The Rise and Demise of Talia Trust UK
A personal perspective by Marilyn Hyman
The story behind the nearly 17 years, that the charity called Talia Trust UK existed, is one of the generosity of time and caring by a handful of people living in England.
It began when Damian Schogger and Martin Korn took up the challenge of setting up a parallel charity to the one founded in Israel some months earlier in memory of Talia Hyman, immediately after her death.
As Talia had had dual Israeli and British nationality and was close to her British family, her cousin Damian offered to help set up a charity in the UK with similar aims to the Israeli one. The aims of both charities were- and are- to help children with learning difficulties from disadvantaged homes. Martin, as an old friend of Maurice's and mine, agreed to use his professional knowledge to deal with the Charity Commission's mechanics and complexities, later overseeing the auditing. Stephen Levin, zl, from Manchester also agreed to travel to London and to be a trustee, as a distant family member with accounting experience.
Those early meetings, whenever we managed to come to London and at least once a year, remain in my mind a blur of warmth and delicious cakes provided by Beverly Korn. The minutes of the meetings, by contrast, are stark. Like now, we would all try to think how we could find more donors and raise more funds. Damian and Lauren Schogger and friends organized several bingo and quiz evenings.
Then in 2009, Stephen became unwell and Ian Abrahams took his place. Ian, Suzanne and friends organized an unforgettable concert in 2013. Around this time Cynthia Blake joined the team and, four years later, David Posner,z"l.
Our original committee members had known Talia and us for so long, so I felt somewhat uncomfortable having expectations of dedicated help from our newer members. How wrong I was. Both Cynthia and David took their "jobs" so seriously and supported the rest of us, eventually taking over during the Covid period.
All our trustees have been so generous in so many ways. For example, in 2014, when the Talia Trust in Israel proposed organizing sponsorship in the annual Jerusalem Marathon run, Damian first joined the full marathon there, as he did again last year. In between he ran numerous marathons, raising very large sums for the two charities and helping many children.
The degree of kindness shown by all six former or current British trustees is impossible to describe. Their empathy throughout, particularly in the earlier years, helped us heal. Their determination to find small projects within Anglo-Jewry that would fit the description we had brought from Israel and to help the right children was and is really admirable.
Over the years, the charity helped over fifty children, some long-term, in London and Manchester mainly, usually children on what was then called the Autistic-Aspergers' spectrum but also many with other kinds of specific learning difficulties that responded to a variety of therapies. They were always most grateful for the help.
Meanwhile the system, put into place by the early trustees and maintained so well by Ian, David and Cynthia, has meant that the TTUK has also been able to help many hundreds of children from needy families in Israel, as so many donors intended.