I met Judy and Geoffrey through a mutual friend when I first came to England 44 years ago. They took us out for lunch and Judy, with a whimsical twinkle in her eye, asked me to guess where her family came from. Syria was not on top of my list for this charming British-Israeli lady, but I fell in love with her as she offered me various clues.

I was delighted when she invited me to visit when I next came to London. It was my first invitation to an English home and how lucky I was to meet the whole family and make friends with Judy, Geoffrey, Naomi, Miriam and Daniel. Judy and I remained friends to her last day.

I told Daniel and Miriam that I’ve learnt so much from Judy, and Daniel asked what that was. The general answer that came to mind is: How to be in the world. How to relate to people of all ages with generosity, total sincerity, and warmth. She became my role model.

Judy was a fantastic listener and gave very wise advice. She had a knack for not only seeing the best in people, but also helping them to see the best in themselves and thereby gain confidence and feel better.

Judy was a peacemaker. Through her therapeutic work, she helped people make peace with themselves. But Judy was also a peacemaker through her life-long dedication to dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. Through her vision, the UK Friends of the Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families Forum (FBFF) was established. She was its founding Chair until her death and showed remarkable tenacity and courage as she steered the organisation through choppy waters.

She earned the admiration and deep love of all who worked with her, for her patience and for always trying to find a way forward. Thanks to her leadership, FBFF raised large sums of money and awareness of the reconciliation work of the Bereaved Families Forum.

Those who were lucky to have Judy in their lives will miss her noble soul, warmth, and her unassuming and enthusiastic approach to the good things in life, like nature, art, cooking, Jewish tradition, poetry, and above all – people.

Personally, I will miss holding her hand. She had a habit of holding your hand for a long time, allowing her loving kindness and steadfast companionship to flow from her to you, her fortunate friend.

Chani Smith