Verity's Research Project
A short resumé of Verity Steele's PhD project
I first became aware of Bachad and its hachsharah training farm at Thaxted in 1987 whilst in Israel. However, upon my return in the summer of 1988, resources and time did not permit me to act on my curiosity. But in 2010, I happened upon the following image (unfortunately, copyright does not allow me to include it on this site) showing a number of young Bachad gentlemen at Morning Prayers! This set me off searching in earnest!
This led to a visit to the farm in 2012, after which the farmer put me in touch with a wonderful gentleman, the late Max Kopfstein, who was manager of the Thaxted farm from 1952-1954. It was through him that I began meeting many more 'chaverim' from the Thaxted days. As time went on, I began feel compelled to document this history, all the more as I realised that memories of Bachad among Thaxted people were very few and nebulous. This history was in danger of being lost!
In 2016, the opportunity to study for an MRes at the Institute of Historical Research provided a good grounding and enabled the development of Oral History expertise which was useful for gathering further data about Bachad and its rich historical background. This resulted in a Distinction and the recommendation that I ought to take this research further! In 2018 I was awarded a Presidential Scholarship to study for a PhD at the University of Southampton under Professors Tony Kushner and Joachim Schloer. This is due for completion in June 2023.