Community extra

Sephardim hope for fresh start after elections

By Simon Rocker, April 6, 2012

Sephardi leaders hope to put recent troubles behind them and make a fresh start in finding a new spiritual head after changes to the executive and board of elders.

Several new faces, including 26-year-old Anthony Tricot - believed to be one of the congregation's youngest ever elders - have joined the top table of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation in one of its most keenly fought ele

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Weizmann wows with £550k

April 6, 2012

Weizmann UK used the Wow factor to generate £550,000-plus from its gala dinner at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel towards the scientific endeavours at the Israeli institute.

Wow stands for "Wonders of Weizmann" and the importance of science education was the theme of keynote speaker Lord Puttnam.

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The 500-member shul which cannot afford a full-time rabbi

April 6, 2012

Rabbi Charles Wallach has brought forward his retirement at cash-strapped Brighton and Hove Reform Synagogue.

Chairman Michael Harris has informed members that the minister will leave his full-time employment at the end of April, although he will act as consultant rabbi on a freelance basis.

Although the shul has 500 adult members, many are elderly and 150 pay reduced subscription rates.

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The future's yours: Norwood brings in young generation

By Barry Toberman, April 6, 2012

In a pioneering venture, Norwood is looking to a younger generation to help shape its future.

Plans for the Young Norwood Consultative Committee were outlined to 40 people aged from early 20s to mid 30s at an invitation-only, central-London reception attended by the charity's professional and lay leadership.

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Long jumper lifts Olympic spirit at Akiva

By Jennifer Lipman, April 6, 2012

There were gasps all round when Olympic athlete Chris Tomlinson demonstrated to pupils of Finchley's Akiva Primary just how far he can jump.

The British indoor and outdoor long jump record holder - who competed at the Beijing Games and won a silver medal at the 2008 World Indoor Championships - used a tape measure to illustrate his 8.35 metres personal best in the event.

His visit was part o

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Cemetery site gets a makeover

By Jessica Elgot, April 6, 2012

A major facelift for an 18th century Jewish cemetery at the heart of a modern London university campus has been a labour of love.

The Spanish and Portuguese Novo cemetery was sold to Queen Mary University in Mile End 30 years ago on a 999-year lease and college buildings were constructed on three-quarters of the land.

This entailed exhuming the bodies and reburying them in Edgware.

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Daring days for Tzedek

By Jennifer Lipman, April 6, 2012

Philanthropic daredevils have launched a month of fundraising for international aid charity Tzedek.

Fourteen people went bungee jumping at Windsor Park on Sunday as part of Tzedek's Dare Yourself campaign.

One of the organisers, Charlotte Flowers, went through "a stage of fear" before her jump.

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Council switches festival from Shabbat

By Jay Grenby, April 6, 2012

Borehamwood Town Council has voted to move Families Day - a highlight of the annual two-week civic festival - from a Saturday to Sunday "to allow families from the Jewish community to enjoy the day, as many observe the Sabbath on the Saturday".

As a trial, Families Day will this year be held on Sunday, July 1.

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Manchester leaders get royal date

By Jonathan Kalmus, March 29, 2012

Manchester Jewish communal personalities were guests at a royal lunch during the Queen's visit to the city on her diamond jubilee tour.

In addition to Manchester City Council chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein, diners included Jeremy Myers, who has championed pride in the city since organising a major clean-up following last summer's riots.

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El Al boss makes flying visit

By Simon Rocker, March 29, 2012

The head of El Al, General Eliezer Shkedi, has said in London that the airline should not fly on Shabbat and should continue to serve kosher meals, despite the cost.

As "the civil wings of Israel and of the Jewish nation", it was not just "a regular airline," he declared.

General Shkedi became president and chief executive of El Al in 2009 after serving for five years as Commander of the Isr

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