Community extra

Wembley date for good sports nets UJIA £216,000

By James Martin, June 11, 2009

The sporting stars came out for a dinner quiz at Wembley Stadium which raised £216,000 for UJIA.

Olympic rowing double gold medallist James Cracknell, ITV football pundit Robbie Earle, former England cricketer Chris Cowdrey and steeplechaser Jo Ankier were among the 400 guests.

Host for the evening was ITV Sport presenter Matt Smith, who introduced himself as “the credit crunch’s Jeff Stelling,” a reference to the Sky Sports host and previous compere of the event, now in its 11th year.

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Birmingham shul downsizes

By Sasha Brenner, June 11, 2009

Birmingham Central Synagogue is close to tying up a £1 million-plus deal with a local housing association to redevelop its Edgbaston site for a declining congregation.

At the shul’s AGM early next month, its 200 members will be asked to support the sale of two-thirds of the site to Birmingham-based housing association Optima.

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Manchester legend dies at 106

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 11, 2009

The Manchester woman believed to be Britain’s oldest Jew has died three weeks after her 106th birthday.

Dolly Phillips devoted most of her life to helping others, running the Manchester Jewish Soup Kitchen and introducing a kosher meals-on-wheels service. She was awarded a British Empire Medal for her welfare efforts.

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Outrage at removal of housing wardens

By James Martin, June 11, 2009

Jewish residents in sheltered housing schemes in Barnet are outraged at the rubber-stamping of plans to drastically cut the number of on-site wardens.

On Monday, Barnet Council cabinet members voted unanimously for annual “efficiency savings” of £400,000. The money for wardens is no longer ring-fenced through the government-funded Supporting People programme.

As well as a demonstration outside, councillors faced angry questions from the public at the start of the meeting.

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Anne Frank exhibition in Bristol

May 21, 2009

In its third visit to Bristol in recent years, the Anne Frank Exhibition featured an interactive virtual tour of the Secret Annexe and graphic imagery of social issues affecting Bristol today. Local Jewish people involved in organising the event included historian Madge Dresser, local students Daniel Gouly and Zara Tobias and several community members who are acting as guides. The exhibition runs at Bristol Cathedral until May 31.

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Reading elects woman president

May 21, 2009

Reading Hebrew Congregation has elected a woman president for the second time in its history. Sue Clarke, who served for the past year as vice-president, was elected to the post at the synagogue’s AGM. Three years ago Sarah Firsht, who served as joint president with Myer Daniels, was the first woman to hold the post. The other board members elected were: honorary life president Jeff Foreman; vice-presidents Sarah Firsht and Myer Daniels; honorary secretary Janette Sassoon; and Tony Woolf as treasurer.

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Anne Franks lesson for pupils at Calderwood Lodge

May 21, 2009

Pupils from Calderwood Lodge Primary learned about the life of Anne Frank when the exhibition Anne Frank: A History for Today was staged at the school. Pupils also took part in discussions about prejudice today. Two other primary schools also visited, St John’s Primary and Uplaw Moor Primary. Three pupils from Calderwood Lodge were trained as guides and helped the other pupils tour the exhibition. The exhibition and workshops were organised by the Anne Frank Trust Scotland.

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Giffnock & Newlands Synagogue congregants climb Ben Lomond

May 21, 2009

To mark the 75th anniversary of Giffnock and Newlands Synagogue, 75 community members of all ages climbed Ben Lomond, one of Scotland’s highest mountains. The group, which included Rabbi Moshe Rubin and his son Pini, battled with atrocious weather. But according to organiser Steven Banks this did not dampen their enthusiasm. “It seemed with every few steps the conditions worsened.” Around £2,000 was raised for the shul.

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Joy Wolfe was guest speaker at Leeds UJIA

May 21, 2009

Joy Wolfe, joint president of the Zionist Federation, was guest speaker at Leeds UJIA women’s division annual appeal lunch. As a replacement for BIcom head Lorna Fitzsimons, who had to withdraw from attending due to illness, Mrs Wolfe told the 110 guests: “The Palestinians want peace as much as we do. It’s their leadership that has let them down.” Richard Manning, chairman of UJIA UK programmes, reported that 75 per cent of the community’s 16-year-olds are visiting Israel this summer. The event was held at the United Hebrew Congregation.

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First lottery-funded theatre workshop in Manchester

May 21, 2009

The first lottery-funded theatre skills workshops by Manchester’s Jewish Theatre Company took place at Bury Hebrew Congregation. Run by TV actresses Marilyn Bar-Ilan and Amanda Fairclough, around 30 children and adults took part. Some 17 weekly workshops were planned after the group received a £10,000 Lottery grant. Chairman Shelley Blackston said: “The Lottery money came because we were creating community based projects.”

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