Community extra

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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Pope's representative addresses Shabbat service

April 18, 2008

Papal Nuncio Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz, the Pope’s representative in the UK, addressed a Shabbat service at the West London Synagogue. Archbishop Munoz and West London minister Rabbi Mark Winer reflected on the evolving dialogue between the two religions and agreed that more needed to be done to achieve similar partnership with the Muslim community. The archbishop said he felt at home in West London and remarked on similarities in style with the Catholic service.

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Ukraine benefits from £10,000 quiz fundraiser

April 18, 2008

Almost 300 quiz contestants raised £10,000 for World Jewish Relief from an evening organised by its Gemini committee at St John’s Wood Synagogue. Some of the money will go to the Krivoy Rog Community Centre in Ukraine, which, when completed, will provide activities for the 15,000 Jewish population. The remainder will benefit WJR’s Gifts in Kind aid programme, which distributes new or nearly new goods to communities in Eastern Europe.

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Nursery children have fun Pesach experience

April 18, 2008

Pupils at the Lubavitch Ruth Lunzer Girls’ Primary School offered the Pesach experience in one hour at its annual Passover exhibition. The nursery children conducted a Pesach clean-up in their mini kitchen. There was a model Seder from the reception class and other activities included a matzah bakery and the search for chametz.

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Religious Education committee hears of spirituality

April 18, 2008

Spirituality, religious education and the special school was the theme of Anne Krisman, who delivered the annual lecture of Redbridge Sacre, the Standing Advisory Committee for Religious Education. Eighty teachers from a range of faiths attended the talk at Redbridge Teachers’ Centre. Ms Krisman, a member of South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue, is head of religious education at Little Heath Foundation School.

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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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