Jewish Legacy Week: Jeanne Bell

May 19, 2016


How a Legacy from Jeanne Bell keeps her memory alive through the young Israelis she supports through scholarships.

Jeanne Bell was born on 30 August 1907 in London. She married Jacob (known as ‘Jack’) Snook (surname subsequently changed to Bell) on 1 August 1938 at West Ham District Synagogue in the East End of London, a Jewish hub at the time.

Jacob was a master draper, Jeanne a hat maker. They opened a shop in London’s East End selling drapes and household linens. The Bells’ only child, Anthony, was tragically killed in a motor accident in 1963, aged only 17.

Jacob predeceased Jeanne, who herself died on 18 December 2008, at the age of 101. She left a substantial estate to UJIA.

Jeanne was from a generation who experienced what pre-State of Israel life was like for Jews, and this likely motivated her to support Israel in her Will. This, and the fact that she had no immediate family, inspired her to leave the bulk of her estate to UJIA for academic scholarships to be set up in Israel, so that deprived young Israelis could have the opportunity of a higher education.

A fund has been established at one of UJIA’s flagship projects, Tel-Hai College in northern Israel, which will fund scholarships to come. Over 100 students are now receiving scholarships to fund their courses of study and essential living expenses whilst at the College.

Jeanne’s memory will live on through the scholarship programme she endowed and through the future achievements of the Israeli students who are its direct beneficiaries.

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