoyed playing card games, participating in charity work and travelling – particularly to visiting her sister in New Zealand.

Her funeral was held last weekend.


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