Community extra

Sixth-form screening programme held for Tay-Sachs

April 18, 2008

A screening programme for Tay-Sachs was held by Jewish Care for Immanuel College sixth-formers. Tay-Sachs is a fatal genetic disease more prevalent within the Jewish community. Among those present was Dr Philip Koch and his wife, who lost two daughters to the disease, prompting Dr Koch to become involved in research. “I feel we have achieved something today,” he said, “but there is much more work to be done”.

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Top marks for Torah Vodaas Primary School

April 18, 2008

The strictly Orthodox Torah Vodaas Primary School has received a glowing report from Ofsted inspectors, who rated it “outstanding”. In Jewish studies and the National Curriculum, the inspectors went further, reporting that “at all stages, many pupils far exceed the levels expected for their ages”. Headteacher Steven Isaacs viewed the commendation as acknowledgement of a “broad and balanced curriculum”, albeit one weighted towards Jewish studies.

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Manchester's Jewry consider heritage even

April 18, 2008

Manchester Jews are considering a major event next year celebrating “our heritage and contribution to life in Manchester”. The news was conveyed to Jewish Representative Council delegates by Sir Howard Bernstein during a report on the progress of the local Community First initiative. “We are looking at promoting the assets of the community, both to those within it and the outside world,” he said. “We want to persuade Jewish young people to stay in Manchester.”

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Pupils honour actor with Fiddler extracts

April 18, 2008

King David Primary pupils Rafi and Max Benmayor gave their own Fiddler On The Roof performance for Liverpool-born actor Joe McGann, who is playing Tevye in a national touring production of the musical. The boys played extracts from the show on the grand piano at the Empire Theatre lounge. McGann explained that he had a connection with the show as his Jewish father-in-law Geoff Locise was in the original West End production with Topol. “Tazmin, my wife, told me that getting the part was a blessing — almost as if we’d given him a grandchild.”

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New kosher fishmonger in Coatsworth Road

April 18, 2008

A kosher fishmonger has added to the shopping facilities for the Charedi community in Coatsworth Road. The shop, under the supervision of Gateshead Kashrus Authority, is run by Moshe Leitner, 28, an ex-Sunderland Yeshivah student. He “saw a gap in the market, studied at North Tyneside College and persuaded my tutor, Darren Adamson, to help me set up shop and to come to work for me”.

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Banner reminds community of Pesach date

April 18, 2008

A 15ft-long Pesach banner is being displayed by the local Lubavitch group at a busy intersection in a Jewish area, with a reminder of the date and first Seder time. Scottish Lubavitch director Rabbi Chaim Jacobs explained: “We have used this media before to publicise Rosh Hashanah and Chanucah and it is very powerful.”

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European visitors for Lubavitch party

April 18, 2008

Lubavitch Purely Social, organised by Rabbi Mendel Jacobs, attracted around three dozen 18-35s to a social evening at the Mama San nightspot in the city. Guests included visitors from Hungary and Israel. The group’s next event will be a themed Friday-night dinner.

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Sounds International entertains MP for Israel's 60th

April 18, 2008

Multifaith choir Sounds International entertained an audience including MP Jim Murphy at a concert at Garnethill Synagogue celebrating Israel’s 60th anniversary. The choir’s conductor, Eddie Binnie, is also choirmaster of the synagogue.

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Students complete Torah La'am course

April 18, 2008

Seven students from the Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt have completed a “Torah La’am” course, led by regional student chaplain Rabbi Dovid Cohen. The seven-week course examined the five books of Moses and the students all gave a presentation on the Torah at the final session. Rabbi Cohen was “very enthusiastic about the results of this programme. I hope to run it again in the near future”.

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