Ardyn Halter

Dear Stephen and James,

Deeply, deeply saddened to read your email, it feels very strange, wrong to speak or write of Marina in the past tense.

Only last month she and I corresponded and, as always, her emails were full of life energy and life-giving energy.
Marina was, is, a force for the good and the right.
Every fibre of her being seemed impelled to make the world better, in her way, with her vision which seemed led by the certainty that goodness will lead and galvanise more goodness.

I recall the Passover Seder that Marina, Eddie and I arranged in Rwanda in 2004 at The Intercontinental Hotel when I came to install the two stained glass windows that you had commissioned me to make for the National Genocide Memorial Centre.… Read the rest

Tara Shaw

Sometimes in life you only need to meet someone once for them to touch your heart and make a deep impression. Marina certainly did that. I was fortunate enough to meet Marina several years ago when our son visited Beth Shalom as part of his pre-Barmitzvah preparations with Bushey Synagogue.
I had heard many stories about Marina and the incredible Smith family from my husband who had been involved with the foundation.
So meeting her first hand was really a great privilege. Our encounter was everything I could have imagined and more.… Read the rest

Steven Frank

When I was a happy little six year old in pre-war Holland, a visit to my lovely granny was a highlight. She lived by the seaside in Scheveningen. Whilst playing with my bucket and spade , I asked granny who was sitting in one of those wicker chairs, knitting in Dutch “What’s on the otherside of the sea? Engeland” she said. Litterally translated is Angel land. I imagined a country full of angels. Many years later whilst living there, I met one. An angel called Marina Smith.… Read the rest

Aneesa Riffat

“Why do you want to work at Beth Shalom?” – this was the beginning of the conversation I had when meeting Marina in 2006. I can’t remembered how I answered, but the answer now would be profoundly different to back then because of everything I have learnt. I have been beyond honoured to have worked for 16 years at Beth Shalom- one of the most beautiful, spiritual and important places imaginable. Meeting the Smith family has been the MOST life-changing experience for me, and so much of this was down to Marina and the enormous part she played.… Read the rest

Yehuda Bauer

I visited the Holocaust Center, Bet Shalom, because I got to know Stephen, and was immensely impressed by the originality of the concepts (plural!) that inspired the work there. The fact that it lies next to a village which maintained the medieval traditions seemed to me to be an ideal combination of past, present, and possibly future. Marina was everywhere, looking after amenities, food, the content of the meetings, the survivors – and not only of the Holocaust – and the publications.… Read the rest

Tommy Krulis

My heart is broken with the saddest news of the passing of your darling mother Marina
I am blessed to have known her over the last 6 years and especially blessed to have been able to say goodbye to her last week when as always she made me feel so special and as always all she wanted to do was to spoil my family with an incredible number of gifts always thinking of others before herself
I will miss the beautiful afternoon teas I shared with her and Eddie , she forever thanking me for the little I have done to help you , White Rose and the Aegis Trust and me forever thanking her for coming into my life so I could live my life with more purpose and meaning
The world has lost such a special person who cannot be replaced
I have the most beautiful memories of this magnificent human being
I will always treasure the beautiful and thoughtful emails that she would write with the gift of greatness as only a gifted writer could be

Marina will always inspire me to live a better life with more meaning and more purpose
My tears flow uncontrollably
With love and pride and incredible gratitude to have been able to meet one of the finest human beings to have lived and loved on this planet
An inspiration to all
Forever in my heart
Tommy and Lorelle Krulis… Read the rest

Claver Irakoze

“The life of one we love is never lost. Its influence goes on through all the lives it ever touched”. Thank you for your immeasurable service to humanity. May the hearts and minds you touched and inspired through your work, carry on your legacy. You will be missed, Marina. Rest in eternal peace.
Sincere condolences to the entire Smith family.

With love,

Claver Irakoze… Read the rest

Damian Lo Cascio

Marina provided me with the most profound strength and love from a recent message she sent me after the sudden death of my partner aged only 37 which broke me. Her words, wisdom and deep felt love within that correspondence carried me through a terrible time. I am forever in her debt and she will be in my prayers thank you Marina RIP xx  ‘For the sack of his sorrowful passion have mercy on us and on the whole world ‘ thank you love Damian… Read the rest

David Vincent

What a sad day for all of those of us who knew and loved Marina and the humanitarian work to which she dedicated her life.

The last time I saw Marina was on 10 October last year at the reunion of friends and family of Beth Shalom. As the attached photo of Marina and Frances Segelman shows, Marina had not lost her love of life and commitment to the important work in she was so deeply involved. I spent a few minutes chatting with her on that day which I shall always remember and treasure.

My Mum, Holocaust survivor Victoria Ancona Vincent, and Dad first met Marina and Eddie in 1995 and I met Marina and Eddie shortly afterwards at Beth Shalom.… Read the rest

Glen & Janet Ford

Bethany March 2017

We are forever grateful to the very depths of our beings for the love, support, advice and care Marina provided to us and our family, from that first meeting – Bonfire night, 1987!

A date we remember each year when Janet sends roses to Bethany, reminding us of your message to love.

I was then a young man, only just 20 years of age, much to learn and much to lose. Janet was in her twenties with two young children, Gina and Dinah. We had just married.

It was our incredible good fortune to have met you then, Marina, and later have the privilege to know your sons, Stephen and James, Eddie and your wider family.… Read the rest

Revd Greg Price

Its with a mixture of Joy and sadness I write this and even with tears in my eyes of gratitude and thanksgiving – on the one hand joy that Mrs Smith is with her Lord whom she loved and served so vigilantly and carefully all her life; what a reward she will deservedly receive…. Well Done Good and Faithful Servant – Come and receive the Reward I have prepared for you! But also sadness that she will not be with us! I’ll esp miss the hugs and quips! Oh here’s Gregory our Vicar!… Read the rest

Thelma Frye

Marina was a very special lady. You could not help but love her and know that she loved you. My brother, Geoffrey Wigoder, helped to found Beth Shalom, and since then she has been in close touch with me, praising and encouraging me in every way. I have such happy memories of my visits to her and Eddie in their charming home and glorious garden. She made this world a better place and will be sadly missed… Read the rest

Edward Smith

Edward Smith Tribute to Marina Smith
Sunday 26th June 2022

It was June 1961. I was sitting in the Methodist Minister’s office after Sunday service. There was a little knock at the door – and there in the doorway was a gorgeous girl.

‘My car won’t start. Can I use your phone?’

Bless that broken-down car! We had a cup of tea together, and I learned that she was starting work next term at a local grammar school as head of Religious Education. She ransacked my library. It took two of us to carry the books into the car.… Read the rest