Barbara Cline, a familiar face to many in the community, celebrated four decades of working for Leeds Jewish Welfare Board (LJWB) this autumn.
After a spell as a junior member of staff in 1951, Barbara rejoined in 1979 following the death of her husband as secretary to former CEO, Heinz Skyte. She continued in this role until 1996 when she was seconded to be the administrator for the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association.
As a young mum, Barbara contributed to LJWB’s Meals on Wheels and served on the Norwood Children’s Home Leeds Committee. Her passion to fight cancer has meant she has served for more than 40 years as part of the Leeds Voluntary Committee of Yorkshire Cancer Research, currently serving as honorary secretary. As well as all of this, she still finds time to volunteer for Radio JCom and helps support bereaved families through her work with the Chevra Kadisha.
In her presidency of the Leeds Ladies Lodge of B’nai B’rith, she was instrumental in lifting barriers that discouraged women to serve on religious committees. Barbara was invited by former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, to work with him on a national project, Women in the Community. As a result of her involvement, her home city of Leeds became one of the very first in the country to invite women to sit on shul committees.
“Despite trying to retire three times from LJWB, we won’t let her go,” said Liz Bradbury, CEO at LJWB.
“Not only is she a much-loved colleague, she is truly a role model for us all, dividing her time between paid work and volunteering to help others all the way throughout her career. In Barbara we have our very own strong woman who helped to break new ground for women.”