Jewish expert dreams of Disraeli and Churchill debate at Golders Green centre

Trudy Gold, 64, is the executive director of education and Holocaust studies at the London Jewish Cultural Centre (LJCC) in Ivy House, North End Road, Golders Green. This week, she features in the Ham&High’s Who’s Who section.

If the LJCC gave you a day off to enjoy in Golders Green, what would you get up to?

I would pay my respects to people like Bram Stoker and Sigmund Freud, who were cremated and laid to rest in Golders Green Crematorium. Some amazing characters were laid to rest there.

Name one thing you love about Golders Green.

I love the cosmopolitan atmosphere. You can meet every sort of character here, particularly elderly middle Europeans – the last of the really interesting characters for me.

Name one thing you would like to see changed in Golders Green.

I’d like better parking facilities; the lack of them is killing the high street. There are a lot of little shops in Golders Green who will be forced out of business if it isn’t made more accessible.

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Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

I’ve met incredibly inspiring people in my life. One was Raphael Scharf, who lived in Hampstead Garden Suburb. He came from Poland and was at the centre of European immigration during the war years. He knew everyone whom I was interested in historically.

When you were younger, what did you want to become?

I always wanted to be free and I always wanted to have a Gypsy caravan and travel the world.

What is the motivation behind your work and what you do?

What we manage to do at the centre is to create an oasis of freedom of ideas and thought. My motivation is to teach Jews about their heritage and open the door to the outside world. Education is all we have, therefore we have to keep going.

If you could invite anyone in the world to speak at the LJCC, who would you choose and why?

I would stage a debate between Benjamin Disraeli and Winston Churchill as they were both inspirational in their own ways. It’s a sad old world that I dream of the past and not the future. I would also like to invite Mel Brooks and Woody Allen to the centre for a debate about the future of humour.

A film is set to be made about your life. Who would you choose to play you?

In my younger days, Joan Crawford, but now Zero Mostel!