Rabbi Groundland was my brother-in-law and it has taken me a while to sit down and write his obituary because of the 101 things I could say about him. Since his burial on the Mount of Olives, I haven’t been able to gather my thoughts as to which of his many fine
characteristics I should mention.
Those Mancunians who live in Israel will all have known him, as he spent a great part of his life in Prestwich as Rabbi of the Prestwich Higher Synagogue and latterly Southport Synagogue. I can’t tell you of the number of ex-Brits who come up to me to say Rabbi Groundland married me, was at my brit, was at my children’s/grandchildren’s bat-bar/mitzvah, or looked after our simchas in Jerusalem when we came over especially for them, and gave us a wonderful feeling of occasion, and for the land of Israel.
When my own grandson, Matan, had his barmitzvah at the Wall, Rabbi Groundland made it such a special day by dancing all the men around the Torah and giving us his speciality of sharing in our joy.
Rabbi Groundland worked with Yad LeAchim, an organization bent on stopping the conversion of Jews to other religions. His tireless journeys to the USA went on for years and soon he was as well-known all over the States as he was in the UK. The people of Silver Springs especially loved him and sent numerous get well gifts including a large hand-knitted afghan, made with love, to keep him warm during his last months. As you may have read recently, Yad LeAchim is trying to find all the converts who were taken into churches, monasteries etc. and hidden during the 2nd world war, and as a result of which many Jews are now of the Christian faith, unbeknown to them that they were born Jews.
Rabbi Groundland left a devoted wife, Chana, was adored by his children and great/grandchildren and four brothers, one of whom is my husband Monty. He was a man of great faith and energy and of great joy in living his life. He gave himself heart and soul to every simcha, and with every troubled soul, he was there to listen and to help.
The world is certainly a poorer place without him.